I nearly began this post with the picture of the Corned Beef Casserole I cooked on Tuesday night, but decided it might put people off from reading any further.
Recently I bought two old cookbooks from a second hand bookshop. One of them was an American book, first printed in 1942.
I decided to go for Corned Beef Casserole because I already had most of the ingredients and would just need a tin of corned beef. My mum used to make Corned Beef Casserole but it was completely different to the one in this book: it had corned beef, baked beans and potatoes in it and it was one of my favourite dinners as a child. This version of Corned Beef Casserole, however, contains the following:
4 cups cooked rice
2 cups cubed cooked or canned corned beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 No. 2 can (or 2 1/2 cups cooked) tomatoes (no idea what a "no. 2 can" is, so I just used a standard 400g tin of tomatoes)
1 tsp salt
Few grains pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Now, first things first, I can't deal with working in cups. This tends to be why I avoid American recipes. We have cup measures, but I don't understand in my head how much each thing is, so I can't visualise what 2 cups of corned beef looks like, unlike when I work in grams or litres etc. I can even work in pounds and ounces better than I can work in cups. Cups give me a headache. Especially when they ask for something like "1/4 cup chopped onion". Why can't it just say 1 small onion or something? That makes much more sense to me.
Secondly, 1 tsp of salt when you're already using salty canned corned beef is an awful lot. I would never normally put that much salt in any of my cooking, but for the purposes of the "experiment", I did. I could feel my arteries shrivelling in horror as I did it.
Everything was put into a casserole dish (for some reason you were meant to put alternate layers of rice and beef and then mixed the rest of the ingredients and pour over the top) and then cooked for 30 minutes. Here was the result:
It tasted like ass. It was so salty, I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth for hours after eating some of it. I served it with some nice bread and butter and we both agreed that the bread and butter was tastier than the dinner. The dinner tasted of corned beef and salt. If you like those two things, go ahead and cook this. If, however, you are sane and have tastebuds, please don't put yourself through the trauma.