Saturday, 25 February 2012

Corned Beef and Cabbage Casserole

In our part of the world, there’s corned beef and then there’s corned beef--by which I mean that there’s the sliced corned beef in the deli (brisket cured in a spiced brine) and there’s corned beef in a tin (brisket cured in a salt brine without the deli spices, shredded, and canned). 

What we here call corned beef in a can is known in Britain as Bully Beef.  It was one of the main field rations of the British armed forces from the time of the Boer War right through WWII.  Here’s what the tins look like:

My husband loves the stuff, straight from the tin, in sandwiches.  Me…not so much.  It tends to be fatty and has a fairly bland flavour.  It works well in cooked dishes though, making an excellent hash or a good addition to mac and cheese.

Tonight I made a casserole using tinned corned beef and cabbage.  I got the recipe from my good friend Judy, who is the most frugal household manager I know.  I aspire to her skill set and this recipe is a good example of why.  It stretches a single 12-ounce tin of meat into a dish that, when served with boiled potatoes and another vegetable, will easily feed four adults.

Corned beef contains nitrites, and this recipe contains a fair bit of butter too, so I certainly wouldn’t make it all the time.  It makes a lovely change to our routine though, and is a good recipe to have on hand when I'm looking for a meal that can be assembled from the pantry.

To make Corned Beef and Cabbage Casserole, you’ll need:

  • 1/2  of a small head of cabbage

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 12-ounce tin of corned beef

  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (I didn’t have fresh milk so I used 3/4 cup low fat evaporated milk diluted with 3/4 cup water)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs 

Coarsely chop the cabbage and then steam it until it’s tender-crisp.

Melt 2 Tablespoons of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and the corned beef, breaking the beef up in the pan.  Sauté until the onions are translucent.

In a small saucepan, melt the 3 Tablespoons of butter over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook it for 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture foams up a bit and the raw flavour is cooked out, but the roux doesn’t take on any colour.

Whisk in the milk, and stir over medium heat until the sauce boils and thickens.  Add in the salt and pepper.

In another saucepan, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter.  Add the crumbs to the pot and toss until the crumbs have absorbed the butter.

Assemble the casserole in a 1-1/2 quart casserole or large loaf pan. 

Put the cabbage in the bottom of the casserole, and layer the corned beef mixture on top.

Spread the sauce over the corned beef mixture.

Top the sauce with the buttered crumbs.

Bake the casserole for 30 minutes.  The crumbs should be browned and the sauce bubbling.

Let the casserole sit for a few minutes before serving it so that it comes out of the pan more easily.

If you have leftovers, they won’t keep more than a day or two.  It’s best to use them up as quickly as possible.  They make a good base for soup or for a simple hash.
This post is linked to Delicious Dish Tuesday hosted by Coping With Frugality and to Gallery of Favoriteshosted by Premeditated Leftovers and The 21st Century Housewife.

Gallery of Favorites


Alea Milham said...

This looks wonderful! And it is an incredible way to use up leftover corned beef, which I always make for my family on St. Patrick's Day.

Aunt B said...

Good idea Alea! It's always fun to present a familiar ingredient in a different way.

Full Time Mama said...

I've never seen corned beef in a tin! Crazy!
We do corned beef and cabbage, but never in a casserole. We LOVE it! I'll have to try your casserole recipe sometime.
Thanks so much for sharing for Delicious Dish Tuesday!! Come back next week and link up another yummy one!

Amanda said...

I don't know that we have corned beef in a tin here in the states, but I love making corned beef every year around St. Patrick's Day. I actually have a frozen one that I bought on sale a while back that I may make soon and this will be a great way to re-purpose the leftovers! Thanks as always for sharing your great food with Delicious Dish Tuesday!

Aunt B said...

It's a British thing, for sure, but I understand that it's available in larger cities in the US too. You can sometimes find in in kosher shops, labeled as salted beef.

This recipe will work well with traditional corned beef too, leftover from another meal. I hope you do get a chance to try it sometime.

Aunt B said...

Thanks for hosting Amanda. I always enjoy checking out the posts on your link party.

Corned beef in a tin is a British thing, for sure, but I understand that it's available in larger cities in the US too. You can sometimes find in in kosher shops, labeled as salted beef. I've made this dish with leftover traditional corned beef too, and it works just fine.

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

Thank you for sharing this casserole with us at the Gallery - it's a much easier way to serve corned beef and cabbage and it looks very comforting and delicious.

Aunt B said...

Thanks for the opportunity to share it. I enjoy Gallery of Favorites. I always find good ideas there.

The 21st Century Housewife© said...

I hope you won't mind if we use your photograph again to feature this post as part of our St Patrick's Day features this week. We will of course link to your post and credit the photo. Thank you again for sharing it!