If you have read any of the Little House on the Prairie books to your kids, you get a real sense of appreciation for life in the 1800's here in the Mid-West. Aren't you glad we no longer have to smoke our meats in hollowed out trees or churn our butter by hand? Children need to hear how difficult living was back then.... to give them a sense of appreciation today for our dishwashers and refrigerators.
The days are gone where men were seen traveling from village to village with their cooking pots on their back, but the cooking principles remain the same! People have been boiling meats since the beginning of time. With the proper seasonings and correct water temperature....your meat will be tasty and fork tender.
There are three things to remember when using this method of cooking: (1) Salt is the most important ingredient. If you do not add it to the water, this will cause the natural sodium in the meat to release into the water, thus trying to balance the two and what happens--is you end of with bland tasting meat!
(2) You must cook the meat at the temperature where the water is just turning in the pot. If the temperature is too high, the meat will be tough. And finally, (3) always let your meat cool down in the liquid.... this keeps your meat moist by absorbing some of the stock.
To make a boiled brisket of corned beef, you'll need:
1/2 gallon water
1 tsp pickling spices
2 ea. bay leaves
Place all in a cooking pot and bring just to a boil. Cook for 2-3 hours. Turn off the heat and cover. Let cool down completely in the broth. Then refrigerate meat and slice for corned beef sandwiches or after boiling the meat you can brush it with a mixture of French's mustard and brown sugar and bake it in a 350 oven for an hour. Then you serve it with cabbage, potatoes and carrots that you've cooked in the broth while the brisket was baking. And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.