Secondborn’s school has asked parents to provide a family recipe, preferably with a bit of a story to it, for a cookery book which will go on sale to raise funds.
We have such a recipe – corned beef stew. My mother made it when I was a child, her mother made it for her when she was a child in the days of rationing after the war.
The name has nothing to do with maize, though…
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.
A major component of military rations during the first and second world wars and then a feature of the austerity years of post-war civilian food restrictions, corned beef has long been very much looked down on. Now is the time to reclaim this shunned delicacy with its bizarrely-shaped tins and their lethal mode of opening.
The children love the corned beef stew I prepare for them from an amalgam of memory and experiment. We made it together tonight and took pictures in case the book will be illustrated. You can see the results below.