Did you make corned beef and cabbage yesterday for Saint Patrick's Day? If you did, did you keep the braising liquid your brisket simmered in all those long hours? I hope so—that's stock, and that stock is gold. You might think a corned beef brisket that spent the first weeks of its life brining in a mixture of pickling spice and salt would be rather brackish. And you'd be right, but that's no reason to drain it.
But don't take my word for it. None other than Takashi Yagihashi makes ramen out of corned beef stock and mustard noodles, and he's serving it up through March 22 at Slurping Turtle.
On Saturday, I gently braised a 14-pound corned beef brisket for about six hours. I added carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, and toasted mustard seeds to the braising liquid. After we had our way with the beef, I strained it, poured off the fat (reserved for future use), and was left with about a half gallon of a deep, clear, amber liquid that looked temptingly like whiskey. It was salty indeed, but not so much that it couldn't transform a pound of Rancho Gordo Alubia Blancas into a pot of magic nitrite-saturated beans. No further seasoning required.
Mike Sula writes about cooking every Monday.