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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

riding the charcutepalooza wagon

When my friend  Annapet of The Daily Palette suggested that I should join Charcutepalooza,  I agreed instantly, even if I didn't know what the challenges lie ahead nor how to pronounce the word CHARCUTEPALOOZA... char what?

So I tiptoed to the the sites of the creators Mrs. Wheelborrow's Kitchen and The Yummy Mummy to figure it out. These two wonderful ladies are bringing back the old-fashioned way of curing, salting and smoking meats. Something that I've never done before, and quite frankly, I was intrigued... so here I am stepping up, joining the challenge they have set up.  To know more about the fun challenges, you could click here.

The March challenge is brining,  There are different options to choose from, so I opted to make corned beef. Oh yes corned beef... that red looking beef brisket that is usually in a sealed bag at the grocery store or the ones that you buy from a deli  or for us Filipinos, the one that is canned! While making corned beef,  I never thought it would be that easy.  Who would have thought?  The most difficult part really is the waiting game (as you brine the beef brisket for 5-7 days).

How fortuitous that the challenge this month is corned beef?  What with St. Patty's Day just around the corner.  Or maybe that's what the hosts had in mind for this challenge.

I first did my version of an Irish jig more than ten years ago when we migrated here in the US.  I don't particularly remember any similar kind of celebration in my home country.  All I can remember is that my first year here in the U.S., I dressed my kids in green outfits and shamrock necklaces.  I did such a good job dressing them up that it convinced my second daughter she was part Irish.  And for dinner, I remember quite vividly how my father-in-law introduced me into eating corned beef.  He had a big slab of red beef sliced thinly on a big white platter boiled to perfection with brussel sprouts and potatoes.  It was my first corned beef meal beyond the canned corned beef that I was accustomed to back home.

"Eat this with horseradish" said my father-in-law  Oh boy did I love it.  From that time on, everytime I cook corned beef, I would perfectly do it exactly as how he served it to us more than a decade ago. Corned beef with brussel sprouts, potatoes and horseradish on the side.

But for today's challenge, I wanted to stamp a Filipino badge on my dish, a unique take on a common Filipino food.  Instinctively, I imagined corned beef as a breakfast staple.  We usually have it for breakfast, either with our pandesal (literally means salt bread) or with sinangag (fried rice) but I'm going on a new adventure - so I'm taking this Irish staple to a trip to the Far East.


Inspired by what I had in my pantry I made Corned Beef Sinigang  (Corned Beef in Tamarind broth)


Sinigang is a sour  soup.  Traditionally, pork and shrimp are the main ingredients for the soup.  Tamarind or guava are usually the souring agents.  I never get tired cooking Sinigang as it is comfort food for my family, as I usually cook this when my girls come home from their school break... and after each sip of the soup, I could almost hear them say "I'm home!"

Now the vegetables that you see here are okra, radish and eggplant.  You could also add long beans.  I sliced my corned beef as cubes to follow the template of pork sinigang, complete with a thin-layer of fat ala "liempo".


  
Believe me, the Irish meat blended so well with the unfamiliar ingredients surrounding it. So let me share with you my recipe for Corned Beef in Tamarind Broth.

Ingredients:
3 lbs. Corned beef (sliced in cubes)
2 pcs. radish (thinly sliced)
2 pcs. eggplant (thinly sliced)
1 pack okra
3 medium tomatoes
2 pcs. onions (quartered)
1 pack tamarind soup base
fish sauce (optional)

Other vegetables that you could add on include: taro, bokchoy and chili to give this dish a kick.

In a pot, boil rice water (water used for washing rice) onions and tomatoes.  Add the corned beef.  Cook until tender.  Add the vegetables and the souring agent.  You may want to add a small amount of the souring agent first then see from there.  Season with fish sauce or, if unavailable, with salt.

11 comments:

  1. Awww, Malou! A special mention to boot! Thank you! Sinigang looks good and I know it's yummy. I made cocido instead and pandesliders plus empanadas. I'm a bit behind with the photos.

    I'm so happy you joined!

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  2. jojo has mentioned this sinigang to me before but I've never tried it. Your sinigang is so inviting. But since you mentioned, I love corned beef with pan de sal or sinangag.

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  3. Thank you Annapet for inviting me. I enjoyed the March challenge and I am looking forward to joining next month. oh yeah especially that it's hot smoking haha!

    Adora: It's my first time to cook the dish. We love the the combination of both the meat and the soup. Come join us let's charcutepaloozising next month.

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  4. Gosh, that looks so good :D, it is so good to challenge yourself with new things, you never know what you can be capable of .
    *kisses* HH

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  5. Gosh, that looks so good :D, it is so good to challenge yourself with new things, you never know what you can be capable of .
    *kisses* HH

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  6. This soup looks good. What a wonderful twist.

    Roger

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  8. Corned beef in sinigang sounds intriguing. I'm curious
    as to what it tastes like in a soup. I saw someone bring a corned beef soup at a St Patty's party before. I should have tasted it when I had the chance.

    Another innovative dish Malou! Nice job!

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  9. I've never made and I've never had corned beef sinigang and I've always been intrigued by this dish. Patio Filipino here in Daly City has it on their menu. Sentro in the Philippines, I've heard, makes the best corned beef sinigang. I'd have to try it out soon! Thank you for sharing, Malou!

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  10. How funny! I just had regular sinigang last night. Will have to try this variation. I'm curious.

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  11. Just caught this Corned Beef Sinigang on Twitter & couldn't resist peeking.Malou, I took one look at your food photos and I think I just died from the delish dish!Awesome idea to use corned beef. I must try your recipe. Thanks for sharing a great idea!

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