Happy 2015! Hope you all had a wonderful NYE and aren’t feeling too worse for wear today. Ours was very laid-back but Prosecco and a couple of Red Queen cocktails were involved… Today I have quietly started my New Year healthier eating / exercise plan. It’s not a diet, it’s not even a plan as such. My goal is to try and eat a bit more mindfully and limit alcohol/sweet stuff to the weekends. It may not sound like much but, believe me, it will be a shock to my system. As for exercise, the idea is to do something active every day (can someone badger me daily as a reminder?) even if it is only ten minutes of Pilates, a brisk walk or some ab crunches.
I am not going to suddenly blog all low-carb or Paleo recipes… because that’s not really what this blog is about. But I am hoping to create some healthy new recipes which will have to jostle for blogging space with all the indulgent bakes and other sweet treats. Lets see how I get on… I will jot down any food and exercise at the end of each post – more to motivate myself than anything else!
This Homemade Salt Beef was made recently but I never got a chance to blog the recipe in 2014. It is something that was on my to-make list for such a long time and having now made it once I can say it is freaking fantastic! And so E A S Y. Really, really easy. The meat is given a week-long bath in brine and spices then boiled. That’s it! My husband, who occasionally gets misty-eyed when remembering the Montreal smoked meat of his youth, was in food heaven when we finally tasted this piled-high on rye bread with mustard and pickles. It really was incredible.
Before you decide to make salt beef there’s a few things you will need. A large container that can contain the submerged meat and brining liquid – and one that fits in your fridge. A large plastic box is fine or you can use the container of your slow cooker as I did (only if it detaches from anything electric of course!) with the lid inverted on top. Curing salt (Prague Powder No.1) can be purchased online but it is not essential to the recipe. However you must use it if you want the beef to have that characteristic pink/red colour. It is important that you weigh the curing salt accurately so if you haven’t got a Digital Scale, now’s the time to invest in one. As a bonus, digital scales usually have measurements in grams as well as ounces so they are very useful for converting recipes. Although it’s not specified in the original recipe I would avoid using metal containers for the brining process.
Homemade salt beef
Recipe from the The Meat Cookbook
2.25kg | 5lb rolled beef brisket
600g | 1lb 5oz salt
30g | 1oz Prague powder No.1
5 liters | 170 fl oz hot water
2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp allspice
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
Please note: recipe easily halved (as in my photos)
1. Dissolve the salt and Prague Powder in the hot water. Add all the spices and then let it cool.
2. Immerse the brisket in the cold brine and use a weight to keep the meat submerged (I used 4 tin cans to weigh down the lid of my slow cooker – you can use a glass or ceramic tray).
3. Store in the fridge for a week, turning the brisket every day to distribute the salt.
4. After 7 days, rinse the meat very thoroughly. Place it in a large pot full of water and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 2-4 hours depending on size. Once meat is tender remove from pot and transfer to a warm dish.
5. Slice thinly (only slice as much as you need) and serve piled high on rye bread with mustard and pickles. You can warm the sliced salt beef in the microwave before making the sandwiches.
DAY 1: Today I had egg with kale and mushrooms for breakfast, chicken soup with rice and vegetables for lunch and duck ragu with courgetti (no-carb courgette spaghetti) for dinner. Dessert was a few dates and a smoothie. I did 10 minutes of abs and 20 minutes of Exhale Core Fusion so I think I am going to be very achey tomorrow!