Is there a better meal than baked grits and bourbon-glazed corned beef?
I think not. Christopher Idone, an amazing cook and accomplished cookbook author, cofounded Glorious Food in New York. I interned in his office when he was writing Glorious American Food almost twenty-five years ago, and I learned to cook the recipes below from him before the book was published. Over the years, I have tweaked and adapted them.
Grits with Butter and Grated Farmhouse Cheddar Cheese
4 c. milk
1 1/2 c. quick cooking grits . . . Quaker Oats work great.
1/4 lb. plus 4 T. butter
2 t. butter for the baking dish
2 t. salt
1 dash hot pepper sauce
12 oz. grated sharp farmhouse cheddar . . . Carr Valley
three- or five-year-old cheddar or Widmer's cheddar work
3 eggs, well-beaten
butter for frying
Butter a long rectangular baking dish. Preheat oven to 375.
In a large sauce pan, bring the milk and 2 c. water to boil over high heat. Pour in the grits and stir well.
Pull from heat and stir in all the seasonings, cheese, 1/4 lb. butter, and the eggs, stirring well.
Pour into the prepared baking dish and place in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.
Let cool for 10 minutes and cut into diamond shapes. Serve. Or . . . cool completely and serve by pan-frying in the remaining butter in a non-stick pan until golden.
Glazed Corned Beef with Root Vegetables
1 uncooked corned brisket of beef, 4 to 5 lb.
2 bay leaves
2 allspice berries
1 small cinnamon stick
1 t. mustard seed
Beef (or chicken) stock to cover
1 c. brown sugar
1 t. dry mustard
1/4 c. molasses
1/2 c. bourbon
8 small beets
12 new potatoes
6 small leeks, trimmed
12 small carrots, peeled
12 white radishes, peeled
2 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
1 pt. Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 small head savoy cabbage, cored and cut in 1-inch slices
Wash the brisket of the brine. Place in large kettle with the spices and cover with the stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer over low heat for 35–40 minutes per lb. or until tender. Reserve the cooking liquid.
Make the glaze by mixing the 4 ingredients and letting rest for 45 minutes.
Cook the beets in salted water for 12 minutes. Drain and slip the skins off under running water. Return to the pot to keep warm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the cooked corned beef brisket in a roasting pan with 1/2 c. of the cooking liquid. Cover with enough glaze to coat.
Bring remaining beef-poaching liquid to boil and simmer the vegetables until just cooked through in batches. Finish by reheating the beets.
Roast the corned beef, basting the beef with the remaining glaze for about 25 minutes.
Serve on a large platter with the vegetables around it. Serves 6–8.