It hardly seems possible that another year has gone by. It seems like only yesterday I was looking forward to my first preservative free St. Patrick’s Day. Last year we had been preservative free for about six months when we faced the specter of making our own corned beef. It was a daunting proposition.
We really went into it blindly. Sure, we had been making our own bacon for a few months, but the idea of making a brand-new item, and one for which there hopefully would be great demand was almost overwhelming. At one point I even considered buying it from Whole Foods, but I soon rid myself of that silly idea and we got to work. Taste wise, the product was excellent. but the color was not bright pink like corned beef that is made with saltpeter, or sodium nitrate. Obviously, the thing we wanted to get rid of, being a preservative free restaurant, was the sodium nitrate.
Lucky for us, we didn’t hear any gripes or complaints about the color, once they had tasted it and the night, and in fact the whole week, went excellently and we sold out of all the product we had prepared. I knew we could do better though and shortly after the holiday last year we ran a trial batch and we doubled the amount of celery juice in our marinade. It worked like a charm and the resulting product turned out nicely pink. We are beginning to feel like professionals when it comes to corned beef.
Along the way, we worked on and made some Pastrami, which is corned beef that has been smoked. We really got it right and some of you out there know what a beautiful product that turned out to be. We were looking at it to be the filling for a late-night sandwich which in my mind would be available only at the bar and only after ten PM. But then then I saw how much work it was, and not everyone is a Pastrami fan, so I decided to go a shorter route and that is going to be a simple roast beef sandwich. It will be coming on soon, watch our posts for notification.
Jon noticed that we have been getting tables after the kitchen closed at ten, so we have decided to extend our kitchen hours again. We are not going back to midnight, but instead we are staying open till eleven now every night of the week except Sunday, when we will close the kitchen at nine. This reflects the fact that not that many people are looking for dinner after nine on Sunday evening. So, wherever you are, we are here to serve you real food until eleven at night. Don’t expect fine dining or leisurely service at this time of night because the kids have worked a long day and are anxious to go home but if you get here and order before eleven we will serve you anything on the menu.
We are going to begin serving corned beef Monday for the dinner service. We made up about forty more pounds more than we sold last year so we are hoping that we made enough to run the whole week. It is difficult to project how much we need because this week St. Pat’s is on a Saturday night, so we may run out on a certain night along the week to ensure that we have enough to get through Saturday without running out. You can call us at the restaurant and you can reserve an order of corned beef with a credit card over the phone, should you wish to guarantee your order to be available.
The hard part of this year is that it falls on Saturday. Because it does we have to kind of back time our supply. Its also a problem that we must pickle our entire batch of product in advance. Hopefully we have done our homework right and we can please everyone. In any event, have a great St. Pat’s day either here or wherever you choose to spend it.