Christmas Salt Beef Test Run | Mashtun and Meow: Sheffield Beer Blog

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Christmas Salt Beef Test Run

So it is coming round to that time of year, where the season of bitter cynicism meets the festive marketing of toys and other crap we don't need wrapped under the guise of joy and giving. A time of year where shops and radio stations feel it is their duty to play the turgid 'Christmas hit' loop with an air of enforced regimented happiness that always makes the yuletide gay. (Note from the wife: these are the opinions of Jim and are not representative of the household as a whole!) With this enforced frivolity comes a time where being drunk at 10 in the morning can be excused with words like "I'm just taking in the christmas spirit". The Coca-Cola red frivolity train does on the other hand bring with it a cargo of encouraged overconsumption, punctuated with plausible table conversation:
"I could not possibly eat one more iota, for I am replete." 
"Another mince pie, good sir? 
"Oh yes please, fine fellow".  
This gluttony of food brings also a liquid excess, happily for me this is what makes the season genuinely jolly.

Some recipes can be ready and delicious in 15minutes, for others a little more time is needed for the complexities of the recipe as a whole. Then there are some that takes over a week to make some of the most exquisite food imaginable. Salt beef is one of those - while it is always possible to buy the beef ready cured from some butchers and supermarkets, it never has the class of producing your own brine and curing what eventually becomes a delicious piece of meat.


This was a pre-christmas test run, so I used a smaller piece of meat and a smaller amount of brine, but this is a recipe that cries out to be mass-catered.

Ingredients:
Beef brisket
For the brine:
300g Salt
200g Sugar
Orange rind
1tbsp Black pepper
1 stick Cinnamon
2 Star anise
1 tsp Cloves
2 garlic Garlic
1 tsp Cardamom pods
20 grams Prague Powder #1 (optional)

For Poaching:
1 Carrot
1 Onion
2 sticks of celery
half a head of garlic
Bunch of herbs (Thyme Rosemary, Oregano, Bay Leaves)


Bring together all of the brining ingredients in a pan with plenty of water about 1.5l. Bring to the boil in order to dissolve the salt and sugars. Add the Prague Powder now, this will help the meat to keep its colour. Allow to cool, and then pop the meat into a freezer bag and ladle the brine over the meat until completely submerged. Seal the bag, taking care to remove any air that may still be in the bag, and cover well - we used silver foil, and an extra bag for safety! When this is done place in the cellar or a cool place for 5-7 days, turning the bag over daily.

After the meat is ready, give it a light rinse to remove any excess brine. The next step is to poach the meat until it becomes tender, taking care not to boil it as the meat will toughen. Poach with a roughly chopped carrot, onions and celery, as well as a half a head of garlic and a bunch of fresh herbs.

Serve on bagels with plenty of pickles.

Ho ho ho!

Jim


======*Update*======

This recipe has been featured on the Love Salt Beef website here.

Love Salt Beef is the perfect place for those of you who are into making, buying and more importantly eating salt beef.





No comments:

Post a comment

Let us know what you think! You can also contact us with any enquiries at jimrangeley@gmail.com - we'd love to hear from you.