Archive for the 'St. Patrick’s Day' Category

Recipe: I call them as I see them – Buckley Farms Corned Beef

|March 19, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Okay – it's time for the soap box! 

YES – here I go again! 

As you know – I paid $4.99 per pound for a corned beef round for St. Paddy's Day.  The picture of the package is above. 

I know times are different now.  You no longer have that personal touch by butchers, meats are delivered to the stores frozen and then thawed for your convenience – which is something I am dead-set against. 

If a store is going to thaw frozen meats, you cannot purchase them and take them home and freeze them again. 

And the stores should sticker every package of meat that they have thawed.  It's not right.  And I realize that in today's society, food manufacturers are out to make all they can and the stores want a good profit so they order "X" amount of certain products to get the best price there is.  Unfortunately, they do it with meats, deli meats, cheeses, baked goods, etc.  And then they freeze them. 

You know – all those foods that are likely to perish easily. 

You can tell what has been frozen – breads and rolls are drier and crumbly, ditto with other baked goods (even the ones they supposedly bake in their own stores – when they make too much they freeze them.  Meat packages have way too much water in them, bacon, ham, sausage, deli meats, hot dogs, and cold cuts that are prepackaged are salty.

 

The prices today are outrageous and it's not right that we are spending way too much for foods like this.  And all the supermarkets are doing it – but they won't tell you they are because it is against FDA regulations. 

Well the corned beef I purchased was an item that was frozen and then thawed – it had to be – it was saltier than all hell.  My broth wasn't salty – the MEAT was! 

Look – I know my meats.  I've work in the food industry my entire life and that corned beef was frozen and thawed.  The meat was so salty that it was a turnoff. 

Yes – I did make a soup – and that is after I placed the meat in a pan and covered with water, brought to a boil, drained, rinsed and did it again and again – draining and rinsing. 

Once the water boils – remove it from the heat immediately and drain – or you will be boiling the salt right back into it.  Rinse. Do it three times. Trust me. 

I just went through that with bacon – once again – the store froze it – the salt almost killed us and I had bought 2 packages of it.  The second package I had to boil and rinse 3 times before skillet frying.  And I've had to do this with sausage as well. 

I am so sick to death of these stores freezing meats, deli meats, bacon, sausages, hot dogs, etc. and not letting the public know. 

It's getting to the point that you can no longer stock your freezer because of this. 

Well – I contacted the headquarters of the store I purchased it from and asked them to return my email with the information I requested so that I could contact Buckley Farms.  I know the store will ask questions as well – and I left my name, address, phone number and e-mail with them so they could contact me. 

Butchers always made good money – the stores now put stockboys in white coats and have them stocking the meats.  I've watched them bring out cases of frozen pork products, etc. and place them in the case late at night so that they can thaw for the next day's sales.  It's bad enough the meat companies are pumping water into the meats to make more money – they have to do this to us. 

Yes – it pisses me off.  So now – if it's salty – it's going back to the store.  I don't care what it is.  This is constant and it is all the stores – not just one chain. 

Next time I am just going to corn my own round.  First of all it will be cheaper and it won't be salty. 

Let the buyer beware! 

When you see these ads for baked goods (even those baked by the stores themselves) with the BOGO (buy one get one), you can bet your bottom dollar that they were baked ahead of time and frozen.  The dough will be drier and it will crumble very easily.  Deli meats, pre-packaged cold cuts, hotdogs, sausages, and any brined meats will be saltier than they should be. 

Don't believe me – place a package of hotdogs or sausage in the freezer for a month and then try to eat them – pure salt.  And as far as meats go – more water in the package on top of what they pumped into it for weight. 

One knucklehead produce manager tried to purchase extra cases of iceberg lettuce to get a good price and froze it.  You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know what happened with that lettuce.  And at $2.99 per head – pffft.  I hope he enjoyed eating it all himself. 

You have to watch everything you buy these days.  You have to read every label.  And you cannot trust the supermarkets with anything. 

I have even seen the stores remove rolling carts loaded with bread trays full of hotdog or hamburger rolls from their freezer to thaw that they pre-ordered to get a good price and looking at the "best used by" date on it – the bakery that made them was nice enough to even date the bags ahead of time.  How would you know?? – the dryness and the crumbling.  Can't trust anyone…………

(as I step down………)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: St. Patrick’s Day – 2011

|March 19, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

With such a high concentration of Irish in the area, it's hard not be Irish for a day or two – regardless of your nationality.

It's so nice to see more and more people decorating for the day as well.  Shamrocks are everywhere!

We usually enjoy corned beef and cabbage for the day and I make Irish Soda Bread.  We really enjoy soda bread and I make it throughout the year as well. 

This year I had a hard time finding a nice corned beef round.  It seems that there were plenty of brisket and corned flank, but the rounds were hard to come by.  I finally found a nice one that was just shy of 3 1/2 pounds.

This round was quite lean compared to others so it didn't take much to clean it up.  For $4.99 per pound – it better be good!  I removed it from the bag and tossed the packet of spices out; cut off a thin layer of fat and pulled off most of the silver skin.  Then I rinsed it thoroughly and placed in my 8-quart stock pot filling with cold water. I placed that over medium heat, covered, and skimmed – letting it cook for 3 1/ hours.  Just before it was done I prepared my veggies:   If you looked at my recipe for St. Patrick's Day 2010 you will see that this year I did it a bit different this year.  This year I diced an onion, chunked some carrots and potatoes, diced celery, and chopped fresh celery leaves and chunked my cabbage as well. 

Once the skimming was done and the beef was cooked, I added my bowl of veggies and seasoned with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, minced parsley, and garlic with a teaspoon or so of chicken bouillon granules – and I didin't forget a bit of caraway.  Covered, it didn't take long for the veggies to cook.  Once the veggies were done, I removed my round from the pot and sliced.  Plating was very easy and I added some French bread to go with it – You know there is always a method to my madness! 

Knowing that since it was just the two of us for dinner and there was a lot left – I decided to serve this the next day as a soup.  Since my broth was seasoned just right and I had the veggies and meat – all I needed to do was to cut the meat and add some French bread for soppin! 

Recipe: St. Patrick’s Day – 2010

|March 12, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

 

 
Today we are all Irish.

Buffalo has their annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade today; the bars are selling green beer; bakeries are selling green bagels. Green chocolate is found in the candy makers outlet.

I think everyone is making corned beef today – whether it is brisket or round.
I needed to run out for caraway seeds – so I drove into the city and went to a supermarket in South Buffalo – or should I say “Little Ireland” – a prominently Irish part of the city. Passing the bars – well – they are packed all ready and it‘s still morning. Irish flags are hanging every where. Shamrocks are painted on faces and everything is GREEN! And everyone is wearing green as well.

The Irish Center is going strong. And after the parade – more and more patrons will be flooding these places. The Irish dancers are dancing their little legs off – they are sooooo good! Amazing talent! I could watch them forever. (I have a strong background in dance as well).

I’m staying home – it’s damp and raining so it’s not the best weather for parade watching. Plus I am not into big crowds and rowdiness. But I can honestly say – this is the first St. Paddy’s Day Parade that I’ve seen that it didn’t snow in Buffalo! Wonders never cease!

My corned beef round in boiling away with onion and caraway. Just need to cut up my cabbage, clean and cut my carrots. The vote this year was for mashed potatoes in place of adding potatoes to the pot – fine with me.


My Irish Soda Bread is in the oven with raisins and caraway.
 

My Corned Beef Recipe

Tender corned beef round with cabbage, and carrots. Served with mashed potatoes and Irish Soda Bread.

1 3 ½ lb. corned beef round (we don’t care for the fatty brisket)
2 medium onions, cut into chunks
Sprinkle caraway seeds

Wash off the corned beef round and toss the spice packet away. The beef is flavored enough by the corning process. If there is excess fat; remove. This round that I have was nice and lean.
Place in stock pot with onion and cover with cold water; cover pot. I let it boil for 1 1/2 hours before I added the caraway – just in case I needed to skim it. But this round was perfect.

Three hours into boiling, the carrots were added. Cabbage went in 30 minutes after the carrots. The cabbage cooks in about 30 minutes – enough time to boil potatoes and make mashed potatoes.

This is a one-pot meal if you add potatoes to the broth. But I don’t mind the extra pan from the mashed potatoes. And there is not much prep work that needs to be done; clean up is so easy.

 
Four and half hours after placing the pot on the stove – we had our meal. The beef was fork tender – just perfect. The cabbage and carrots had just the right texture – not mushy.

I paid a dollar more per pound for the round (brisket is cheaper) and it was well worth it. We don’t eat it all the time – just a couple times a year – and paying a bit more is fine.
 

My Irish Soda Bread
I’ve been making this so long that I just “eye-ball” it. Simple to make, no rising time (like yeast breads) and so delicious. With so little clean up!

I started with:
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon caraway seeds – blending with my large fork

To this I added:
2 cups raisins
½ cup butter, softened
2 cups buttermilk

Now for all of you that bake and make breads, you know how weather, humidity, etc. affects your flour – not to mention the fact that todays’ flour is crappy anyway**. I needed to add an additional cup (give or take) of flour to get the right consistency.

Shaped and flattened a bit and placed on a greased baking sheet (I use shortening to grease my pans); cut a “cross” into the bread (since this is a dense, heavier bread, you want to make sure it bakes through) and placed in a preheated 350* F. oven.


This recipe gives a good-sized loaf .
 
Sometimes I only add 1 cup raisins to half the dough and make 2 smaller loaves. The caraway can be omitted as well. And you can increase the caraway to 2 tablespoons – your choice.
 

**I find that flours that come from some of the smaller mills are much better to work with and give better results. The “big brand name” flours aren’t all they claim to be anymore.

Well as you can see – my bread “grew” considerably.