Food & Drink

St. Patrick's Week in East Brunswick: How to Cook a Proper Corned Beef

af5119d933466d5945a9_184158fa27f432a75a46_P3150025.JPG
Make corned beef at least once a year?  Here's how to do it right! Credits: TAP into East Brunswick
af5119d933466d5945a9_184158fa27f432a75a46_P3150025.JPG

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - It begins in a half hour - the week-long celebration of St. Patrick's Day here at TAP Central in East Brunswick.  First, quick stop at the Brunswick Grove for a pint of Guinness Extra Stout.  (I once made the poor fashion choice of purchasing a t-shirt with that product name written on it.  Not good.) We have sorted out our shopping lists for the annual event we will hold next Saturday here on our own little of spot of green in Central New Jersey.

I will prepare a full meal for about 50 people.  10 corned beefs (beeves?) at least, cabbage, potatoes, colcannon, carrots, soda bread, Kosher "new" pickles, rye bread, mustard/horseradish sauce, shepherd's pie, home-made jam from our summer CSA will be the centerpiece foods.  Folks will chip in either Irish or otherwise green appetizers and desserts.  Of course, there will be Irish coffee and maybe a few pints of Guinness or "fizzy American beer." Yeah, right.

We are Irish and Jewish here at TAP Central, so corned beef appears often on our table.  However, judging by the sales at Shop-Rite and elsewhere, corned beef may be a once-a-year food event for many people.  Need an Irish hand to help you glorify this annual garlicky, salty pink entree?  Let's go!

Sign Up for E-News

1.  Buy a good one.  Take advantage of the sales and do your best to bu a good-quality brisket.

2.  Take it out of the bag in the sink and give it a good rinse.  Take the chance to cut away most (but not all) of any extra fat.  (Expect your corned beef to shrink by about 50%) Save the bag of spices.  Dry the beef with a paper towel.

3.  Prepare your cooking pot!  In the bottom of a large stove-top pot (pasta?) or crock-pot, layer 1 roughly chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 3-4 chopped ribs of celery, the contents of the spice packet, a half teaspoon of ground black pepper, and 1 bottle of Guinness.  (Adding beer to the cooking liquid removes some of the saltiness of the corned beef, while also giving a deeper flavor.  Besides, you will then have the happy problem of finding something to do with the other 5 bottles from your six-pack!)

4.  Set the beef on top and cover with with fresh water.  Cover the pot. Set heat on medium/low and cook for four hours.  In crock-pot on low takes the 7-8 hours.  Do this before work, and come home to a house that smells like a deli.  You will be ravenous.

5.  While your beef is cooking, try your hand at preparing colcannon, a traditional and tasty Irish "mash" of cabbage, potatoes, leeks and butter.  Peel and slice a few carrots and set them to boil.  Serve them with a little butter, salt, and New Jersey honey for a colorful and tasty side dish.

6.  There is no need for corned beef to be rubbery or stringy.  Cook it as you would a pot roast until it is as tender as you like.  (In our EB TAP family, we call this style of cooking "Florentine," after our grandmother Florence Pressman who put a pot on low or in the oven at 250 and just let it cook all day.  There's no rush!  Besides, you have those 5 bottles of Guinness to keep you occupied!)

7.  Remove corned beef from cooking liquid and allow to rest on your cutting board for a while. Discard the cooking liquid.

8.  Slice your delicious corned beef and serve with your colcannon and carrots.  Accompany with rough, brown mustard (No Dijon, please.  Far too winey.)

9  Be Irish for the evening, at least.  Remember, smiling is required!

10.  Irish soda bread recipe tomorrow!

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

Vets4Warriors Gives Struggling Veterans a Lifeline

February 18, 2018

Fatima Aguilar’s first day on the job at Vets4Warriors was anything but normal. A military veteran who’s currently enlisted as a Second Lieutenant with the New Jersey National Guard, she found herself in a potential suicide crisis situation as soon as she hit the phones.

“I started around three and a half years ago on the overnight shift, and my very first call was a US ...

South Brunswick: Volunteer Soccer Coach Charged With Possessing And Distributing Child Pornography

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – A volunteer youth soccer coach and former Sunday school teacher is charged with possessing and distributing child pornography, officials said Thursday.

FBI agents and local law enforcement arrested Waldo Milla-Guerra, 49, at his Kendall Park home Thursday morning after executing a search warrant, officials said.

Milla-Guerra, a volunteer soccer coach with the ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

New Brunswick/Middlesex County Reentry Site Opens

February 18, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ - The New Jersey Reentry Corporation (NJRC), a nonprofit agency serving court-involved individuals, is pleased to announce the grand opening a new reentry site in Middlesex County on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 at 11 a.m. The office is located at 57 Livingston Avenue, Unit 3, New Brunswick, N.J. 08901. Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin will offer remarks and cut ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 18, 3:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, New Brunswick

New Jersey Symphony Orchestra: Hot Latin Nights ...

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19

State Theatre New Jersey, New Brunswick

Mr. Popper's Penguins

Arts & Entertainment

Mon, February 19, 7:00 AM

Raritan Valley YMCA, East Brunswick

Presidents Celebration at the Raritan Valley Y

Other

Library Hosts Program On Joint Replacement Surgery

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital partner to present the special medical program “Considering Total Joint Replacement in 2018” at the library on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 pm.

Lead by board certified orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Kayiaros, the program gives a brief overview of arthritis of ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs (Bantom,2017)

How does a writer of a beloved series like Harry Potter or Temperance Brennan break out of their readers' expectations and try something new? For J.K. Rowlings it was the novels penned under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith; books about a maimed and very flawed private detective with the unlikely name of Cormoran Strike. For Kathy Reichs, it is the ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

'American Hero' explores with powerful performances

‘American Hero’ pulses with tension, clashing emotions at George Street

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNWICK – The issue of social injustice makes its way into “American Hero,” the second play in a trilogy by Christopher Demo-Brown.

Armand Schultz as Rob is to receive a medal of honor for his heroic actions during the Iraq war. Although he lost the use of his legs, he ...