Corned Beef from Peapod's Tony Stallone

March 1, 2009 7:23:53 AM PST
Tony Stallone shares a recipe for corned beef and some thoughts about St. Patrick's Day and the delicious food that goes with it.Tony's Thoughts: I am getting in the mood for St. Patrick's Day, that very special day of the year where everyone wears green, becomes Irish and eats plenty of corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes. This Sunday we will focus on tips on how to make your make your corned beef and veggies special for everyone. I have to admit, St. Patrick's Day is one of my favorite days of the year. What's a good Italian boy doing loving St. Patrick's Day? Because I love corned beef and devour more of it than just about anyone I know. I have a friend of Irish descent who happened to be born on St. Patrick's Day, who obviously celebrates with corned beef and cabbage. The first time I was invited to their home I literally ate them out of corned beef! They were mortified to have run out and every year since, 25 to be exact, we have enjoyed such an abundance of corned beef that even I could not eat all of it. St. Patrick's Day is also a reminder that spring is on its way!

As I said, I am quite the corned beef aficionado and have become a connoisseur on the best way to make it. Where is the corn in "corned beef"? This is an Anglo-Saxon term dating back to when large beef briskets were packed with grains of salt about the size of a kernel of corn to preserve for long periods of time during the days of no refrigeration. I will also explain the difference between a point cut and a flat cut. How many of us really know the difference when we are buying corned beef? I will also talk about the pros and cons of different cooking methods (roasting vs. boiling, simmering and maybe even grilling - yes you can grill it!). I will also tell consumers what to look for in selecting a corned beef and the proper way to slice it. It is very important to slice on a right angle to the grain to make it more tender. We will have a little twist on the traditional preparation with a recipe for a glaze that will have your guests lining up for seconds! If you like lean, you are going to love the corned beef I am making on Sunday!

The cabbage right now is some of the best of the year. It comes from Texas where it is spring ? this leafy vegetable loves a cool growing season, which helps produce some of the sweetest tasting cabbage around. This large vegetable can be very daunting for consumers who do not normally cook it. I will give tips on how to pick out a good head of cabbage, store it (it will keep up to 2 weeks in the coldest part of your refrigerator), clean it and cook it properly. I will also talk about its health benefits (high in vitamin C, it also contains nitrogen compounds that appear to lower the risk of certain forms of cancer). There are many reasons why all of us should include more cabbage in our diets, not just on St. Patrick's Day.

Remember your Mom telling you to eat all of your carrots when you were a kid so you would grow up not needing glasses? It worked for me and Mom was partially right. Carrots are full of beta-carotene (also known as vitamin A) which can help with everything from improving eyesight to preventing certain diseases. It is a lot easier to eat more carrots these days because of a little innovation in the produce industry known as baby peeled carrots. They are not actually baby carrots, but really large broken carrots that are whittled down to bite-size treats. They are great for snacking and super easy to cook with as well. I will give some helpful tips on what to look for when purchasing baby carrots, how long you can store them and how best to cook them. I love them roasted with a little OJ and dill!

St. Patrick's Day coincides with the appearance of what is known in the produce industry as New Potatoes (freshly harvested small red potatoes from Florida). Up until now all the potatoes you have been eating were harvested back in September and October. I absolutely love new potatoes! I am not sure why I am so passionate about them, maybe it is their fresh, sweet flavor (yes, potatoes can be sweet and these are very sweet), or the fact that their skins are so thin and being grown in sandy soil they're so clean that there is no need for peeling. (This is good because most of the vitamins are contained in the skin!) Or maybe it's just that it is another sign that spring has begun!

Corned Beef Recipe
  • Prepare Corn Beef using instructions on package. Once fork tender remove from water.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In an 8X13" cake pan add a half can of Pepsi, Coke or 7-Up to pan, then put corn beef in pan.
  • Mix ½ cup of honey and ½ cup of Guldens Spicy brown (or any brown or deli mustard) together, spread mixture over top and sides of corned beef. Chef Note: I like it a little less sweet so I am 1/3 honey to 2/3 mustard.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes; remove corn beef, slice and serve.