Corned beef braised with juniper berries & red wine vinegar

  

It's a big failing of the medium that you can't download the smell of this as it cooks. The vinegar stings your eyes and the juniper is such an unfamiliar scent that the whole effect is very exotic. 

The better the corned beef (usually corned silverside) the more this melts as you eat it but I'm sure it improves any cut of corned meat.  If you forget to soak your corn beef overnight just put it through a few changes of water to draw out the salt. 

(The original recipe for this emphasised the 'cooked in red wine' but it's the vinegar that does the transformation.) It takes about 15 minutes to prepare (not including the soaking) and cooks slowly. The 2kg piece of meat takes about 4 hours. You'll need a heavy based oven proof 4 litre casserole dish with a lid.

Recipe:
  
From "Good Taste" magazine July 1999
 

Serves: 6  (great cold with mustard if you don't eat it all)
 
1 2kg piece of corned silverside 
500ml (2 cups) of red wine vinegar (don't even think of swapping ordinary vinegar)
320g (2 cups) of lightly packed brown sugar
250mls (1 cup) dry red wine
250mls (1 cup) of water
1 small peeled and halved brown onion
1 bunch of fresh dill leaves if you've got them. 2 tbsps of dried if not
2 tbsps dried juniper berries, crushed

Pre heat the oven to 130C 
Trim the excess fat from the beef. 
Put all the other ingredients in the casserole and bring it to the boil
Put the beef in and cover and place it in the oven and cook until it is very tender.

Remove from the liquid and slice. Serve with mashed potatoes. We return the piece to some liquid in a container in the fridge to keep it from drying out.

Ever wondered what a juniper berry looked like green and red before it was dried?

.Juniper berries. Italy May 2001

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Images Fred Harden 2002-2004