Saturday, February 14, 2015

Failure is Not an Option - The Recipe for Phoenix Corned Beef Hash

And I shall call it "Phoenix".  You know the mystical corned beef brisket that arose from its ashes ... but first, a word from Morgan Freeman -

February 12 - Today is the day after I declared I was going to beat this thing.  So far, I got up, I got dressed, I drank coffee and I headed to court.  I did both of my scheduled morning trials.  I did not throw a chair at anybody.  And in just a few moments I am heading back for the remaining court appearances.

Everything was going okay.  I stopped when I had to.  I explained my situation to the judge, and she granted me permission to stay seated.  I used my cane, and it helped.  I took the new medication.  The Gabapentin, which is supposed to help with the pain, seemed to help.

And then, because I had been advised by my doctor's office to try the Mirtazapine again, this time with food, I did exactly that.  Took it at night, along with the Hydroxyzine and another Gabapentin.  Got into bed, tried to do some reading, felt woozy in a bad way and must have fallen asleep.  The next thing I knew, I was on the floor next to my bed, and Rob was asking me if I wanted him to call 911.  I had great trouble communicating with him.  I must have fallen asleep again because after that I remember nothing.

Friday the 13th - Come the morning, after stumbling about, unsteady on my feet, I asked Rob what happened.  He said "you tried to get up to go to the bathroom but you collapsed and the slid out of bed, between the bed and night table."  Apparently, and embarrassingly, I also urinated on myself, something I haven't done since I was potty-trained 58 years ago.  Rob managed to help me back onto the bed, and I fell asleep.  Throughout this, I remember trying to speak, but having trouble forming sentences.  I guess that qualifies as incoherent.

I am assuming it was the Mirtazapine, combined with my other medication, but I'm a lawyer, not a doctor, and it could have been a small stroke for all I know.  Right now I am perfectly worthless, a foggy mess, who made it into work wearing my longest skirt which has gotten longer since the weight fell off of me.  The only reason I went in is because I had a shelter hearing - it was all staffed and agreed yesterday, and I had arranged for my 9:00 case plan conference to be covered, and I get to the office ready to review the petition, only to discover they decided not to shelter because blah blah blah.  The last time the PIs did that on one of my cases, the child died and everyone got fired except for me.  And that's all I'm going to say about that, except I was already there so I stuck around and did some work.

Bottom line here is that I am not taking the frakking Mirtapazine, and right now I'm holding the Gabapentin and Hydroxyzine in abeyance until that chemically-induced weirdness departs my poor, frail body.

Tonight, Rob decided on corned beef hash for dinner, so I offered to heat it up for him in a pan with some eggs.  You've got to eat corned beef hash with eggs - I think it's a law or something.  That reminded me that I'd meant to write down the recipe, such as it was, for you and for me.  What started as an abject failure - heck, I overcooked that sucker by 3 hours - turned into an enormous success.  I'm not saying you have to overcook the corned beef and potatoes to achieve a great dinner, but if you do, it apparently doesn't matter.  Pretty cool, eh?

Into a 6 quart crockpot, add the following ingredients in order given:

8 small red potatoes, halved or quartered if a little larger
1 carrot, sliced
1 small onion, large dice
2 tablespoons butter, cut up
black pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
dried rosemary
dried thyme
smoked paprika
About 3 pounds corned beef brisket (these come in cryovac)
contents of spice packet (not all corned beef come with one, don't worry either way)
1 - 14 oz. can beef broth
equal amount water
1 - 12 oz. bottle beer (this is optional, just replace with more water)
4 cloves garlic, slightly cracked
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup orange blossom honey, drizzled over the top

Cook on High for 5-6 hours, turning the corned beef over twice.  When it's done, remove the corned beef, potatoes, carrots and onions from the liquid in the crock, place into an (all together now) aluminum baking tin, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

To make the hash:

2-3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 bag frozen tri-color peppers with onions
kosher salt, coarsely ground black pepper

First, move the corned beef to a cutting board.  Chop and /or shred it into bite-sized pieces.  Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.  Cook the sliced onions, lowering the heat if necessary to prevent burning, until tender and sweet.  Add the cooked potatoes, carrots and onions, cook and stir until the potatoes get a little crusty. Add the frozen vegetables, and continue to cook and stir until softened.  Finally, add the chopped corned beef, and stir well to throughly combine with all the ingredients in the skillet.  Cook over medium until the corned beef is heated through (don't let it dry out.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve with a couple of sunny-side up or poached eggs on top.  The yolks should be nice and runny, so that when you break them with your fork, they form a rich and unctuous sauce over the hash.

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