1.5 – 2kg corned beef
1 large onion, peeled and studded with the cloves
12 black peppercorns
1 blade mace
1 stick celery (roughly chopped)
1 carrot (roughly chopped)
2 bay leaves
1 bouquet garni*
2 tbsp brown sugar
Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Simmer, covered, until tender – about 30 minutes per 500g.
Beef is done when a skewer inserted through the thickest part comes out easily.
If serving hot, allow beef to rest in liquid for 30 minutes after cooking, then remove, carve into thick slices.
If serving cold, allow to cool completely in liquid before removing and slice thinly.
MUSTARD BECHAMEL SAUCE
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
30g butter, chopped
1 tbsp plain flour
2 ¼ cups milk
40g parmesan cheese, finely grated
pinch of salt
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over a medium-high heat until melted and it begins to bubble. Add flour, stir for 1- 2 minutes or until it bubbles. Remove from heat. Slowly pour in the milk, whisk constantly, until the mixture is smooth.
Return to heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes or until sauce comes to the boil.
Remove from heat, add parmesan, vinegar and Dijon mustard.
STIR-BRAISED SAVOY CABBAGE WITH NIGELLA SEEDS
1 large Savoy cabbage, core and shred
3 tbsp vegetable oils
1 tbsp nigella seeds
500ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Warm the oil in a wide and deep saucepan. Patiently stir the cabbage in the pot over a low to medium heat until it begins to wilt slightly. Sprinkle with the nigella seeds and stir. Pour in the stock, toss well, salt to taste and put the lid on the pot. Steam for about 4 minutes.
Add the soy and sesame oil, toss again and serve.
Serve hot slices of corned beef, with a side of cabbage and mustard béchamel sauce.
If there’s left over corned beef – it makes an amazing Rueben sandwich the next day!