You may or may not know about the Slow Food Movement in the US (and around the globe -it started in Italy), but we seem to be setting a record in our house. A few days ago, we had a "freezer incident" that touched off a flurry of cooking.
One of us [Cough! Not me! Cough!] didn't check to make sure the freezer door was all the way shut. The food in it slowly defrosted until we found it, freaked out appropriately (My quarter cow! My ten chickens! Aiee!) and then went into Food Triage. Which food did we think was most at risk? Everything on the door. On the door were a few steaks, a couple of tenderloins and...a beef brisket.
What to do with beef brisket in summer? Brisket is mostly a winter food. Also, brisket isn't the kind of meat you can just toss on the grill and have it be fabulous. It needs to cook slowly in order for the meat to become tender. And this isn't just any old summer either, but a record-making heat wave summer. Ack! Quickly flipping through a few cookbooks, we decided we wanted Corned Beef for a fantastic Corned Beef Hash (So far away from the stuff in the can it is mind blowing!) recipe we made in the spring. However, you may not realize it, but corned beef is most often available around St. Patrick's Day and is very hard to find after that time of year. So if we want corned beef, we'd have to make it. From scratch.
That's when we found out there were several steps involved in what we wanted to do as follows: brisket --> brining/pickling --> corned beef --> final recipe.
Oh and that brining/pickling step? Seven days. Seven.
Being insane, this didn't stop us.
Today is Day Seven. The brisket has been removed from its pickling brine, boiled (Oy! The English and the boiling of meat!) and is now roasting in the oven.
It's one hundred degrees outside. We're roasting brisket in the oven.
And this isn't even the final step; this is just the mid-way point in our plans. First we'll eat this for dinner and then take the leftovers and make the hash tomorrow.
I think the heat* has addled our brains.
* And the lack of sleep. The twins are waking twice a night again. ARGH!