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Ask Mr Breakfast
Dear Mr Breakfast,
What makes beef become corned beef?
- Corned Beef & Eggs Lover

AnswerDear C.B.E.L.,

Funny you should ask. I was in Las Vegas recently at the Luxor's Pyramid Cafe (3 out of 5 Golden Eggs) enjoying a plate of Corned Beef Hash and Eggs and that very question came up.

A buddy of mine had just won $1,400 on a video poker machine the previous night. I lost $60. Naturally, my pal was all smiles at breakfast the next morning. I guess he thought he was throwing Mr Breakfast a bone by consulting my expertise... like he was a winner but Mr Breakfast was a winner too because he knows about breakfast. Ya, right.

Just as luck has nothing to do with getting a royal flush in Lucky 7s, corning has nothing to do with corn. Corning is a form of curing. In the days before refrigeration, meat was dry-cured in coarse "corns" of salt. Chunks of salt, akin to the shape and size of corn kernels, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling and to preserve it.

These days instead of dry salt, salt water is used to "corn" beef. This process is called brining.

So why don't we use the term "brined beef" you may ask. If only I could have read the Let It Ride dealer's mind as well as I can read yours. We can consider the name "corned beef" still relevant because of the spices that are added to it... one of the most prevalent being peppercorns.

So then, why don't we call "corned beef", "peppered beef"? Maybe because we're #$%@ stupid.

As you might be able to sense, I am still bitter over not having any big winners in Las Vegas. As with life, I just give and give and give and get nothing in return. Here's some corned beef hash recipes for you. But of course I don't expect anything in return... ya, right... as if that would ever happen.

Mr Breakfast

This article was written by Mr Breakfast (aka Eddy Chavey).

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