Corned beef has been a staple classic for many years, it has been stated that it was the Irish that first discovered this staple food and were major exporters of the product in the 1800’s. This robust and sturdy food has helped sustain the British army through the Napoleonic wars; its non-perishable nature was highly useful. Fast forward a few more years to world war 1 and corned beef remains a staple during the times of rationing, as many fresh meats were extremely limited. Over time, corned beef has now become very popular around the world and is still frequently eaten throughout the UK.

However, here at Helen Browning’s, we have made a few changes to that classic recipe. The days of tinned cans with keys and a shelf life of several years is long gone. However, one thing that remains the same is a sturdy, warming, hearty ingredient that is our organic corned beef. It is perfect for a cold Winter’s night when comfort food is absolutely obligatory. If this staple food can get through many wars, it can most definitely get through a cold Winter!

Our corned beef is a part of Helen’s good beef range; 100% organic grass-fed and dairy-bred British beef that is reared in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside. As this beef is a glorious by-product of our dairy herd at Eastbrook Farm, it has a much lower carbon footprint than traditionally reared beef. The dairy cows produce 6,000 litres of milk per year for human consumption and produce one calf per year. These calves live for 2 years feeding on organic pastures and rich grasslands, helping to develop a wonderful flavour. To find out more about the Good Beef herd at Eastbrook Farm, take a look here.

And now with many awards for this marvellous product, I guess you could say it is doing pretty well! Get a taste for corned beef this Christmas and bring back a classic; perfect for nourishing social food and family feasts, why not give our recipes a try?

Helen’s Corned Beef Hash

Adding a corned beef hash recipe was absolutely essential, especially when it’s as tasty as this recipe from Helen! If you’re after a real warming treat this Winter, make sure that you give this recipe a try.

Ingredients:

Helen’s Corned Beef Hash

Method:

  1. Boil potatoes for 5-6 minutes until partly cooked, set aside.
  2. Fry the onions and bacon for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Shred the corned beef, add with the potatoes to the pan and mix.
  4. Leave to fry for 4-5 minutes and then gently turn the ingredients over, cooking until golden.
  5. Add Worcestershire sauce to taste, top with fried egg if desired.

Corned Beef and Onion Pie

A delicious corned beef and onion pie is the perfect comfort food for all. This recipe from the Hairy Bikers is quick and easy, so it is brilliant for a cold Winter’s night when you are in a hurry but need something warming and filling.

Ingredients:

For the filling…

  • 15g/½oz butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion (sliced or chopped)
  • 2 celery sticks (trimmed, peeled to remove stringy bits, sliced)
  • 2 medium carrots (cut into 1cm/½in dice)
  • 300g/10½oz potatoes, preferably Maris Pipers (peeled and cut into 1cm/½in dice)
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 340g Helen Browning’s Organic Corned Beef
  • freshly ground black pepper

For the pastry…

  • 300g/10½oz plain flour, plus extra for rolling
  • good pinch sea salt
  • 175g/6oz cold butter, cubed
  • 1 free-range egg
Corned Beef and Onion Pie

Method:

  1. For the filling, melt the butter with the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, celery, carrots and potatoes. Cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are softened and beginning to colour, stirring regularly. The carrots should retain a little bite.
  2. Add the ketchup and stir into the vegetables for a few seconds before adding the corned beef. Break the beef into chunky pieces with a wooden spoon and mix with the vegetables.
  3. Season with pepper – you shouldn’t need salt as the corned beef is fairly salty – and remove from the heat. Leave to cool for about 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
  5. To make the pastry, put the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  6. Lightly whisk the egg with a tablespoon of cold water in a small bowl. Slowly pour all but one tablespoon of the egg mixture into the food processor with the motor running and blend until the mixture begins to form a ball.
  7. Turn the pastry out onto a well-floured work surface and bring it together into a ball. Take about a third of the pastry, roll it out and use it to line a 23cm/9in pie plate or 20cm/8in round ceramic quiche dish or deep Victoria sandwich tin. Leave any excess pastry overhanging the edge. Brush the pastry edge lightly with the reserved egg.
  8. Spoon the filling into the pastry base and spread it out evenly. Flour the surface once more and roll out the remaining pastry. Lift the rolled pastry over the rolling pin and place gently over the filling. Press the edges firmly together then trim neatly. Seal the edge with a fork.
  9. Brush the top of the pastry with the remaining beaten egg, cut a cross in the centre of the pie and place onto a baking tray. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden- brown and the filling is piping hot.

Corned Beef Chilli

A warming, spicy blend of corned beef with Mexican beans and spices for a spectacular meal that is suitable for the whole family. This variation on a classic dish adds red wine (or strong black tea if you’re cooking for children) and even some dark chocolate, how interesting! This recipe has been borrowed and adapted from Jack Monroe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 6 large garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 350g organic corned beef from Helen Browning’s
  • 400g tin kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 400g tin cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (or 1 tbsp tomato purée and 400ml/14fl oz beef stock)
  • 2 tbsp paprika (or chilli powder, to taste)
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin (or chilli powder, to taste)
  • 200ml/7fl oz red wine or strong black tea
  • 20g/¾oz dark chocolate (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve
Corned Beef Chilli by Jack Monroe

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until slightly softened and then add the corned beef and both tins of beans. Pour in the tomatoes and add the paprika and cumin. Season with salt and pepper, stir and increase to a medium heat. Cook, stirring gently, for 7–8 minutes and then reduce the heat.
  2. Add the wine and chocolate, if using, and continue cooking for 16–18 minutes, until glossy, dark and smelling fantastic. Serve hot with the rice.