By: Blonde Two

I enjoyed a corned beef sandwich yesterday, it also had pickle and lettuce in and was delicious. The term corned beef can cause some confusion, I don’t mean pemmican (as in Swallows and Amazons – or the lovely pink slices of brine-cooked beef that I munch in New Zealand; but rather the squashy, fatty stuff in a tin. You know the tin, the one with the key opening system that only ever breaks if you have no access to a tin opener.

I have some fond corned beef memories. Up until a couple of years ago, Mr Blonde Two and I had a tin of corned beef that had been put into  in our camping box even before Bearded-Blonde was born. He is twenty-six now, it was there for emergencies, we obviously never had one, but I wish we had kept the tin for posterity. I first cooked corned beef for Mr Blonde Two in a tent (of course). It was in fact, the first meal I ever tried to cook him. I say ‘tried’ here because the egg/flour/corned beef mush that eventually slipped onto our tin plates was a far cry from the sleek fritters for which I had been aiming. He was very polite about it all! Not-at-all-Blonde once won a Ready-Steady-Camp-Cook competition at Scout camp because she chatted to the judge beforehand and found out that he liked his corned beef fried in slices and not mushed with onions etc. Corned beef hash was a staple for family Blonde Two when the younger generation were growing up. We hashed a lot of things then, it made meals stretch further!

Some Blonde facts:

Apparently a budget supermarket once put horse meat into their corned beef, ‘corned horse’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it. The word ‘corned’ does not refer to the cow’s diet but to the size of the grains of salt used to cure the meat. Most tinned corned beef is imported from South America. Corned beef is still a good staple to take camping, you can eat it hot or cold and (in theory) don’t need a tin opener to open it.

I have sat, more than once crying over a corned beef tin that wouldn’t open.