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All About Corned Beef

When you think of St. Patrick’s Day what foods come to mind? Irish potatoes, soda bread, and corned beef are just a few of the traditional favorites that are enjoyed at this time of year.

Though our prideful Irish friends are familiar with these dishes, the rest of us might wonder how to prepare them, how to best enjoy them, and perhaps, how they rate nutritionally.

I decided to do some research on Corned Beef, since it is a St. Patrick’s Day staple and one of my favorites (especially on a sandwich). The first question I had was “what actually makes the beef ‘corned’”?

Here is what I learned: “Corning” is a method similar to curing. Adding spices and salt helps prevent spoilage while creating an intensely delicious flavor profile; hence, its frequent cameos in sandwiches, as brisket, even as breakfast hash!

Make it Healthy

Like any red meat, choose a leaner cut and trim the fat to reduce its fat content. Reduce the sodium by preparing your corned beef from scratch!

Note: Making your favorite dishes from scratch will reduce the sodium from preservatives; fat content will also decrease when you control what ingredients go into your dish.

“Corn” your own Beef

  1. Prepare brine for beef brisket. Combine water, kosher salt, pickling spices, vinegar, and natural brown sugar or honey in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil, then allow to cool. In a deep pan, submerge the meat in the brine, cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least four to six days.
  3. Remove brisket from the marinade, rinse off added spices and salts from the brine, and cook corned beef as you normally would with the store-bought product. Slow, moist cooking methods, like braising, are recommended for a tender and juicy texture.

Pulled Brisket Sliders

 

Makes: 10 sliders

Prep Time: 1 day for marinade 

Cook Time:  Approximately 4-6 hours

Ingredients:

1, 2-pound beef brisket, lean cut, trimmed to ¼” fat

10 enriched slider rolls

HERB BUTTER

½ cup margarine

½ cup fresh parsley, minced

¼ tablespoon kosher salt

SIMMERING LIQUID

½ tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onions, diced

1 tablespoons chili powder

½ tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

12 ounces beer, preferably lager

½ cup cider vinegar

¼ cup whole-grain mustard

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons honey

1, 6-ounce can tomato paste

Directions:

1.  In a bowl, stir soft margarine and parsley together. Smother brisket with herb butter. Place in a baking dish, cover and refrigerate over night.

2.  Prepare to cook brisket by heating oil in a large Crock-pot over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and very soft, about 20 minutes.

  1. Increase heat to high. Add chili powder, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper; cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add beer, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and honey; bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, 10 minutes. Add the beef, spooning sauce over it. Cover the pan and cook for at least four hours.
  3. Continue to cook until beef is tender or at desired texture. Remove the brisket. Pull the beef apart into long shreds using two forks.
  4. Serve on a whole-wheat slider.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 450 Calories, 30 g Protein, 22 g Fat (5.6 Sat), 30 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 510 mg Sodium, 79 mg Cholesterol

Recipe Adapted from Eatingwell.com: Pulled Pork Recipe

Article originally published on the Pathmark FB Nutrition Tip Blog

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