One of my favourite cartoon comic strips is “Bringing Up Father” that revolves around the life of the main character, Mr. Jiggs, who struck it rich when he won a lottery. His favourite food was corned beef and cabbage, much to the disgust of his social-climbing wife, Maggie. I reckon it was because she considered that to be the food of the lower class.
I certainly would not say the same thing about corned beef in Sibu today. In the past, we enjoyed the Great Wall brand, made in China…but eventually, it got really bad. It became so mushy that one would not even know what on earth they had inside…and more often than not, there was a horrible smell. The colours of the label often vary – perhaps there are imitations though I’m not too sure about this.
There are other brands from New Zealand or the South American countries but these are all so very expensive – well over RM10.00 for a standard can. I would buy Mili or Linkz, both of which are quite nice, though not like the Great Wall corned beef that I used to know, and they used to cost around RM5 something in 2008…and then, RM6 something…and now, it is over RM7.00.
I just wonder how people usually cook corned beef. On my part, I would fry it with thinly-sliced Bombay onions and boiled potato chunks…
My daughter loves it this way. I’ve seen corned beef among the buffet breakfast spread at some hotels a couple of times before but they just fried the thing plain and served it like that – no onions, no potatoes, nothing.
I sometimes cook soup with it – with lots of thinly sliced Bombay onions and potato strips, plus salt and msg according to taste. I would boil it for a long time so as to make the soup thicker and richer…but some people have tried this but they did not like it. For one thing, the beef in the soup would turn completely bland – but what I specifically like about it is the soup itself. Ah well! I guess it’s just a matter of taste, the same way as how I do not quite fancy French onion or minestrone soup.
I’ve also fried mihun (rice vermecelli) with it and I do know that some people make corned beef rolls…using shortcrust pastry like how they make sardine rolls. I don’t think I’ve done that but once I used it to make cottage pie…or what we used to call shepherd’s pie.
Well, my missus is not a fan of corned beef…and since the price seems to be escalating like it is never going to stop, I do not think I will be having corned beef when my daughter’s not around…