Originally posted on March 18, 2012
Corned beef, also known as salt beef and spiced beef, is a national dish of Ireland. Recipes vary, but the cure is usually made of kosher salt, curing salt, a heap of brown sugar, and spices like clove, allspice, black pepper, and mustard seed. The cured meat is gently simmered (usually in water, sometimes in beer) until tender, and can be eaten hot or cold.
To clarify, corned beef has nothing to do with maize. “Corn” was once a broad English term for a small bit, whether a grain of wheat, or a crystal of salt. “Corned beef” is beef that has been covered in corns of salt.
Like most charcuterie, corned beef … Continue reading.
I have a certain old friend. Technically we went to high school together, but I first got to know him in Lister Hall, then at the Kappa Alpha house on university row. He studied philosophy, and after graduation he followed a girl to Montreal. There he fell victim to many of the city’s seductions: strong beer, girls, and cocaine, yes, but above all these, smoked meat.
For a while he lived only a few blocks from Schwartz’s, that Mecca of Montreal smoked meat. For a while he ate there every day: a sandwich, a pickle, and a cherry coke.
Montreal smoked meat is that city’s version of New York’s pastrami: beef brisket, cured with a concoction of spices reminiscent of … Continue reading.