Corned beef has an undeniable place in the American palate.
Chef and food writer Heidi Medina at Simply Sophisticated Cooking explains that corned beef originated with Irish-American immigrants who took cheaper cuts and cured it into their own form of Irish bacon. It was affordable, plentiful and tasty, making it the perfect meat.
But what many people really love about corned beef is that it’s so versatile and can be used in a wide range of dishes.
Here are some of the more interesting ones we recommend.
Grilled Corned Beef and Fontina Sandwich
Chef and owner of Aidells Sausage Company Bruce Aidells offers a delicious variation of the classic corned beef sandwich in Bon Appétit. The core ingredients include Jewish-style rye bread, thinly sliced corned beef and Fontina cheese. Melt some butter in a skillet and cook until golden brown.
As for toppings, throw on some thinly sliced sweet onion and Dijon mustard. The end result is a hearty sandwich that’s ooey-gooey and delicious.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Chowder
Self-taught home cook and creator of The Foodie Affair, Sandra Shaffer tips her hat to the Irish with this dish that’s perfect for chilly New England weather.
It’s pretty straightforward to make and calls for diced onion, celery, carrots, which are combined with cooked, peeled and diced red potatoes, sliced cabbage and corned beef and placed in a broth. After about 20 minutes of cooking, you’ve got a filling meal that will warm your bones.
Beer Brined Corned Beef Sliders
The Big Choice Brewing team offers a unique spin on sliders that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. Their beer brined corned beef sliders are malty, slightly smokey and totally delicious.
The key is to soak corned beef brisket in a special brine that includes beer, brown sugar, cloves, ginger and some other special ingredients for 3 to 10 days. It’s then heated and allowed to simmer for 3 hours until completely tender.
Combine this with some house-made pickled slaw on top of mini buns, and you’ve got a winner.
Corned Beef Breakfast Sandwich
Cook and recipe developer Valerie Brunmeier of Valerie’s Kitchen has a great idea for putting leftover corned beef to use: Create a mouthwatering breakfast sandwich out of it. All you need is corned beef, eggs, shredded Irish white cheddar cheese and an English muffin.
First you cook the eggs, and then layer an English muffin half with the eggs, corned beef and cheese. Then broil for a minute or two until the muffins are toasted and the cheese is melted. The kicker is that she recommends adding a dollop of Thousand Island dressing for a distinct taste that’s one-of-a-kind.
Looking for a healthy way to incorporate corned beef into a dish? Food blogger and creator of The Seasoned Mom Blair Lonergan has the solution — a Reuben salad.
You need romaine lettuce, shredded cabbage, drained sauerkraut, chopped deli corned beef, cubed Swiss cheese and halved cherry tomatoes. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl, and top it off with either pumpernickel or rye croutons and Thousand Island dressing. It’s quick, easy, healthy and packs a nice flavor.
Corned Beef Hash
Cookbook author and creator of Damn Delicious Chungah Rhee offers her take on an old school favorite. Her corned beef hash recipe is “no-fuss” and includes diced corned beef, minced garlic, diced onion, Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley leaves and salt and pepper.
As for the potatoes, she suggests using diced russets and adding olive oil, dried thyme, oregano, basil and salt and pepper.
“The secret to this hash is roasting the potatoes first — that way they get that amazing crusty crispness in a shorter amount of time without all the fuss of flipping and turning,” Rhee says. “From there, all you need to do is throw those potatoes onto a skillet with your desired veggies, and of course your corned beef.”
Cook, recipe developer and food blogger Dee of Meatloaf and Melodrama has a killer recipe that takes all of the components of a Reuben sandwich and puts them in an amazing casserole.
It requires sauerkraut (rinsed and drained), sliced corned beef, Swiss cheese, rye bread torn into smaller pieces and Thousand Island dressing.
Grease a baking dish, spread the sauerkraut evenly over the bottom, and add some salt and pepper for seasoning. Then layer the ingredients, drizzle some melted butter on top and bake.
The whole process takes about 35 minutes, and you’ve got a hearty, homemade meal.
Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls
Allison Milam at Food Network suggests a creative and innovative way to use corned beef. Rather than making lettuce wraps, you make corned beef and cabbage rolls, which can serve as either an appetizer or a quick lunch.
The trick is to boil savoy cabbage leaves until they are softened and then place them under cool water so that it gives them a nice crunchy bite. From there, you simply add corned beef, whole-grain mustard, fresh herbs and a bit of mayo and wrap them up.
Carbonara with Corned Beef
Looking for a dish that really pushes the boundaries between food cultures? Carbonara with corned beef is an interesting dish featuring Irish-Italian fusion.
The Random Republika team breaks down the cooking process step-by-step. First, you sauté garlic in olive oil, then add butter along with corned beef and cook until it’s toasted. From there, add full cream milk, all purpose cream and parmesan cheese.
After cooking spaghetti noodles in a separate pot of boiling water, you drain them and add the sauce. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and you’re good to go.
Reuben Crescent Bake
Food writer and creator of Spicy Southern Kitchen Christin Mahrlig has yet another spin on the Reuben sandwich. Though technically an appetizer, the Reuben crescent bake can also serve as a light lunch and has a bold taste.
It’s made by separating crescent rolls into small triangles and adding corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and a dash of Thousand Island dressing. Add a bit more corned beef on top and roll up the dough and repeat. Brush the top with butter, sprinkle on some poppy seeds and bake.
Recipe and homemaking blogger Wendy O’Neal mentions another form of culinary fusion on her site Around My Family Table. This time it’s Irish-Mexican in the form of Irish tacos.
For this you’ll need corned beef, corn tortillas, Swiss cheese, diced potatoes with onion and sauerkraut. Cook the potatoes in a skillet and warm up the corned beef in a microwave.
Then fill the tortillas with the ingredients and top it with Russian dressing. Chopped green onions are optional.
Saint Paddy’s Irish Sandwich
Cook and recipe experimenter extraordinaire Big Nose Kate offers a “new rendition” of the Reuben on Allrecipes. You simply place shredded corned beef and cabbage in a light vinaigrette on top of toasted sourdough bread and top it with fancy mustard.
Serve with a dill pickle, and you’ve got a tasty meal that’s great on Saint Paddy’s Day (or any other day for that matter).
Irish Corned Beef Dog
The team at Nathan’s describes an interesting way to combine corned beef deli meat with a hot dog for pure culinary perfection. And it’s incredibly easy to do.
Just place a beef frank in a hot dog bun. Then top it with sliced corned beef, sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard. As the Nathan’s team explains, be sure that you add a generous amount of corned beef because that’s what gives this hot dog its flavor.
This concoction may sound a little crazy, but don’t knock until you try it. As TasteAndSee.com food blogger and creator of this recipe Holly says at Food52, “It’s the best sandwich ever.”
It begins by constructing the sandwich itself, which involves placing corned beef, Swiss and drained kimchi on either pumpernickel or marbled rye bread. But what really sets it off is the signature spicy Russian dressing, which is made by combining mayo, ketchup, sweet pickle relish, grated onion, sriracha, horseradish and salt and pepper.
Note that it’s best when the bread is slightly toasted and the cheese is melted.
Cook and food writer at the Beach House Kitchen MaryAnn Dwyer has another idea for how to creatively incorporate corned beef into a tasty dish — it’s called Reuben poppers.
You take ingredients like thinly sliced deli corned beef, shredded Swiss, rinsed sauerkraut, cream cheese, etc. and combine them to make fried balls that are encased in panko bread crumbs.
This makes for an awesome appetizer, which Dwyer recommends dipping in Russian dressing. It’s a huge hit on St. Paddy’s Day but is great for any occasion.
Doing Amazing Things with Corned Beef
It’s easy to see why corned beef is so popular. Not only is it inexpensive, it also tastes great and can be used in a plethora of dishes.
Aimee Tucker, digital editor at New England.com, points out that there are a lot of ways to enjoy corned beef, and it can be served during any meal of the day — breakfast, lunch or dinner. Whether it’s freshly made or part of your leftovers, the possibilities are endless.
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