One of the more popular deli products, corned beef is a salt cured meat preserved through brining, salting or dry curing. Although readily available in charcuterie shops, this popular meat made from brisket can be pickled and prepared at home. The key to making successful and delicious corned beef at home has to do with the seasoning used and the cooking process. Unlike the commercial types found in cans, homemade corned beef is usually a whole cut of meat that is cooked until it becomes fork tender.
Without a doubt the entire process of simmering or braising an entire slab of brisket until it is soft enough, can be very time consuming. By using the sous vide method to prepare this dish, making corned beef can be much easier. The use of a water bath with controlled temperatures along with an extended cooking period will work similarly to braising or simmering. However, once the meat starts cooking there is no need to keep constant watch over it.
To make sous vide corned beef the brisket is held at 135°F / 57°C for 24 to 36 hours. At the end of the sous vide process the brisket becomes tender enough to be shredded but firm enough to hold its shape when sliced. At the same time it does not lose any of its flavors since it is not immersed directly into the water, unlike with the traditional method. This also means that lesser amounts of salt can be used to season the meat. Lastly, the beef will retain a nice pink color even without the use of preservatives, thanks to the use of controlled heat.
Like other kinds of corned beef, sous vide corned beef may be used for a variety of things. It may be sliced and used as sandwich filling or served with sauce. It can also be added to pasta and other dishes or served alongside vegetables and other sidings. Sous vide corned beef may be used in the same way as traditionally cooked ones.
One of my favorite sandwiches is a great reuben. I love them with pastrami or corned beef, and on just about any type of bread. The other day I decided to make one for myself using sous vide corned beef. Cooking the corned beef sous vide results in very tender, but still firm, corned beef which is perfect for a great reuben. Just add some good rye bread that is toasted, sauerkraut, gruyere cheese, and some thousand Island dressing and you're all set. If you like reubens you'll love this sous vide corned beef reuben recipe.
Corned beef cooked with sous vide results in a great texture for the meat. It is also much juicier and more flavorful than many corned beefs.
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