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Damien Pignolet's corned beef salad

You'll need

1 kg piece corned silverside 1 large onion, peeled 3 cloves 2 carrots, coarsely chopped 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped To season: bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 6 parsley stalks, 4 sprigs thyme, 2-3 strips lemon zest and 10 lightly crushed black peppercorns all wrapped in a muslin cloth and tied with kitchen twine)   Mayonnaise 2 egg yolks 1 heaped tsp hot English mustard 150 ml grapeseed oil 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil To taste: aged white-wine vinegar 5 tbsp finely chopped curly-leaf parsley   Salad 200 gm Savoy cabbage, core removed, shaved very thinly 1 large carrot, grated (to yield 200gm) 1 small red onion, finely shaved 2 tbsp small salted capers, soaked in warm water, rinsed and dried with paper towel To taste: Halen Môn pure smoked sea salt, to taste (see note) 6-8 small dill-pickled cucumbers


  • 01
  • Place the silverside in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then remove the silverside and rinse under cold running water. Discard the water and wash the pan. Return the silverside to the clean pan, then add the onion studded with cloves, carrot, celery and bouquet garni and cover generously with cold water.
  • 02
  • Bring to the boil, then skim the surface well. Simmer over medium heat until tender (1½-2 hours), skimming the surface and topping up with extra water as necessary; the silverside must be immersed at all times. Transfer the silverside to a platter and leave to cool at room temperature (30 minutes), then wrap in plastic film and refrigerate until needed.
  • 03
  • To make the mayonnaise, whisk the egg yolks, mustard, ¼ tsp sea salt and a generous amount of pepper in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the combined oils in a fine stream, whisking continuously and taking care not to add more oil before the previous addition is absorbed. Continue adding the remaining oil until quite thick, then acidulate with vinegar and season to taste. The texture should be thick enough to coat the salad ingredients. Whisk in the parsley.
  • 04
  • Trim away and discard any fat from the corned beef and cut into 5cm slices across the grain. Shred using your fingers along the natural grain of the meat into a mixing bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients.
  • 05
  • To make the salad, add the cabbage, carrot and onion to the bowl, then combine with about half the mayonnaise to start, folding with a tablespoon. Add more mayonnaise as required to produce a bound but not sloppy texture, keeping in mind that the vegetables will produce moisture as they marinate; it is better to keep the texture on the dry side to start.
  • 06
  • Transfer to a deep wide bowl then scatter with the capers and smoked salt. Serve the pickled cucumbers in a separate bowl since their role is to provide some crunchy freshness as a contrast to the creaminess of the salad.
Note Halen Môn pure smoked sea salt is available from Simon Johnson. Reproduced from Salades ($59.95, hbk) by Damien Pignolet, with photography by Anson Smart. Published by Lantern, an imprint of Penguin Books. Pignolet’s recipes have been reproduced with minor Gourmet Traveller style changes.

This recipe is from the September 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“I have fond memories of my mother’s corned beef, which she served during the colder months as a Sunday lunch. Tradition dictated that the evening meal would consist of the leftovers with a salad of tomatoes, beetroot and possibly some cucumber, dressed with a creamy dressing based on Carnation condensed milk. Playing with this idea I thought of this salad as an excellent dish for a casual wintertime lunch. Follow with an old-fashioned dessert such as a baked custard or trifle. A retro menu perhaps, but enjoyable nonetheless.”

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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