I've always cooked corned beef in a crock-pot (slow-cooker) and served it hot, but it's summer (here in NZ :-) and it's far too hot (here in NZ :-) so I couldn't really face a hot meal.
Solution:- corned beef salad.
Long slow cooking has a weakening impact on the structural integrity of the joint, which is a bad idea if it's going to be sliced thinly so it was time to try and have a fairly dry roasting.
- Joint of corned beef (salted beef) about three pounds (1.5 kg)
- Handful of bay leaves (dried are fine)
- Tablespoon of cracked black pepper
- Tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
- Tablespoon of sugar
Step 1: Rinse the Meat
Before you do anything switch the oven to 360F (180C) to preheat.
The joint is shrink-wrapped with some of the highly salted liquid which was used to salt it, so once it's been unwrapped, give it a good rinse in cold water.
You can leave the meat in water in the fridge for a while to draw out some of the salt, but I like my salt beef salty.
Step 2: Apply the Crust
Dry the joint of meat off by patting it with paper towels, then place it in a roasting pan on a large piece of foil.
Spread the mustard evenly on the surface of the joint.
Sprinkle the cracked pepper over the meat, and hope that most of it sticks to the mustard
Sprinkle the sugar over the top, and then stick the bay leaves to the meat.
Wrap the foil over the meat, crimping the foil together but making sure that it isn't touching the top of the meat.
Stick it in the oven and leave it for an hour and a half.
Step 3: One and a Half Hours Later
Take the roasting tray out of the oven and turn the oven off.
Very carefully, unwrap the foil and open it out. If you can keep all the evolved liquid in the foil, then it makes cleaning up quicker :-)
Remove the bay leaves and discard.
Turn the broiler (grill in UK/NZ) up to high and slide the roasting pan underneath it.
Leave it for five minutes to help the crust form.
Step 4: Cool, Carve and Serve
Carefully lift the meat out of the foil and leave it to cool under a cover.
Once it's cool enough to handle, slice thinly starting at the pointy bit to ensure that you're cutting across the grain of the meat.
With a bit of luck, the slices will hold together and can be served with a green salad and potato salad.
If you live in the northern hemisphere, then wait until May at the earliest before this.