Corned Beef
Put corned beef brisket in crock pot, cover with water, set on ‘low’ and ignore for 8-12 hours. Ridiculously easy, ridiculously tender. I’m not a huge corned beef fan, but this wasn’t bad. It was tender, and it had a good flavour without being overwhelming (sometimes the brine flavour is a little overwhelming). I would do it again, which makes Jim ridiculously happy. All he has to do is trim the thick pad of fat from the underside of the brisket, and ten hours later I asked him to manoeuver the brisket out of the crockpot using two spatulas. Downside (for me): the house smelled like corned beef all day and evening.

Leeks in Cream Sauce
I was overcome this week by a yearning for something made with leek. At first I thought I’d try a soup or stew, to counter the cold icky un-June-like weather we’ve been having, but then the recipe I had was so confusing that I gave up and went for a creamy side dish instead. I still have bacon from the Monterey Chicken, so all I needed to get was leeks.

There are two things I would change about the recipe, which I got out of the Irish Food & Cooking book. First, the recipe calls to cut the leeks in to “large chunks,” which I found cooked irregularly and were awkward to handle. If I do this recipe again, I’ll cut the leeks in to my usual rings, as in the Welsh Leek Pie. Second, the recipe makes the “cream sauce” part from the cooking liquor left over from the leeks, plus some light cream, an egg, and some whiskey mustard, returned to the heat in a sauce pan and not allowed to boil, but thickened. There was way too much liquid, and it did not thicken very substantially. Next time (if there is a next time), I am not using all of the leftover leek liquor, maybe only half a cup or less to impart some flavour, and with less liquid the sauce should thicken more easily and also be less abundant.

On the other hand, the cream sauce is excellent in conjunction with the corned beef: the beef soaks it up and the sauce adds a mustardy flair to the beef. I could make just the sauce and happily serve it as a gravy. Also, leeks+bacon are excellent, and the next time I make the leek pie it just might be leeks & bacon instead of ham. The strong bacon flavour definitely perks up the leeks, and simultaneously showcases the mustard…

I also now have a bottle of Jack Daniels’s Old No. 7 whiskey mustard in the fridge, and no good ideas what to do with it. I might try applying it straight to some leftover corned beef…Or maybe find a marinade.

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