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Homemade Corned Beef on Homemade Rye
Monday, March 10, 2008
In honor of Parade Day, I set out to make my own sandwiches-- corned beef on rye, of course. I took a couple of recipes off the internet and made everything at home. No, I didn't "corn" the beef (I don't even know how that works, actually), but I did boil the 8 pounder myself and baked some fresh rye. I thought I would share because they were delicious!

A few notes on the recipes, first, though. I made the two loaves of rye, but I highly recommend at least doubling it. You end up with a nice dense bread, but not a whole lot of it. There were maybe 8 workable slices (I'm not counting the end pieces, because those are really more for chewing on yourself, right?) per loaf, so for two loaves, you may get 8 sandwiches. And trust me, depending on the size of your corned beef, you'll end up with enough meat for more than 8 sandwiches. I certainly did.

And as far as the corned beef is concerned, keep an eye on the water and the flame. You do not want to boil it! You want it to be at a very slow simmer. And seriously let it take 4 or 5 hours (or even a little more) to cook. That's what makes it beautiful. Taste it a little before you pull it out. Also, it doesn't get that red color on the outside until after it rests for a little while, so don't worry that you've ruined it (like I did).

Slow Cooked Corned Beef for Sandwiches
via this recipe at

6 pounds of corned beef (I ended up using an 8 pounder and this recipe worked fine)

1/4 cup of peppercorns (I used black, but would like to try to use white sometime)

2 12 oz beers (I used Bud Light because it's what we had in the house, but I bet Sam Adams would be fine, too)

2 bay leaves (I think I ended up using about 4, because they were a bit broken up)

1 bulb's worth of garlic cloves, peeled and separated

That seasoning packet that comes with the corned beef


1. Use a large pot and put everything in there, plus enough water to cover the corned beef and including the liquids that came with the meat.

2. Cover and crank up the heat. Don't let it boil! Turn down the heat once it starts to simmer and let it cook low for at least 4 hours, although mine went about 5 and a half hours, including the half an hour it took for the water to simmer.

3. Carefully take out the corned beef and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice and serve on rye bread (see below) with a little mustard. You could add sauerkraut or coleslaw or cheese, too.

Country-Style Rye
via this recipe at

4 cups all-purpose flour (I used bread flour instead and only ended up using 3 cups)

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

2 packages Active Dry or Rapid Rise Yeast

1 tablespoon caraway seed ( didn't use caraway seed because I didn't have it, but I'd like to try this again with the seeds)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups very warm water (120 to 130 F)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil because that's what I had and it tasted just fine)

2 cups rye flour

1 egg white lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

1. In large bowl, combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, sugar, caraway seed (if using) and salt.

2. In smaller bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water (I find that a temperature of 110 degrees F is good for this). Cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes. The original recipe did not have you do this, but I've had bad yeast before and prefer to proof it this way before I add it to the dough. It should be a little foamy on the top if the yeast is good.

3. Add proofed yeast and oil to the dry ingredients. Mix until all is combined.

4. Sprinkle in the rye flour and mix.

5. Now add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough.

6. Knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough, about 6 to 8 minutes. It's a tough little sucker of a dough, so make sure you hands are ready for a workout.

7. Grease a bowl and turn the ball of dough around in it so it's greased all over. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

8. Punch down the dour and divide it into two balls. Shape these well and place on a slightly greased cookie sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled (probably another hour). I usually start pre-heating the oven at this stage of bread baking, just to give the loaves an extra oomph to rise.

9. Make slashes with a sharp knife to score the dough. I went with a diamond pattern. Brush the loaves with the egg white mixture.

10. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 35 minutes or until done. I found that it was browning fast, so I turned it down to 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.

11. Remove from pan and let cool. And really do let them cool, because if not, you end up destroying the bread when you slice it. I live to cool my bread covered. I feel like it keeps it moist.
posted by Rose @ 7:39 AM  
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