No, corned beef doesn’t mean that the beef was literally soaked in a can of corn.
It’s simply cured beef.
Have you never tasted one before? Or are you planning to make some delicious corned beef for the fam?
If that’s the case, perhaps you have some pretty high expectations for this dish.
Perhaps you think it will taste like a juicy, thick steak that’s been slow-cooked to perfection.
So, what does corned beef taste like exactly? How to make it? Wait, what actually is corned beef?
Don’t worry. We’ve all the answers for you.
What is Corned Beef?
Corned beef is simply beef that has been cured in salt-water brine.
This curing process gives the meat a distinct flavor and pinkish color and helps preserve it.
Typically, you’ll find corned beef made from the brisket or round of the cow.
These are tough cuts of meat that benefit greatly from the long, slow cooking process that corned beef undergoes.
So, where does the term “corned” come from? It’s actually named for the large grains or “corns” of salt that are used to cure the beef.
Nowadays, people widely use a more refined version of salt for curing their beef brisket.
This is because the large salt grains can actually make the finished product quite salty.
Apart from the salt, other spices are also added to the beef curing mixture.
- Bay leaves.
- Cinnamon sticks.
The curing process not only tenderizes the meat but also infuses it with a ton of flavor.
The salty, sweet, and tangy flavor of corned beef is hard to resist.
And when slow-cooked until tender, it’s even better.
What Does Corned Beef Taste Like?
So, what does corned beef actually taste like? Does it taste similar to corns? Is it creamy?
Well, the answer to that largely depends on how it’s prepared.
Corned beef, also known as salt beef, can be boiled, baked, grilled, or even smoked.
But on a general note, cooked corned beef has a well-balanced flavor of sour, spicy, meaty, and, of course, salty.
If you ever had pot roast, you have a pretty good idea of what corned beef tastes like.
The two dishes are very similar in taste and texture.
Both are made with cheaper cuts of beef that are tough and full of connective tissue.
However, corned beef is cured in salty brine, which gives it its distinctive flavor.
Corned beef is usually served with cabbage and potatoes.
The combination of these three foods is known as an ” Irish feast”.
Corned beef and cabbage is also a very popular dish in the United States, especially on St. Patrick’s Day.
As far as nutritional benefits go, corned beef is packed with protein, iron, and vitamin B12.
It is also a rich source of selenium.
However, you should note that, since corned beef is primarily soaked in salty brine, it has a high sodium content.
Therefore, it’s best to consume it in moderation.
How to Cook and Serve Corned Beef?
Corned beef is readily available in almost all supermarkets these days.
Just head to the deli counter to buy it pre-cooked, or purchase a raw brisket to cook at home.
Suppose you’re thinking of making your own version of corned beef at home.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Start by curing the beef brisket in a salt-water mixture.
- You can use water, salt, sugar, and spices like coriander seeds, allspice berries, and peppercorns to make the curing juice.
- Add in the beef brisket and marinate it for 5-7 days.
- Finally, rinse the brisket in water to remove excess salt.
- And voila.
- Your corned beef is ready to be cooked.
One of the most delicious recipes you can make with corned beef is the traditional Rueben sandwich.
All you need is rye bread, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and of course, corned beef.
Slow cook the corned beef in water for 3-4 hours or until it’s tender.
Slice the meat thinly against the grain and assemble your Rueben sandwiches.
Grill the sandwich on a buttered skillet for a toasty finish.
There you have it.
Want more creative ideas for serving corned beef? You can try these ideas:
- Serve it with boiled potatoes and carrots. .
- Add it to a hearty stew. .
- Make corned beef hash for breakfast. .
- Use it as a filling for tacos or burritos. .
- Slice it thinly and serve on crackers as an appetizer.
Corned beef has several variations across the globe.
In the UK, for example, they refer to cured meats as “corned beef,” while in the US, this term is typically used interchangeably with “canned beef,” as it is usually sold as minced meat in cans.
Regardless of what it’s called, corned beef is a versatile and delicious dish you can enjoy in many ways.
And if you haven’t tasted one before, you sure are missing out on a lot.