I live in a pocket of Massachusetts that has its own weather zone, more like Montreal than Boston. When the temperature nose-dived this past week to minus 16 degrees, I had two options. Dig a tunnel in the snow and hibernate til spring. Or, get out the comfort food.
In the less scary weeks of multiple snowstorms, I’d run through the favorites. Mac and cheese made with sharp Cabot cheddar. Bouef bourginon a la Julia. Vintage meatloaf from my mother’s Betty Crocker 50s cookbook. So what could I do? Costco, as it so often and very strangely does, provided the answer. Corned beef was on sale.
I threw the corned beef in a pot for a long slow simmer, eventually tossing in potatoes and carrots, followed by cabbage, onions and some non-traditional brussel sprouts. With lots of Dijon mustard and butter melted onto the potatoes, baby it’s warm warm warm inside.
Then there is the second act. Sunday morning, I like to break away from my weekday standard of oatmeal with a crunch of nuts and splash of berries. The French roast is brewed, dogs are fed. Out comes the corned beef for an encore. Diced up with some of the boiled potato and one of the carrots for a spark of color, it turns into wonderful hash. The trick is low heat in a cast iron skillet. As it headed towards crispy brown, I pulled out some cage-free eggs (Country Hen is my favorite) and gave them a gentle saute. Onto the hash they go.
Checked the forecast for this week. Another two rounds of snow fall. Chili?