Bringing the Pub Home

Thanks to Mark's wonderful Aunt (and my friend) Kathy's suggestion, I now have a subscription to Cuisine at Home.  The first issue I received included a collection of recipes titled "Bring the Pub Home" as well as a recipe for making your own corned beef.  With St. Patrick's Day just a few weeks away, we decided to make it a weekend of friends and food!

The main event was the corned beef, but we had enough for two nights of menus.  I made the list of ingredients for all 7 recipes: Fish & Chip Cakes, Crispy Chips, Welsh Rarebit, Stewed Tomatoes, Corned Beef, Braised Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Apple, and finally, the Apple Mustard Sauce for the Corned Beef.  It was a long grocery list.  That night, we got right to work getting the brisket ready for the corning process.  

Once again, Mark is wishing for better knives.
The first step was to trim the fat.  Then you pricked the meat all over on both sides in order for the spices and tender quick to work.  Below is a picture of the spices after I grinded them.  Let me tell you, I wish I could put the smell here somehow for you...it was the best potpourri EVER.


Then I got up close and personal with the brisket.  The tender quick and spices had to be rubbed in thoroughly on both sides.  Just what everyone wants to do at 9:00 p.m. on a Wednesday night, right?


The last step before putting it in the refrigerator and ignoring it for 36 hours is to cover in plastic wrap and weigh it down.  Because of the corning process, you have to do this all in a non-reactive pan.  I only have one large glass pan, so I had to make two loaf pans and the plastic jug of apple juice we bought for the recipes. After 36 hours, I had to take all of that off, flip the meat over, and then put it back.  More on this later...we cooked the corned beef on Sunday.



MENU 1 - SATURDAY NIGHT
Saturday night we did the recipes from the first part of the issue, the "Bring the Pub Home."
Fish and Chip Cakes with Crispy Chips & Welsh Rarebit with Stewed Tomatoes


I only took these two shots that night, one, because we had dinner guests and two, because the food was so darn delicious I forgot to pick up the camera again until it was all gone.  The fish cakes turned out a bit bland because I did not adjust the fish cake ingredients to match the extra cod we bought figuring we'd make extra for the 3 couples plus one child eating. However, the HP sauce and malt vinegar saved the day.  The rarebit was to die for and the stewed tomatoes were a great addition.  I also could have done without the homemade chips, and used the salt and vinegar chips we purchased for the fish cakes. 

MENU 2 - SUNDAY NIGHT
Braised Corned Beef with Braised Brussels Sprouts and an Apple-Mustard Sauce

And now, drum roll please...the results of our first attempt at making corned beef...it was AWESOME.  It could have been baaad though.  One, because while I read the part about cooking for three hours, I somehow missed the fourth hour of resting time and then the overnight in the refrigerator.  However, I decided three hours in the morning, an hour to rest, and then into the fridge until it was time to reheat it on the stove top should work.  That plan was great except for the part where I was up at 6 in the morning chopping the veggies for the braising.  The second reason why it could have been bad was I braised the beef for the three hours, then pulled it out to the stove top to rest and let out the steam.  It wasn't until we sat down in church that I remembered I left it out on the stove top...and I also left the dog out of his crate.  Super Hubby ran home, put the undisturbed (WHEW) beef in the fridge, and made it back to church before the opening hymns were done.  Here is how it looked when it came out:



We made the Rarebit again, but put it in a bread bowl and skipped the tomatoes.  It was good, but the pouring of the cheesy sauce over individual pieces and broiling that we did the night before was better.  The Brussels Sprouts were a big hit...one of my guests had four helpings I think.  So did I!

Best compliment a chef can receive...no leftovers!

I looked for the link to these recipes to put here, but Cuisine at Home does not post them right away.  It is actually something I really like about this, because it makes my subscription worth something, rather than "why do I get this magazine again?  I can just get the info on the web..."  So, I do recommend this to home chefs, I love new recipes that come with new techniques! Also, did I mention there are NO advertisements?  Just recipes, tips, tricks, and step by step instructions to new techniques.  Definitely worth the subscription price of two years for $30.  That's a steal actually, because they gave me one of the best weekends we've had ... cooking and laughing with friends, how do you put a price on that?!

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