It has been a while since I have had a serious kitchen disaster so it was time! Foodie crisis hit in my kitchen and I managed to turn it around and make something absolutely delicious for dinner. There was a time I would have just thrown it in the compost and ordered a pizza but maybe I am getting wiser with all the creative problem solving I do in the kitchen?
Advice when this happens to you? Don’t panic. Get creative. Why not? You have nothing to lose!
It all started when I did a huge shop at the store and asked myself, hey, why not pick up some corned beef chuck?! So… I did.
I found a recipe online for making slow cooked corned beef and I liked that you put carrots and onion on the bottoms with a bay leaf.
You also add some brown sugar, malt vinegar (I used sherry), cloves and peppercorns. You rinse the corned beef and completely cover in the crockpot with water. I cooked on high for 5 hours.
Cook until meat is tender… Does that look tender to you? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
I had made Caraway Rye Bread so we could have corned beef sandwiches, one of my favourite foods. But the meat was so tough! I had to slice large wedges and it was tough but also brittle. And salty! Damn… was it ever salty. Poor Reg told me he did not even like corned beef and so this was not a winner… At all! So what went wrong?!
Creative Problem Solving
I did what any good blogger would do. I asked on Facebook and Twitter for help. Fellow Hal-Con-ner FatApollo said that because the meat was brined, “Oh yeah! You have to soak it overnight.”
Crap! Thanks FatApollo but crap! OK, I knew for next time but what to do about it now?
I had a ton of meat! I decided to break it apart in the food processor. My mom had said Grandma used to grind cook beef to put in her crepes. I figured I could do the same with crowned beef. Well, sort of.
Inspired by Hunukkah, I decided to make a knish meets potato latke. I had some mashed potatoes, green onions, sautéed leeks, an egg and some flour that I put together. I also made a dredging station with flour, couple of whisked eggs and panko breadcrumbs with mixed some regular breadcrumbs.
I used 1/3 cup to divvy out the dough, turn into a disk and put through the dredging process.
I sautéd on both sides until golden brown and finished them in a 350F oven for 20 minutes.
Divine! All that salt went into the potatoes and ended up tasting like a deli dream come true. Being half Latvian I had to top it with sour cream. Nice and crispy on the outside, potato-y and corned beef-y on the inside. Now that is what I call a foodie save! And it felt very festive for this time of year.
So if you buy corned beef, let it soak and de-salt overnight in the fridge. If you end up with a disaster like I did, come up with a creative way to save it. You might knock it out of the park with your own creation that you would never have thought of otherwise.
Kitchen disasters suck. They throw everything off, get me pissed and sometimes result in a personal meltdown. But not this time!