"Kusina" = Kitchen; "Manang" = older sister

A Filipina's unabashed chronicle of her adaptations in the American kitchen. Includes step-by-step photos on how to make pan de sal, ensaymada, pan de coco, siopao, hopia, pandelimon, pianono, atsara, crema de fruta,etc., and if you are lucky, you will find videos too!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Corned Beef

As a Filipina who grew up in the Philippines, my favorite corned beef was the Argentina brand. All I knew of corned beef then was that it came canned. I was surprised when my MIL once handed this slab of corned beef. I just had to look up on the internet what really was corned beef, and here's my answer:

"Old-time butcher shops closed every weekend. Ice, the only refrigerant available, could not dependably hold fresh meat for two days. To keep unsold meat from going to waste, the butcher soaked the meat in a strong brine or covered it with coarse salt to trigger osmosis. The grains of salt were called "corn" in England, and the name "corned beef" stuck with the product.

Corning is a form of curing; it has nothing to do with corn. The name comes from Anglo-Saxon times before refrigeration. In those days, the meat was dry-cured in coarse "corns" of salt. Pellets of salt, some the size of kernels of corn, were rubbed into the beef to keep it from spoiling and to preserve it.

Today brining -- the use of salt water -- has replaced the dry salt cure, but the name "corned beef" is still used, rather than "brined" or "pickled" beef. Commonly used spices that give corned beef its distinctive flavor are peppercorns and bay leaf. Of course, these spices may vary regionally."

Source: carnegiedeli.com

So, I asked my hubby how they usually prepare this one (any Filipino would know a different way of enjoying canned corned beef -- sauteed with garlic and onions). Apparently they prepare this only as New England Boiled Dinner. Translated to Filipino cooking: "Nilaga" with the typical veggies potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. So that was how I prepared this slab of corned beef. It was different but very good! We did have a lot of leftover (this slab could feed two or three families!). So, I tried to mimic the corned beef I knew by shredding then sauteeing with some veggies as shown.

For those who might be interested, corned beef slabs are available in grocery stores.

I remember another thing I used to do with Argentina corned beef -- as filling for the dough used for pan de coco. I used to just mix chopped medium onion with 1 small can of Argentina corned beef, then proceed with using this as filling before I bake the rolls. I used to sell them when I was still going to school, and they were always sold out.

I still miss Argentina corned beef...


  1. That looks really good! My brother's birthday is on St. Patricks day, so my mom and I always experiment on making corned beef. I wil have to try your way!

  2. I once attended a gathering in the Phils catered by The Plaza and they have boiled corned beef in their menu! The boiled corned beef was really good!

  3. Hi Nina,
    Thanks for visiting.
    I wonder how they prepared their corned beef...Must be a combination of Western and Filipino spices!

  4. Hello Ading, I'm sure I'm older so I can't call you Manang LOL! I have a recipe for corned beef which I slow cook first until tender then I bake it glazed with pineapple juice and honey. It's a favorite of my 2 sons and hubby. I use Freirich brand as it is not too salty.

    Baked Corned Beef


    1 package Frierich Corned Beef or other brand
    about cup pineapple juice
    4 Tbsps. honey


    Slow cook the corned beef in a slow cooker (mine is rectangular shaped so it is fitting for the shape of the corned beef) until tender for about 1 hour in high setting then medium setting for about 3 hrs.

    Prepare glaze by mixing the pineapple juice and honey.

    When corned beef is tender, transfer to a baking pan and brush the pineapple mixture all over the corned beef, fat side up. Cover with foil and bake in a 325 degree over for 15 - 20 minutes. Brush more of the glaze, put the foil back and cover and bake for another 15 minutes. Then take out the foil and brush with more glaze, baking for another 15 minutes. Take it out from the overn and slice the corned beef. Serve on a platter. Goes well either with steamed Jasmine rice or mashed potatoes. Serve with steamed asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce.

  5. Gie, thanks for the recipe! Bumili ako ngayon ng pineapple juice. Maybe I will try this weekend your recipe.


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