What is pressed beef?

What is pressed beef?

I received an email asking What is pressed beef?

Pressed beef is either a luncheon loaf for sandwiches or as a spread for sandwiches depending on what recipe you use, for example.

Pressed beef

2 lbs Beef (inexpensive cut)
1 Meaty soup bone
1 Onion, peeled & quartered
1 Carrot, quartered
1 Bay leaf
1 tsp Salt
Water to cover
1 tbsp Mixed whole pickling spices
– tied in cheesecloth bag
1 can Beef consomme or
Rich beef stock
3 tbsp Unflavored gelatin

Blade steaks, blade roast, cross rib roast and stewing beef are all suitable cuts. Place beef (bones, fat and all) into a large, heavy stockpot with the soup bone, onion, carrot, bay leaf and salt.
Cover with cold water and bring to the boil, uncovered.
Skim off any foam and cook two hours or more (until beef falls off the bone).
Cover pot; let stand in a cool place overnight to solidify fat.
Next day, skim off and discard fat, along with carrots, onions and bay leaf.
Remove meat from bones and discard bones.
Shred beef with a knife.
Return shredded meat to stock in the pot; place over high heat.
Add pickling spices (tied in bag) and let come to a boil.
Add consomme.
Once stock is boiling, add gelatin.
Stir and let simmer another 1 minute.
Spoon stock plus beef into a large mold or ceramic bowl (or two smaller ones) and let sit in refrigerator, several hours or overnight.
Good with hot mustard, salt and pepper.
Keeps well, refrigerated, 1 week.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Spread on hot buttered toast, this protein-rich snack is ideal for chilled skiers or skaters.

Pressed Beef

Take a 6 1/2 pound lightly larded brisket. Prick with a large larding needle and soak the meat in brine for 8-10 days, depending on the season (brine penetrates the meat more quickly in the summer).
The meat must be completely submerged and it is advisable to use a weighted board to achieve this. Just before cooking, wash the meat in cold water. If more than one mould is used, then cut the meat into pieces to fit them. Cook in water until tender with some carrots, cut into pieces. Place the meat in square molds, each covered with a small weighted board. When the meat is quite cold, turn it out of the moulds and coat with several layers of meat aspice, colouring reddish brown by adding caramel and red food colouring. This provides the meat with a strong protective coating that retards deterioration. To serve, cut into thin slices and garnish with fresh parsley. Or, make into sandwiches.

Recipe From: Larousse Gastronomique

The Brine

5 pounds (6 1/4 c) coarse salt
5 ounces saltpeter
11 ounces (1 3/4 c) brown sugar
a sprig of thyme
a bay leaf
12 juniper berries
12 peppercorns
5 1/2 quarts of water

Place all in a big stockpot, bring to a boil and let boil a few minutes, turn off heat, then leave to become cold. Use for the pressed beef and follow directions.

Recipe From: Larousse Gastronomique

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