Corned Beef is often viewed as being an old fashioned retro dish which is a shame as it’s actually a delicious and warming winter meal. The cuts used for corned beef differ from country to country. In Australia, silverside is the cut most often found at butchers and in the States it’s brisket. Both are equally delicious, with the silverside being a little leaner, not necessarily a good thing here as a little bit of marbling helps keep the meat moist. I like to keep to the basic classic method of slow poaching corned beef but I do think that the sharpness of the parsley sauce below is a much nicer and more up to date accompaniment than the traditional white sauce. Having said that, I served it with a cauliflower gratin which added that creamy element. The only vegetable I cooked in the broth were carrots but by all means you can add peeled small potatoes as well as turnips if you wish.
Ingredients – Serves 4
1.5 kg Corned beef
3 onions, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
12 black peppercorns
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 bunch baby carrots, peeled and trimmed
Parsley Mustard Sauce Adapted from Suzanne Goin, Sunday Suppers at Lucques
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely diced shallots (French eschallots)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of half a 1/2 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the corned beef into a large deep saucepan and add enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil and discard water. Clean the pan and return the beef to it. Stud the onion halves with the cloves and add the rest of the ingredients except for the carrots. Cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil over medium heat.
Once boiling cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for at least 3 hours. The meat should be fork tender at this stage. Drain and reserve the broth and discard the vegetables. Place the beef back into the pan and add the reserved broth, taste and add some salt to the broth if it requires it. Add the carrots to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
To make the sauce place the shallots, vinegar, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl, and let sit 5 minutes. Pound the parsley with a mortar and pestle and add it to the shallots. Whisk in the mustard and olive oil, and season with a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of pepper and a pinch more salt, if you like.
To serve carve the beef into thick slices. Ladle some of the broth onto a platter and arrange the corned beef slices on top. Arrange the carrots around the beef and top with the parsley mustard sauce.