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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bully beef - love this stuff so much!!! - Leave comment, thanks.

Sunday night, sitting in my hotel room here in Brooklyn doing some editing to this blog before I post it in a few.  Thoughts of this blog run through my mind, but I am also thinking of the upcoming start of the Star Chefs Conference here in New York at the Armory on Park Avenuve. There's  a certain level of excitement that I feel unlike the first time I was here for this conference two years ago. My thoughts are consumed with food, chefs, taking notes..and of course eating food in various New York eateries. Damn, so much and so little time. Oh hell, let's get it on!!!
So on to the buisness at hand. I am from the Caribbean, Jamaica, the land of my birth. I have been here in the States 25yrs now and have managed to continue a culinary tradition introduced to me when I was growing up from my mother. Yep, corned beef in a can or bully beef as I knew it to be. Corned beef in a can you ask chef? Well..yeah, why not?  We'll get back to that in a sec though. I was asked recently what was corned beef and my response I think was something like it is beef that was brined with spices and cooked. Well to be exact it is beef (brisket cut or top round for leaner eats) that is brined for a few days in a solution of sugar, nitrate - salt pitre and spices then cooked for a few hours untll nice and tender often served in the Irish American corned beef and cabbage dish on St. Patricks Day or sliced in many a delis across the country.
After responding to the querry, my interest peaked though not for the usual St. Patrick's Day fare, even though I am resigned to having a corn beef sandwich at Carnegie Deli this week whilst I'm here in the big apple for I have never been there before.  For years I have eaten what I have often described to many as my favorite comfort food, corned beef and rice..FYI: eaten in a bowl with a spoon preferably sitting on a wooden bench, languishing in the afternoon breeze with the kitt...oh, sorry, I got lost there for a second in my corned memories. I am quite sure that my friendly islanders can relate with this. You see I'm more of a purist, I don't want any bloody cabbage, I want it straight cooked up with a nice hint of scotch bonnet, thyme, onions and maybe some tomatoes. No time wasting allowed here, I say bump a thirty minutes meal because if you were hungry enough you could have this done in fifteen minutes. Or if "white squall" a bite you just bust open the can, fork it out, mash it up wid some pick-a-pepper sauce and find any available crackers and go to town. Trust me man, nutin nuh nicer..!!!

Corned beef & cabbage w/ brown rice

Bully beef and rice, often getting the upturned nose by public turncoats even though it provided many a quick meals in many a households growing up, maybe even theirs. I say turncoats because some would never admit to eating bully beef in public, must have been too common for them. Let me tell you this though, even being the red headed step child of pantry staples or is that sardines - hey, I like them too - you got to have the best. Well yeah, Libbys damn it. At the price it fetches now at the supermarket, other brands find their way into shopping carts for quick easy meals.

Libbys Corned beef
So all these years I have eaten this delectable canned goody and never once did I stop to ask, well what is corned "bully" beef in the can. Well, there's no mystical revelation here, it's simply minced corned beef with a little gelatin added to hold it's shape in the can. Right, well I'm not surprised to hear that amidst strangling rumors about what exactly was in those cans of tasty, salty, yumminess. whether it was made in Brazil, Argentina, UK or here in the US. Now that I'm here in the states I have experienced The Irish American fare of corned beef and cabbage and of course corned beef hash. Somehow though, boiled vegetables and bolied beef doesn't quite float my boat, but I have cooked a mess of it . Nonetheless, I have made up some corned beef tasties, a little corned beef and cabbage with a little brown rice, got to eat a little healthier these days and some of what I will call chef Irie's H.H.S.H - Heavenly Hot Shit!!

The H.H.S.H w/over medium fried egg and coconut pumpkin smear

Okay I must admit I didn't come up with that name but I'm rolling with it. I just like the way it sounds but I will employ some credit here to MLN, you know who you are, thanks.  So corned beef in the can might not be your thing, but it's a part of me, a part of me that I wanted to share with you.  So if you were yearning for some sexxy food porn and wanted to go frolicking about with some sensous coconut guava foam on the lips, lickable sauces, an orgasmic dessert or erotic libations, I say come back soon, join me on the walk where we can discover from the mind of Chef Irie why food truly deh pon Fiyah Iyah!!!
Eat local, think global..

Chef Irie


  1. Wowie! Chef! Hugh! you continue to hype up your game while keeping it so real. I so proud (sniff,sniff). I love it! You feed into the food lover. And might I say Bully Beef never sounded so Sexy. LOL! Looking forward to more reading and learning. Upward Trod my brother! :-)

  2. Wow who knew food could be so scintillating, whew?! Keep up the good work cheffers.