Tuesday, March 16, 2010

St. Patrick's Day- Corned Beef Recipes

Dear Chef Mary,

What type of meat is Corned Beef? Can you make a healthier version of the traditional St. Patrick’s Day favorite?


Dear Patti,

Corned beef, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day favorite, is always made of brisket. It was described to me as the love handles of a cow. It’s a flat muscle that runs across the stomach. The brisket is a tough cut (meaning chewy, flavorful and demands slow, low cooking) of meat that has lots of fat.

You either buy the point or the round. The point is the pointed end that has more fat and the round is the leaner side with more meat but a little less flavor.

Most stores carry brisket that is prepackaged and already brined so all you have to do is braise it. If you want to make it a healthier way, consider using a different cut of meat such as the short rib or the chuck roll. They’ll give you a similar flavor but different consistency.

“You can try using the top portion of the short rib or chuck roll for a healthier version. These cuts of beef will give you a similar flavor with less fat because they’re located above the brisket. The chuck roll and short ribs are softer pieces of meat so they’ll give you a softer consistency,” said Art from Art’s Meat Market in Glendale California.

If you do decide to go for the healthier version, you’ll have to prepare the meat in your own kitchen. This means brining your meat for up to six days in preparation for the big day.

Consider brining your own Corned Beef to reduce the salt content. Reducing the salt may change the consistency but it will help reduce your sodium intake and decrease the salty flavor in the beef.

Patti, also make sure that you remember your portion size. You only need 4-6 ounces of meat so you can easily add extra calories if you eat more than that allotted amount. Just by sticking to a proper portion size you can enjoy eating something that is slightly unhealthy. Life in moderation!

Cheers, Patti, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Chef Mary

No comments: