Corned Beef…The Beginning of Something


Back in the day, corned beef was something I had no idea how to cook.  In fact I still have very little idea about it, but my knowledge is slightly greater due to two lovely ladies in my life.  When I attempted to create this the first time it was a disaster and it turned into a second blog called Please Pass The Recipe, with my Mum, and an ongoing food conversation with both my Mum and also one of my close friends, Pam (the Mum of my other half).   A dish like corned beef requires the knowledge of family recipes passed down, plus knowing those little tips that make the difference.

Well time has passed and I can’t find the bits of paper that I had with my scribbled notes, so this is me winging it, with much better results 12 months on from the original attempt.   My tips would be, make sure you get a good piece of meat.  Now how to do that is a whole other story but based on prior experience I would recommend your local butcher over the supermarket, although Pam swears by Aldi here in Australia for her corned beef.  The other thing I would say is that if you are not sure if it’s cooked enough, then it is better to be slightly over, than under done. I think this is going to be another dish that is a work in progress for me in the learning stakes, but in my eyes that is what cooking is all about.

Corned Beef

  • 1.5kg corned beef
  • 1 cup malt vinegar
  • 1 tbl sp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 brown onions

Place all the ingredients into a large pot with enough water to cover the meat well.  Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and leave to cook.  The rule of thumb is approx 1 hour for ever kilo.  We ended up cooking out 1.6kg piece of meat for just over 2 hours and it was just right.

Serve hot, but it is also fabulous cold in a sandwich with mustard and crunchy iceberg lettuce.  We went with roasted vegetables and a parsley sauce, and the meat has been a part of lunch for the next few days.  Win win in my book as I almost love cold corned beef better than having it hot.

And now onto the sauce if you want to take your dinner up a notch…..

2Parsley Sauce

  • 250mls milk
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced.
  • handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • handful of chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tbl sp english mustard
  • 1 tbl sp flour
  • 20g butter
  • salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Finely chop your herbs and set to the side.  Using a heavy based pan, melt the butter over a medium heat.

3Then add the sliced spring onions and cook until soft, making sure you don’t allow them to go brown.

4Add the mustard and flour. At this point the mix will create a firm paste.  Cook for approx 3-5 minutes.

5Add the milk slowly, stirring well.   It will remain a thick sauce.

6Cook for approx 5 minutes once all the milk is added.


Serve hot with your favourite meat or roast vegetables.  I think it would be awesome with eggs for breakfast and may be sampling this with the left overs.


The sauce will keep for a few days in the fridge but is not recommended to keep long-term.

Happy Cooking & Happy Eating.



5 Comments Add yours

  1. This looks wonderful! I wanted to buy corned beef last week and couldn’t find one anywhere! I checked three different markets. Are they seasonal?? I really like your parsley sauce.


    1. Leah says:

      Thank you! I don’t think its seasonal in Australia, it tends to be available all year round in our supermarkets. I’m not sure about other places though to be honest. Its quite an English way to prepare beef if that helps you in your hunt, although I would’ve thought your butcher would have it, or be able to get it for you. 🙂 Good luck finding it. Oh and the parsley sauce was delicious and worth the effort even though it was easy to make.


  2. This sauce looks like a great take on the classic mustard sauce. Now that I have a slow cooker, I make corned beef in that. It makes the beef very tender. I also love to keep some sauce for sandwiches the next day. It tends to thicken a lot and is a great spread. Add pickles and cheese. Yum!


    1. Leah says:

      Oh I’m jealous of your slow cooker, I want one as I was thinking it would be the way to go with things like corned beef, and also the homemade baked beans that I made the other day (stay tuned for that post). The sauce was delicious. I still haven’t had it on my eggs, but I’m dreaming of adding a bit of tarragon and having it for breakfast a la eggs benedict. 🙂


  3. ohlidia says:

    You know, corned beef is one of those foods I’m never sure about either. I always need to do some research. Perhaps the next time I decide to make corned beef, I might try your version!


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