In Costco it seemed like a good idea. But as soon as carried my prize into the house and was greeted by my mom and grandfathers sudden, mouth gaping silence. I knew. I had made a terrible mistake.
“Are you going to cook that in the bathtub?!” -Mom
“You are not expecting me to eat all that are you?!” -Grandpa
Suddenly my ten pound corned beef was not so prized.
I kid! I was so gleeful that I couldn’t stop laughing. I think they nearly had me committed. But I can’t help it. There is just something about cooking a giant, Flinstonian piece of meat that makes me giddy. Thanksgiving, a holiday devoted to cooking the biggest mother of a turkey you can find (and being thankful for stuff, yadda yadda.) High Holiday!
And I needed something that I could just toss in a pot and cook all day while I was off visiting with the family I needed to feed.
I also, obviously, needed a much bigger pot.
I am the cooking
fool matriarch of the family, so every time I’m in town to visit my older kids, I cook. For my grandfather, my mom, my oldest and his wife and kids, my youngest and his kids, and if I’m lucky, the middle one shows up too. That’s at least eight adults, many with very large appetites, four kids, and two babies who don’t eat, but are both breast feeding, meaning I need to feed their mamas well.
LORD FORBID ANYONE GO HUNGRY ON MY WATCH!
I admit. I’m a feeder. Nothing makes me happier then seeing people in pain because they ate too much because my food was so amazing.
I guess I just like to see people in pain because I see a lot of it at work too. It’s all really the same thing though- overloading the senses, whether with the whip or the whipped cream.
So how to overfeed a large hungry crowd a healthy gluten free dinner with minimal work?
- One ten pound corned beef split into two pans because your giant pot is not nearly as big as you thought.
- One container of stone ground mustard. A big one. Tossed in with the corned beef. You think it might be too mustardy, but trust me. It won’t.
Simmer for a couple hours while you take the kids to the park and pick up more wine.
Flip the giant chunks of corned beef because the liquid will have boiled away and the end that’s sticking out may not have been cooked enough. Shove as many pieces of potato and carrot and pepper and maybe an apple in around the meat as you can. Fill with a little more water. Boil for two or so more hours while you drink wine.
The apple and/or peppers pretty much boil down to nothing, but thicken the sauce and add a tiny bit of natural sweetness.
About twenty minutes before you want to serve it, cut a pound or two of brussels sprouts on top to steam in the delicious mustardy steam.
Serve with more wine.
After you pull everything out of the broth, pour some into a gravy boat to use as gravy. Toss a couple more potatoes in the broth and boil while you eat dinner so you can make hash in the morning.
If there is any meat left. In our case, just enough. Barely.
I might try to do it again on St Patricks day and actually remember to take pictures this time.