March 22, 2009

Corned Beef in Bourbon-Brown Sugar Sauce

Corned Beef in Bourbon-Brown Sugar Sauce
from the LA Times

2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion
1 pound corned beef
1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
Dash ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup Bourbon

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Slice the onion in half lengthwise, then thinly slice each half crosswise. Add the onion to the skillet, stirring well to coat the slices with oil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the onion is light gold, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, slice the corned beef against the grain on the diagonal into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside. Mince the garlic.

Add the garlic and the brown sugar to the onion, stirring well. Cook until the brown sugar is bubbly and the onion is coated with the mixture, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the cloves, allspice and mustard. Add the beef broth and stir well. Carefully place the corned beef slices in the skillet. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until the mixture thickens and is almost syrupy, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the slices over once.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the orange juice concentrate and the Bourbon. Return the pan to the heat just long enough to warm the Bourbon, about 1 minute. Do not boil. Divide the corned beef among serving plates and spoon the onion and sauce over the top.

Notes:Happy belated St. Patrick's Day -- this was the dinner for that evening this year. It was an attempt to do something a little bit different than the usual boiled method. However, it didn't come together as well as I had hoped. It took too long to cook down the beef broth so the sauce wasn't as thick as it needed to be before it risked making the meat tough and inedible. Also, the bourbon was just too strong and overpowered many of the other flavors, though the onions by themselves had more going for them. A worthy experiment but likely not one I'll repeat.

Posted by Jennifer at March 22, 2009 3:17 PM

I agree, it sounded like a good idea overall, but didn't end up working out especially well. The onions had an interesting flavor, because they'd been cooked with the spices, but otherwise it all just tasted like brown sugar and too much bourbon. I like bourbon, but the large amount of uncooked bourbon in this dish just overwhelmed everything.

Ah, well. Hopefully the food part of next year's St. Pat's dinner will work out better.

Posted by: Michael at March 22, 2009 3:39 PM

yay! recipe posts....

Posted by: sarah at March 23, 2009 8:16 AM
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