Corned beef has been on my mind since reading Toothpick Tales’ blog post about the perfect reuben sandwich . (An unexpected side effect of writing about food and cooking is wanting to read what everyone else is writing about food and cooking too.) Reading that post took me from never having had a reuben sandwich to absolutely needing a reuben sandwich. Right now. In my mouth and in my stomach. I’m not sure my first experience with one should be homemade, though? Such an iconic dish deserves an expert touch, at least for the first one.
It’s not a sandwich, but when I was flipping through Easy-as-Pie in preparation for my weekly grocery outing, I noticed that Barbie had a hashed corned beef salad. I didn’t even know if I liked corned beef, but I thought that would be a start anyway.
You have to like beets to appreciate today’s recipe. You will definitely taste the beets.
Hashed Corned Beef Salad
- 1 cup diced corned beef
- 2-3 small, waxy potatoes
- 1 tablespoon(ish) olive oil
- 1 small beet, roasted
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 tablespoon minced red onion
- 2 sprinklings of salt
- 3 generous tablespoons mayonnaise
These next two are really just for decoration, but Barbie includes them, so.
- 2 hard boiled eggs
- Lettuce leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dice the potatoes. (You want to dice them on the small side.) Toss the diced potatoes in the olive oil and add a sprinkling of salt. Spread in a single layer, one white side down as much as possible, on a cookie sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, turning once when browned.
While the potatoes are roasting, dice your corned beef and the beet, chop the celery, and mince the onion. Add the beef and chopped vegetables to a bowl, including potatoes when they are done. (You may have time for a bit of clean up before they’re fully roasted.)
Stir in the mayonnaise and sprinkle with salt. You can serve this right away (potatoes will be warm) or chill until ready to eat.
If you’re taking a picture for a blog, or if you just really care about doing things Barbie’s way, peel the hard boiled eggs and cut them into quarters. Wash and separate a few lettuce leaves. Arrange the salad on top of the lettuce, quickly take your picture, and enjoy!
-Inspired by Barbie’s Easy-As-Pie Cookbook
I’m pretty sure I’d never had corned beef before making this recipe. I wasn’t even sure if corned beef was something you make or something you buy. I asked and, “Something you make,” said the guy at the butcher counter. So I almost bought some brisket, but a quick phone search revealed that the process takes five days. So then I gave up, but then I decided to just check the deli just in case, and corned beef is totally something you can buy, though the woman at the counter was confused when I said I didn’t want it sliced. I wonder how all of this worked in Barbie’s day?
Speaking of Barbie’s day, this recipe required a LOT of tweaking just to avoid the canned vegetables. Barbie called for boiled potatoes from a can. I don’t know if that’s even a thing you can buy anymore, but if it is, I would Never. Do. That. The roasting method detailed above is probably the most valuable thing I got from my short experiment with a meal kit service. Half of their dishes began with dicing some potatoes to roast while you do the rest of your 20-30 minutes of meal prep, and now half of the meals I make without their services do as well. It’s so easy and good!
- Like I mentioned above, it was hard to get the deli to sell me unsliced corned beef. We wound up compromising with a thick cut 1/2 pound (see picture below) which turned out to be a great thickness for dicing AND about twice as much as I needed for the recipe.
- READ YOUR RECIPE! I know this goes without saying, but guess who minced half an onion before realizing that she only needed a tablespoon? (I’m going to blame Skipper.)
- It’s best to roast the beets ahead of time. I eat a lot of them, so I usually just buy a bunch and roast them as soon as I get home from the grocery store, twisting the stems and leaves off, rinsing them, wrapping them in foil, and then putting them in a 400 degree oven for 45+ minutes. (Big beets might take twice that long! They’re done when a knife slips in smoothly and comes out looking horror-movie-ish.) They keep for about a week just left in their foil and refrigerated.
- Once they’re roasted, beets make a really easy side dish. Just dice and toss with olive oil and a little salt. Add some balsamic vinegar if you want a sharper flavor. (As my grandmother, the model 1950s housewife, says, “I like food to have a taste.” Me too, Grandmommy. Me too.)
- Barbie’s recipe also required a half cup of mayonnaise, and whoa there Barbie. I’m interested in what it would taste like with that much mayo, but not interested enough to potentially ruin a lot of good ingredients.
Corned beef turns out to be effing delicious. I’ve made this dish twice since my first experiment. John’s comment on corned beef was, “Oh, of course you like it. It goes with cabbage.” That’s true. If something has beets in it and/or goes with cabbage, I’m probably going to love it. If you feel at all similarly, you should try this recipe. And then you should join me in my search for the perfect reuben … from a restaurant with curbside pick up.