Corned Beef Spices - What Spices are Used in Corned Beef?
Whether you are preparing corned beef on St. Patrick’s day or whether you generally like corned beef, you will find a quick introduction to all the corned beef spices that are used in the preparation of this yummy dish.
Many people wrongly assume that a corned beef recipe will contain corn. However, the “corn” in corned beef actually refers to salt rocks that are known as “corns”. Corned beef is a dish where the meat is cured with a pickling solution,containing the salt rocks mentioned above, and various other corned beef spices that are discussed below.
Corned beef spices – What are they?
Peppercorn – corned beef spices
This ingredient provides the slight heat or spiciness that is found in the corned beef dish. Peppercorn is actually a berry that is found in India. There are many different types of peppercorns and they are usually categorized according to their color, which can be black, green or white. The black peppercorn is what is used as corned beef spices. These corned beef spices are plucked when they are unripe and then allowed to dry in the sun. The heat from the sun ferments these peppercorns that then provides the unique hot flavor to the dish.
Bay leaves – corned beef spices
If you ever wondered how corned beef gets a slightly bitter taste, it is due to one of the corned beef spices that is known as the bay leaf. Bay leaf is actually a very common seasoning spice that is used in the preparation of soups and broths although they are a very important corned beef spice as well.
Allspice – corned beef spices
Allspice is one of those corned beef spices that provides the dish with a warm flavor that is not necessarily spicy. These corned beef spices are also commonly referred to as Jamaican peppers and they are actually berries that are plucked from a tree called the Pimento tree. This single berry has the ability to provide the flavors that are provided by cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, all put together.
Mace – corned beef spices
Mace is one of those corned beef spices that is an essential ingredient in the pickling sauce that is used to make corned beef. This spice is actually extracted from a nut that is found in Indonesia. It’s taste can be best described as something similar to that of a nutmeg. The only difference is that the mace spice is actually extracted from the skin that covers the nutmeg while the flavor from nutmeg comes from the crushed the nut itself.
Other spices that are used as corned beef spices – corned beef spices
Apart from the important spices mentioned above, there are also a few other spices that are primarily used to pickle the corned beef. Some of these other spices are cinnamon, cardamom and a few varieties of hot peppers, depending on the version of corned beef that is being made. Sometimes, one might be able to find spice packs that will combine all the corned beef spices into one packet, in correct proportions, for the sake of convenience for an amateur cook.