mim’s good old fashioned corned beef silverside

I know there are a lot of people out there that turn their noses up at corned beef. You might have memories of eating some poorly made stringy corned beef back in the day; whether that be at school or at a grandparents house. And if you’re one of those people – I’ll tell you what – give corned beef another go. You haven’t had corned beef until you’ve tasted my Mim’s recipe!

A regular staple in many a household for decades, corned beef has come back in to popularity again in Australia due to the New York Ruben sandwich that so many trendy cafes offer these days. My goal is to make corned beef cool again – and I don’t mean by slapping it between two pieces of rye bread and smothering it in sauerkraut.

Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 11.25.37 amImage courtesy of www.seriouseats.com

I’m talking about serving up corned beef the traditional way – with a delicious white onion sauce and steamed vegetables. It really does make for a delicious family meal. Affordable, easy and comforting, a little goes a long way and it’s a fabulous recipe to have up your sleeve for a busy and growing family.

The white onion sauce I make is basically just a regular white sauce (where you melt butter and then add flour to make a roux, whisking in milk) but with some sautéed onions added. I add a teaspoon of horseradish cream too which is divine! It goes perfectly with the corned beef and takes the meal to another level.

So let’s turn back time and take a leaf out of our grandparents’ book. Cork Daddy said last night that this was one of the best meals I’ve ever cooked for him! Big call!

Just proves again that often the best recipes are the simplest. This is good, country style, home cooking at it’s best. Definitely not a dish to turn your nose up at.

Be sure to check out Lo’s tips below too. 









Lo’s tips

  • Corned beef can be bought already cured in brine, in a cryovac’ed pack from most supermarkets and butchers.
  • What’s the difference between corned beef and silverside? Well basically they’re the same thing – just a different cut of beef. Corned beef is traditionally made using the brisket, an inexpensive cut of meat that is perfect when slow cooked. Silverside is made using topside which has slightly less fat.
  • You can buy a 1.5 kilo piece of corned beef in a cryovac’ed pack from Aldi for $12!
  • Make sure that you cook the meat over a slow simmer after bringing it to the boil. It will result in the meat being really tender and not tough – Don’t boil the meat over a too high heat!
  • How long does it take to cook? The general rule is about 30 minutes per 500 grams of corned beef. I cook mine slightly longer. It will depend on how big the piece of meat is and how big the pot is.
  • You can tell if it’s cooked by sticking a fork in to the corned beef and you should be able to break the meat up easily.
  • I like my corned beef carved very finely.
  • There’s nothing better than a cold corned beef sanga for lunch the next day too!
  • Because it’s already been salted in the curing process, you don’t need anymore salt in the cooking process.
  • What’s the bi-carb soda for you might ask? It saves the colour of the meat and helps it tenderise. Mim’s mum – Evelyn always added it, hence why it’s included here.


mim’s good old fashioned corned beef

1.5 kilo piece of corned beef
1/4 cup of brown vinegar or apple cider vinegar
4 x cloves
The peel from one orange
1 x heaped tablespoon of brown sugar
1 x teaspoon of bi-carb soda
1 x teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
Steamed veggies and boiled chat potatoes, to serve
White onion sauce, to serve

white onion sauce

2 x tablespoons of butter
1 x heaped tablespoon of plain flour
2 x cups of milk
1 x small brown onion, finely diced
1 x teaspoon of horseradish cream
Salt and white pepper
Dried parsley flakes

  • Take the meat out of the packaging and rinse under cold water (this is to remove the excess salt from the brine). Simply place the meat in a large mixing bowl and cover with tap water. Leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the meat from the water and place it in a large heavy based saucepan (that has a lid).
  • Add the vinegar, cloves, orange peel, brown sugar, bi-carb soda and peppercorns to the saucepan. Pour in enough water so that the meat is just about covered.
  • Pop the lid on and bring to the boil over a high heat.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to a very low simmer and let it cook on the stovetop for 1 1/2 -2 hours.
  • Once you’re happy that the meat is cooked to your liking, turn the heat off and take the saucepan off the heat. Let the meat rest in the water for 30 minutes.
  • Reserve the meat on to a plate, covering with foil and a clean tea towel until ready to carve.
  • To make the white sauce – in a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the onions. Cook until softened, stirring constantly. Add the flour and stir until it has coated the onions and the flour has been cooked off (work quickly here). Next, while whisking, slowly pour the milk in until it thickens and starts resembling a nice thick white sauce. NB: Be careful not to have the heat up too high. Add the horseradish cream and sprinkle in some parsley. Season with salt and pepper.


If you make this corned beef, please leave your comments below. xx


  1. Corned beef is a favourite in our house but I’ve never done the orange peel – this was our best corned beef yet! Thank you! Also threw a sprinkle of parmesan in the sauce, mmmmm x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Isabel, apparently it saves the colour of the meat and helps it tenderise. Mim’s mum (my great grandma) Evelyn always added it, hence why it’s included here. Xx


    1. Hello!! Yes, totally. Corned beef and silverside are basically the same thing. My grandma always used silverside- which is a different cut of beef/ it comes from the topside. Corned beef is made from
      Beef brisket which has slightly more fat. Go with whatever you can get your hands on. Sorry if I’ve confused you! 🤣


      1. I’m originally from the United States and all I ever knew was Corned Beef. It is always from the brisket; there is the flat cut which is meatier and the point cut which has a lot more fat. I never even heard of Silverside until I came here; the term is never used in the US. From what you wrote in your reply, I realize that Silverside is from the part of the cow where, in America, we get the rump roast and bottom round. You did not confuse me at all, you’ve actually been helpful for me to learn the difference in the meat cut names and have encouraged me to try something new. My partner, who grew up in Australia, says he has never been able to tell the difference between Silverside and Corned Beef when prepared with the same recipe. Tomorrow I’ll be making your recipe with Silverside and next week I’ll try it with Corned Beef. I’m excited!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your silverside corned beef recipe came out wonderful. It certainly is delicious. I followed it just as you wrote it. And I could not tell the difference between that cut and the American corned beef cut. The main difference (besides American corned beef coming from the brisket area), is that the US corned beef has a lot more fat (which I unfortunately love); silverside seems to be a healthier alternative. I especially loved your White Onion Sauce, very tasty. I had a lot left over and used it as a base for several of the cream based soups I like to make (potato mushroom and celery leek) and that sauce really added a nice flavor to both. Very pleased. Thanks so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi can corned beef be cooked in the pressure cooker or is it better slow cooked
    I had to giggle at 65 years of age i learned that silverside and corned beef are not the same thing lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Wilma,
      Thank you so much for the message. Sorry for my tardy reply. Do you know what, I don’t actually own a pressure cooker and have never used one. I’m sure you could use it for corned beef though. I’m glad you were able to get a giggle out of that. My grandma, Mim, introduced me to all things meat. xx


  4. It is St Patrick’s day today and I’ll be making your corned beef again with its wonderful sauce. it’s interesting that at Woolie’s now there is only one package type sold, labeled Corned Beef Silverside. In the past Woolies sold silverside and corned beef in separate packages, as different products. The silverside was always the smaller and less fatty, but they tasted the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much for the message! How interesting that Woolies have started doing that. And thanks for the reminder. I haven’t made my Mim’s corned beef in ages!


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