Crisp Corned Beef with Pickled Beets & Duck Egg Gribiche

Warren Geraghty, The Olde Bell, Hurley, Berkshire, England / October 2012

For 8 servings (requires advance preparation)

Beef brisket:

  • 7 Tbsps. salt
  • 5 1/4 Tbsps. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. pink salt
  • 1/2 bird’s eye chile
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/2 sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsps. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 2/3 lbs. beef brisket
  1. Bring all ingredients except beef brisket and 2 qts. water to a boil in large saucepan; remove from heat; cool; place in airtight container; add meat; cover; reserve in refrigerator 5 days.

  2. Remove meat from marinade; place in vacuum-sealable plastic food bag; vacuum seal; cook sous-vide, maintaining water bath at 74°F, 72 hours; remove from water bath; reserve.

Beets:

  • 2 cups malt vinegar
  • 5 1/4 Tbsps. granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 7 oz. red beets
  • 7 oz. yellow beets
  • 7 oz. pink beets
  1. Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seeds, and bay leaf to a boil in a saucepan; remove from heat; place pickling liquid in airtight container; cool; cover; reserve in refrigerator.

  2. Place beets in large pot; cover with water; bring to a boil; season with salt; cook until beets are soft when pierced with a knife; remove from heat; drain; cool beets slightly; peel; chop into wedges; place in airtight container; cover with reserved pickling liquid; reserve in refrigerator 2 to 3 days.

Assembly:

  • 4 lg. duck eggs
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsps. white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cups canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. tarragon, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. gherkins, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. capers, chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • watercress (for garnish)
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil plus more for watercress
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  1. Place eggs in a pot; cover with water; bring to a boil; cook 8 minutes; remove from heat; drain; place eggs under cold running water; peel; separate yolks from whites; chop egg whites; reserve.

  2. Place yolks, mustard, and vinegar in a blender; with motor running, gradually add canola oil; blend until emulsified; place mixture in a bowl; stir in egg whites, herbs, gherkins, and capers; season.

  3. Place watercress in a bowl; drizzle with a little olive oil; reserve.

  4. To serve, cut brisket into 1" slices; heat olive oil and butter in a skillet; add beef; cook until brown and crispy; flip; cook on other side until brown and crispy; remove from heat; spoon some gribiche on each serving plate; push slightly away in center with the back of a spoon to create a small well on each plate; fill with a few wedges of beets and some watercress; place a few beef slices on top.

What to drink: Meantime Chocolate Porter, Meantime Brewery, Greenwich, England