Guess what? In observation of the anniversary of Babe Ruth's first professional home run, I'm making corned beef! Not really. But I am making corned beef. The lazy way. These days, you can usually go to your local mega-mart and pick up a pre-brined, ready-to-go, vacuum sealed hunk of delicious cow product. You don't have to know how to do anything with one of these, and all you need is insane patience. Here are the simple steps:
1. Purchase aforementioned cow product
2. Place in wide-mouthed vessel with tight-fitting lid. You could probably use a slow cooker for this too, but I have never done it myself.
3. With the cow product in the pot, add just enough water to cover.
If, like me, sometimes your water tastes like the pool at the Y, I suggest purchasing a filter.
There are 2 basic models: pitcher and sink. Pitchers just need to be filled with water and stashed in your chill chest until needed. A little filter inside filters the water as you pour it. I have a sink-top device, which screws onto the sink and filters when you turn the knob. It has 3 convenient settings: normal water, spray, and filtered. Normal, as the name implies, simply flows through a metal grate like the one on the sink usually has. Spray is like the sprayhead hose you have on the side of the sink; very good for dishes. The filtered setting is the one that actually filters the water, and it comes out in a thin stream. You do not want to run hot water through the filter, as it could damage it.
4. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then turn to low for 4 grueling, annoying, horrible hours of waiting. Use the time to read a book or something. I had play practice today, so I was able to skip out on the waiting.
5. Some people like to boil their potatoes and cabbage right in the pot with the meat, but I personally don't. You can do whatever you want.
6. When it's all done, pull out your delicious meat and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. If you didn't, you'd burn your mouth! And the juices need to regroup a bit, too.
7. When it comes to slicing, you have two choices: against the grain or with the grain. Against is certainly the tradition, but with the grain offers a lower risk of disintegration. Again, your choice.
8. Serve alongside some boiled greens, and you've got the lazy man's irish dinner.
Wondering why there's no pictures? We ate it so fast that I forgot! This is a great, low-maintenance weekend dish. Granted, the pre-brined meat is a deviation from the norm, but you don't need 3 pounds of salt and half you fridge space. Give it a try. It's not fast, but a good, slow-cooked dish the night before work or school is better than wolfing down a stale granola bar and glass of milk while finishing up your 3rd quarter projection analysis spreadsheet. Then you wake up in the morning realizing you fell asleep working on said spreadsheet, and skip breakfast to get it done. Then you lose the power point, and you know the rest. Bad monday. But who knows? Maybe taking time to turn up the ol' flavor knob to 11 will inspire you to abandon you pop tart in favor of some good scrambled eggs. Yum!
**Thanks for keeping this site alive for its first week!**