chef barry strand| March 21, 2019
While most think Corned Beef is just synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, this versatile cut of Beef Brisket offers a variety of unique and delicious menu inspirations that can be featured year-round. Corned Beef is cured, developing a flavor and tenderness that is just as versatile as it is delicious. Traditionally, Corned Beef is cured with coarse “corns” or pellets of salt, hence the name, “Corned Beef”. Incorporating Corned Beef throughout your menu can offer some great opportunities to showcase innovative culinary delights. For all times of the day and all sections of the menu, use Corned Beef to serve as inspiration for new menu concepts.
Repurposing Corned Beef by making breakfast hash is a tried-and-true method. Mix shredded or cubed Corned Beef with potatoes and add a mixture of onions, leeks and green peppers for this classic breakfast item.
Corned Beef can also be substituted for ham for a new take on the Denver omelet or used in place of canned ham in Hawaiian and Asian breakfast preparations.
Lunch staples like the Corned Beef Reuben and other sandwiches using thinly sliced Corned Beef are great ways to highlight this cut for the mid-day crowds. But if you’re looking to use chopped or shredded Corned Beef, consider using it as a topper or mix-in. Cream-based soups - like Baked Potato or Broccoli - become heartier lunch fare with the addition of Corned Beef. Substituting cubed Corned Beef in soups like Bean with Bacon or Split Pea with Ham are great options if you want to make Corned Beef the star ingredient.
Let an entire table share the great taste of Corned Beef by highlighting it on the appetizer menu. Make a Cajun-inspired Muffuletta Dip.
Appetizers don’t always need to be complicated either and Corned Beef Pickle Dip is a great example. Combine Corned Beef with mayonnaise and diced dill pickles for an easy and delicious option for appetizers or happy hour menus.
Corned Beef has big flavor but it’s perfect for small plates. Slice Corned Beef into small pieces or lardons and braise to tenderize. This preparation of Corned Beef results in a great alternative to bacon or pork belly which can be featured in a number of small plate dishes.
Given that Corned Beef comes from the Brisket, it’s natural to use Corned Beef as smoked Burnt Ends for a barbecue feature. Smoke cubed Corned Beef pieces and toss with a barbecue sauce for a unique take on the beloved barbecue dish.
Use Corned Beef to feature various ethnic foods as well. Stuff lardons into Bao Buns or Tacos, or to top a Korean pancake, or Okonomiyaki. These pancakes, typically made with cabbage, are the perfect way to serve up an unique take on Corned Beef and Cabbage.
Corned Beef is expanding beyond the St. Patrick’s Day holiday and using this cut throughout your menu offers customers a new culinary experience. Whether it’s used as the center of the plate option, a garnish or an alternative ingredient, Corned Beef is a versatile and delicious option to include on your menu.
About Chef Barry Strand:
Chef Barry Strand, Culinary Innovations Coordinator, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, attended culinary school focusing on food, wine, and pastry. In the kitchen, Barry is interested in exploratory labs, international flavors, food styling and photography, as well as staying on top of restaurant food trends. Barry has been with NCBA for two years.