Sunday, October 07, 2012

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

titleWhat a week this has been!  As I sit here on my desk I can barely manage to keep my eyes open and my shoulders from drooping with fatigue.  I won’t go into the gritty details here, because really, who wants to hear about that?  Work has just been a wringer with curve balls left and right – throw in intense technological dramas with the hard drive and you have quite the birthday week.  That’s not even to mention the strange weather!

It is during times like these that I (and I think we all do) need to turn to something comforting in the kitchen.  Something warm and soupy and hearty and familiar.  This doesn't take much, after all, when in the throes of what seems to be a purgatorial punishment I am in no shape to go all Master Chef in the kitchen.  I take what I have and make the most of it.  Which is exactly what we should do with and in all crummy situations life throws us.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
  • 500 grams prepared corned beef brisket
  • 2 small red onions, peeled and halved
  • 1 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 8 wedges
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A good cracking of black pepper
- Place the corned brisket, onion, carrot, potato, and bay leaf in a heavy bottomed pot.  Cover with liquid – you can use stock or water, I used the liquid that came with my corned brisket.  Cracked some fresh black pepper over, cover the pot, and place over medium low heat to cook.  Check occasionally to make sure nothing is catching on the bottom of the pot.
- When the carrots and potatoes are halfway done, add the cabbage.  Cover the pot once more and cook until all the vegetables are done. 
- Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.  Mine needed no extra seasoning as the flavours of the corned beef and cooking liquid were already intensely aromatic.
- Fish the slab of corned beef out onto a chopping board and slice thickly.  Lay the slices on serving bowls and cover with the soup and a portion of vegetables.  Enjoy hot.

This soup was put together, thankfully, without much trouble.  Which is more than I can say for my poor hard drive.  I used a slab of local corned beef brisket which I had in the freezer.  Along with that, I scrounged up a carrot, and potato, and a head of cabbage.  No matter how frazzled or anxious I am, the act of tucking in a few simple ingredients into a pot with some liquid, then leaving it to slowly but surely, and magically, turn into a fortifying soup, gives me a sense of calm that nothing can quite duplicate.  I know that may sound odd, but it works for me, and is much cheaper than the spa, plus you have soup afterwards.

The corned beef I used here is made by Mr. D’s Artisanal using wagyu beef brisket, which is cured for one week then slow cooked for five hours.  The famous marbling that wagyu beef is known for makes this a meltingly tender chunk of meat.  With potatoes and mounds of cabbage, and a generous dollop of horseradish on the side, this pure comforting sustenance.  Any leftovers make awesome sandwiches. 

Since my beef was was already pre-cooked it was just a matter of getting the vegetables done and the beef heated through.  If you are using fresh corned beef you just have to adjust the cooking time above and slow cook until the beef is tender, this could take 4-5 hours.  Add the vegetables during the final hour of cooking.

I am still in the midst of trying to resolve this seemingly insurmountable technical hiccup.  And although the task feels absolutely daunting I am determined to take it one step at a time and hope to see the light at the end of the tunnel soon.  Wish me luck!

I don’t want to end this post on a sour gripey computer-related note though.  I am happy to share that after hearing about my giveaway The Vanilla Company has decided to donate more vanilla beans to be shared with you!  That means instead of one lucky winner, we will have two!!  I am also giving you another week to enter!  So go ahead and leave a comment on my vanilla bean ├ęclairs post and get a chance to win some really lovely vanilla beans!


Jeremy said...

Wow great pic! Thanks :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Very appetizing! A great cold weather dish.



Midge said...

Oh, my! I hope you get enough rest over the weekend, Joey. At any rate, that soup definitely looks like a real restorative. :)

Junglefrog said...

O boy... sounds like you had quite the week! Hope things have cooled down a bit now and well this lovely soup will calm everyones moods no matter what! ;)

V Shaw said...

The broth from this recipe seems very light. I definitely will cook this for my family. Thanks.

Mieke Zamora-Mackay said...

Yum. Thank goodness corned beef is readily available here for me. Fall is here and this would make a perfect comfort meal at home.

Trying it out with Sinigang this year.

BettyAnn @Mango_Queen said...

What a delish, comforting soup meal and great idea. I haven't done this in a while, and now that it's gotten colder here, must try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing & thanks for the blog-visit, Joey! It was nice to get together again :-) Take it easy!

BettyAnn @Mango_Queen said...

What a delish, comforting soup meal and great idea. I haven't done this in a while, and now that it's gotten colder here, must try your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing & thanks for the blog-visit, Joey! It was nice to get together again :-) Take it easy!

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

Beautiful, rustic-looking soup! I'm sure it's delicious, too!

katiez said...

I don't know if Google allowed my comment - it interrupted me LOL
Anyway, great soup / bad technical stuff!

Shalum said...

This should relax you. Perfect for this gloomy weather! Thanks!:)

Ling said...

That is a truly beautiful plate of nourishment.

feppy said...

Very cool blog! Your posts make me salivate! I wonder have you ever tried Turkish Breakfast? I am living in Istanbul and it is one of my favorite things about living here. Check out my post about it if you are interested.

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Jeremy! It was delicious!!

Hi Rosa! Perfect for cold weather...not that we really have any of that over here!

Hi Midge! Hardly...between computer troubles and work, I am still trying to get my head above the backlog! I hope this coming weekend will be more restful!

Hi Simone! It was indeed quite a I've fallen sick so it's just gotten more hectic...looking forward to more r&r this weekend, fingers crossed!

Hi V Shaw! This corned beef comes in its own broth so it is highly flavored actually :)

Hi Mieke! Corned beef sinigang is awesome! Over here most of the corned beef, as you know, is in ‘delata’ form…but this new purveyor is really making a fantastic old school corned beef...I am loving it!

Hi BettyAnn! It really makes a comforting dish! Always a pleasure to see you!! Come visit again soon!

Hi Jen! Rustic is my middle name! Heehee! ;)

Hi Katiez! Technical troubles are very high on my list of pet peeves :(

Hi Shalum! You said it!!

Hi Ling! Thank you! A lovely bowl of sustenance :)

Hi Feppy! I’ve never tried Turkish breakfast but I’ve always wanted to travel to Turkey! One day! :)

Ling said...

Joey - you must, MUST, at least once in your life, have a full-on Turkish breakfast, and yes - in Istanbul. It will turn your life around. It is a stupendous, marvellous thing.

The Drunken Pig said...

Geez! That sounds really really good! Perfect for this cold nights :)

kath said...

Kenny Roger's used to serve a side dish like this. The taste reminded me of nilaga. Now I know how I can try it.

Fork and Whisk said...

I agree, comfort foods like corn beef and cabbage can make the worries of the world seem to go away, at least as long as dinner lasts. Hope next week is better for you.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ling! I hope so! Maybe one day :)

Hi Drunken Pig! It would be absolutely perfect on a rainy night :)

Hi Kath! It's very much like nilaga, or any traditional boiled dinner :)

Hi Fork and Whisk! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Made this soup last night, it was fantastic! What a great idea! I made some traditional Irish soda bread to accompany it for the whole Irish experience! Thanks for the recipe!!