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BS: the people who make the corned beef

Dave'sWife 14 Mar 05 - 04:01 PM
Rapparee 14 Mar 05 - 06:44 PM
Layah 14 Mar 05 - 08:07 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 14 Mar 05 - 09:13 PM
Dave'sWife 14 Mar 05 - 09:33 PM
Once Famous 14 Mar 05 - 09:37 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 14 Mar 05 - 09:56 PM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Mar 05 - 11:41 PM
Layah 15 Mar 05 - 08:29 AM
Rapparee 15 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM
Layah 15 Mar 05 - 09:22 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Mar 05 - 10:35 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 11:35 AM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 11:38 AM
Layah 15 Mar 05 - 12:28 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 15 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM
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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 04:01 PM

Since I've been going on about Porter ckae, and, since Porter Cake MUST be made days in advance of serving..here's my recipe:

Porter Cake
American version

Ingredients:
1 bottle of FLAT Guinness Stout at room temperature
(open it and pour in a glass a couple of hours beforehand to let out the bubbles and to bring up to room temp)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Cups castor Sugar (superfine to Americans)
1 cup of softened but not melted butter (2 sticks of American butter)
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup Sultanas (Golden raisins to Americans)
1 tsp. Lemon peel
1 tsp. Orange peel
1/2 cup Dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp. powdered ginger

Preheat Oven to 375 Degrees

Butter and flour a loaf pan, line with a piece of buttered parchment paper. Then, add the baking soda to the glass of room temp Guinness. Set aside.

Cream the sugar and butter together until creamy and light. Beat in the eggs slowly. Fold in the dried fruits and peel. Beat it all together until well mixed. Then, slowly add the flour and ginger. Beat until smooth. Add the Guinness and soda mixture, beat until smooth. Turn into your buttered load pan and bake at 375 for approximately 90 minutes. In some ovens, you may need to cook for another 20 minutes after that. When a pick comes out clean from the center, cake is done.

Do not serve this cake the day it is made! The cake needs to ripen for several days. It won't taste good until the flavors have ripened. So, make ahead of time. And don't be tempted! The cake stores well in a tin. You can top the slices with slightly sweetened whipped cream.

ENJOY!


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 06:44 PM

I've always understood that the Irish-American "tradition" of corned beef and cabbage came from the fact that these were cheap foods used to feed those who worked on the railroads and canals -- the owners weren't into spending much on their workers. Toss in a couple potatoes, and maybe an onion. All cheap and filling foods, especially if you grew your own vegetables.

As for true Irish cuisine -- well, my visits to Ireland have ALWAYS added weight to my frame, and not from the drink! Delicious food, well prepared and well presented. I remember one dish my wife had, at the "Half Door" in Dingle -- a single pear stuffed with lobster and topped with a lovely white sauce (no, I don't know what kind of sauce, except that it was white in color). I had trout with blackberries, myself....

Quail Veronique at Snaffle's in Dublin, salmon and prawns in Kenmare, smoked salmon in Kinsale, a mussel stew at a pub in Skibbereen...dear God, I'm making myself hungry...Irish coffee at the Great Southern in Killarney...I gotta stop.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 08:07 PM

I'm certainly not sounding the way I'm intending to sound. Neither did I mean to imply that the Irish don't have cuisine, which is obviously untrue. But you're right, I just read the book and I didn't bother thinking about what I read. The wording didn't stick out as prejudiced and so I didn't examine the kinds of assumptions it was making. Now I really wish I could remember what the book was called so I could go back through it with that in mind and reevaluate what it actually said. So I guess it isn't all bad I brought it up, because now I will reexamine what I have heard on the subject and what it means. And I apologize again for spreading bad information.

My family had a similar experience with the names. My grandfather and his brother changed their names because they couldn't get jobs because their names were too Jewish. The family kept the new name, so now they all have a name that was pretty much just invented by my grandpa. My last name is also changed but on my Dad's side they just know it was different, they don't know what it was or why it was changed, but it's possible it was for similar reasons, as it also would have been some Jewish sounding name.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:13 PM

Ireland and Britain have suffered bad reputations in culinary circles. I think it is unfair and just more signs of snobbery when people cannot enjoy simple comfort foods such as this.

Corned beef is also getting a bad reputation that I feel is unfair. I love corned beef, which is also a staple of New England boiled suppers.   Corned beef, while a cheaper cut of meat due to the fact, is very tasty. Anyone who eats meat out of a tin probably deserves whatever they get. Run down to the local butcher or supermarket and pick up a nice slab of corned brisket (I recommend the flat cut), boil it up for a couple of hours in water with a bottle of Guinness, boil up some cabbage and potatoes and you have a great meal.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:33 PM

Ron.. you ARE right.. a good brisket is wonderful when prepared properly. I still won't make on March 17th just because that's what people expect of me due to my Heritage. I plan to buy one tomorrow, however and begin marinating it. I hope to find one that's not already polluted with somebody else's idea of marinade and spices. That's getting more difficult these days since it's hard to find a free-standing Butcher shop or a Grocery with a Butcher on duty.

Layah..don't sweat it so much! I only said "somehwat offended'..not 'massively offended'!! hehe. Besides, the whole discussion prompted me to post my Porter Cake recipe. Incidentally, my version is adapted for an American palette and in consideration of what Americans can usually find at the grocery. The Irish version calls for a couple of types of candied peels and sometimes Citron (the yucky green things in fruitcake0. I substituted grated peel & dried fruits: cherry & Cranberry, but you can use dried blueberries or Apricots if you wish, or even dried plums (AKA Prunes). You can even add Cinnamon and/or Allspice if you wish but I prefer plain old Ginger.

Incidentally, the Neighborhood where my Dad was Born in the Bronx was historically an Irish/Jewish ghetto. Lots of inter-marriage too as well as co-mingling of cuisines. Why, just this afternoon between posts here, I made something I call Blueberry Cheese-cups which is really just a Jewish Cheese Blintz recipe made in cupcake form. Got that recipe from my Irish Grandmother who got it from a Jewish Neighbor. ( I also ironed a lot of shirts!)

Once upon a time about five years ago, I had a contract to write an Irish-American Cookbook from a ethnographic point of view, with stories of the cross-pollination of Irish American Cuisine with that of other Immigrant Groups. I amassed stories, recipes, references and photos only to see the Publisher falter and go bankrupt. Now here I sit upon a mountain of data and recipes and my Agent has had no luck selling it elsewhere. Such is life.

Makes me feel like making a cake! ( but not ironing any more shirts!)


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Once Famous
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:37 PM

Kosher Corned beef on rye.

With mustard. And a pickle.

Everything else is fake. Especially the Irish version, a once a year psuedo-legend.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:56 PM

Martin,

I know you aren't the first person to mention "Jewish" corned beef, but I defy anyone to tell me what the difference is, other than perhaps being "kosher".   I'll say it again, corned beef is simple brisket that has been preseved, or rather pickled, in brine.   There simply is no difference in taste, no more than one brand to another. One company may add more or less salt or spice, and the cook may add their own touch, but there is no difference.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 11:41 PM

thanks for the dessert ideas, Dave's Wife. And the recipe.

Ron Olesko: you prob haven't noticed the corned beef in a can because the can is a funny shape - not round, but a low and squarish. This is what you do:

open the can, using the little key. (If it breaks, you can use a regular can opener, although it takes finesse.) Get the corned beef out and break it up into chunks.

chop up some onion

slice up some potatoes

heat some oil or fat in a big skillet. (I use corn oil). Brown the onions, then set them aside in a little dish.

Brown the potatoes, then shove them to the outside of the skillet.

Brown the corned beef. It tends to stick. That's part of the charm.

Finally, stir the beef, potatoes and onions together. Cover the skillet and let it cook gently until the potatoes are completely cooked.

Just before serving, remove the lid and turn up the heat some so that the hash is not too soggy. Eat with a fried egg, if desired. Don't forget the ketchup, either. And a beer.

We like to make this when we are camping.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:29 AM

Dave's Wife, that sounds like a really interesting book. I'd like to read it if you ever manage to publish it.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Rapparee
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 08:46 AM

I cook a corned beef hash this way:

Cube some potatoes and boil 'em until NEARLY soft. Set aside.
Chunk up some onions and fry in butter or margarine until they're translucent. Add some corned beef that's been cut into cubes about the size of the potatoes (or just toss in a can of corned beef which has been so cut, but in either case take it out of the can first). Cook 'em together for a bit and then add the potatoes back in. After a couple minutes, season with salt, pepper, and Worchestshire sauce.

You can fry some celery with the onions if you'd like a bit of green in it.

Serve hot, without an egg on top.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 09:22 AM

The internet is useless! I decided to do a search to see if I could find out the true story of Irish versus Jewish corned beef. The Jewish corned beef I have had tasted very different from the Irish corned beef that I have had. But the internet is useless.

There is a story that the Irish had corned beef and cabbage on Easter. The beef had been corned to preserve it over lent. This story was quoted in many different web pages, using the exact same wording without any referencing! Nobody admitted they had just taken their information wholesale from some other site. I found one site that quoted this, citing the USDA as the source, and then said they were wrong. Beef was very rare and expensive, and most likely they had a bacon joint.

As for Jewish corned beef I found absolutely zero information. One or two recipes and that was it. I have lost all faith in the internet and will sever my connection immediately never to go online again. Or do you think that might be overreacting?


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 09:32 AM

Layah, I'm not sure if you are overreacting, but perhaps you are frustrated because you haven't found information that backs up your theory.   

Beef has been "corned", not just for Lent, but also to preserve it for export.

As for "Jewish" corned beef, I still say that there is relatively no difference (besides the kosher process). One brand may add spices in a different order or amount, but the brining process is the same. You might have a company that markets corned beef toward a specific ethinic group, but the product is the same. The taste may be a bit different, just like a McDonalds hamburger tastes different from Burger Kings and both are radically different from what I can make at home. They are all hamburgers.

When I went to the supermarket last week, there were 3 or 4 brands of corned beef available. One or two said they were kosher, the others did not. None claimed to be either Irish or Jewish.

Because of the similarities, many people often confuse pastrami with corned beef.   Pastrami, which actually has origins in Turkey, is argueably more popular in Jewish deli's, at least here in the NYC area.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 10:35 AM

I can't remember where I saw it, but somewhere I read that pastrami is corned beef that's been smoked.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 11:35 AM

Pastrami is brisket that has been smoked, corned beef is brisket that has been "corned".


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 11:38 AM

I should also add that pastrami is dry cured as opposed to salt cured corned beef. The spices are a bit different, but the meat itself is the same cut.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: Layah
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 12:28 PM

I wasn't actually very frustrated, I was just attempting to be humorous. It's not that I didn't find any info that backs up my theory, it's that I didn't find any info at all. I found two conflicting stories of the origin of corned beef in the Irish diet, and no info at all about why Jews eat it. Even assuming it's the same thing, I still want to know where it comes from. Did the Jews get it from the Irish when they were both in America? It's the total lack of information that's the problem, not the lack of the right information.

McDonald's hamburgers and homemade hamburgers are both hamburgers and taste radically different. If you want to say they are the same thing, then by that standard Jewish and Irish corned beef are certainly the same thing as well. We're running into a problem of semantics here. I'm not claiming that one or the other of them is not corned beef, I'm claiming that they taste different. It appeared to me you are claiming they taste the same.


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Subject: RE: BS: the people who make the corned beef
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 01:11 PM

No two cooks will ever make something the same. I am saying that there is technically no such thing as either "Irish" or "Jewish" corned beef. There is corned beef, period.


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