Hola mi gente! Boy, do I have a ridiculously awesome recipe breakthrough for you! I can hardly sit still as I write this, I’m so excited to share it! But first, some background information. For those unfamiliar with Puerto Rican cuisine, we are all about good old fashioned comfort food. Something about my mother’s Puerto Rican cooking just warms my soul. Food is family, and this dish in particular, reminds me of home. It’s one of those oldies, but goodies.
Canned corned beef is definitely a Puerto Rican pantry staple, so much so, that in 2011, when a huge recall completely disrupted the island’s supply, people just about went nuts. Canned corned beef = gold in a can. It’s crazy, maybe, but believe me, I get it. There’s just no substitute for this stuff. Regular deli sliced corned beef just won’t cut it. You need the canned stuff. This stuff, while being delish, happens to be a calorie ridden, fat and sodium gut bomb. Just check out these stats below…
Crazy, huh? 6 servings per can!? HA! That’s a hilarious joke. Maybe 3 if you’re lucky. So you can understand my hesitation to make this dish on the regular. I’d like for my husband and I to live long, healthy, productive lives, so adding this to our regular diet just didn’t seem practical, or smart, for that matter. Notice my use of past tense…? Well here’s the thing, I’VE UNLOCKED THE CODE TO GUILT FREE CARNE BIF! Don’t believe me? Check this out.
Here’s the corned beef, out of the can. Pretty tasty looking stuff, huh? Yeah…no. It’s not a good sign when the can starts dripping oil as you pry it open. Plop out the rectangular glob, and you’ll see it covered in a layer of fat. No bueno. Plus it’s practically pickled in salt. Both of those things have got to go. But how, you ask? Allow me…
Mash up your corned beef with a potato masher, or fork. Point is, you want to break it up, cuz we’re about to…
Boil it! Yes, you heard me right. By boiling the corned beef for a minute or two, you are purging it of all the fat and salt trapped in the meat. Think of how we remove the salt from salt cod (bacalao). It’s basically the same principal. By boiling, we’re removing the excess salt and impurities so we end up with nice, clean, ready to season corned beef. So plop that blob into the boiling water.
Stir it up, making sure to break up all the clumps. Once it’s been in the water for a minute or 2, you’re ready to…
Drain! Your corned beef is now purged, clean and ready to flavor with some deliciousness. Let’s make some Carne Bif!
12 ounce can corned beef (see above)
1 tablespoon oil, preferably extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Sofrito
¼ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons alcaparrado (Goya Olive & Red Pepper Mix)
1½ packets Goya Sazon con achiote
½ tsp Goya Adobo Seasoning
salt & pepper
1/2 cup water
1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
Heat your oil in a pan on medium heat, and add your sofrito.
Saute the sofrito until fragrant, but make sure it doesn’t start to brown. This should take a minute or two.
Add in your squeaky clean corned beef.
Next, add your Adobo, Sazon & tomato sauce.
Stir in your seasonings, and add your water. You may need to add a bit more or less, you want the mixture to be very loose and the corned beef to be suspended in the liquid. No clumps.
Next, add in the alcaparrado mixture, and salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Stir again.
Lastly, stir in your corn! I happened to have some fresh ears of Jersey corn, so of course, I used that. You can use fresh, frozen or canned (and yes, in that order)! Remember, better ingredients, better final product.
Now just stir it up, cover with a lid and allow the flavors to combine for 5-10 minutes.
Then you’re ready to serve. Rice is a must for me, but you can serve over quinoa or couscous if you want to switch things up and get fancy, as my mother calls it. Just make sure you have a starch to soak up the delish sauce. Other traditional sides include a few slices of avocado, maybe some sweet plantains, or homemade french fries. This is good stuff. Buen Provecho!