Corned beef is a great staple to keep in your larder. There are so many things you can do with it and most of it is quick and easy. Slice it, fry it in a pan and serve with fries, make corned beef hash, or a corned beef and onion pie, put it cold in sandwiches, or make a corned beef and corn casserole.
However, it usually comes in a large tin and you might not want to use it all at once. When the can is opened, it only lasts for three to five days in the fridge, so can you freeze it so it lasts longer? The simple answer is yes, you can, and in this article, we will tell you how to do this.
How To Freeze Corned Beef
1. Wrap the corned beef.
Take the corned beef out of the can. You mustn’t freeze the corned beef in the can as the beef will expand when frozen and the can may burst. Anyway, cans of corned beef have a very long shelf life so there is no point in freezing it in the can.
If you think you won’t use all of the corned beef in one go, cut it into slices and wrap each slice in a sheet of tin foil. In this way, you will be able to remove just as many slices as you need. Wrap each slice tightly to prevent freezer burn. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of the corned beef.
2. Put the corned beef in a freezer bag.
Squeeze out all the air to prevent freezer burn. Put a label on the bag with the date you put it in the freezer and the contents.
How To Freeze Corned Beef Hash
Corned beef hash is a delicious comforting winter dish. It is a hash of potatoes, onions, and corned beef with a touch of Worcestershire sauce. The good news is that if you cook too much you can freeze the leftovers, or you can cook up a big batch and divide it into portions. You will then have meals for the future that won’t take much time and effort after a hard day at work. This is how to freeze corned beef hash:
1. Cool down the corned beef hash.
Make sure that the corned beef hash has completely cooled down. You don’t want to put warm food in the freezer as it will bring the temperature up and other food may spoil. You also shouldn’t leave the corned beef hash at room temperature for longer than two hours as after this time, bacteria can start to develop. To speed up the process, take the corned beef hash out of the dish and put it in a cold bowl.
2. Put the corned beef hash in a freezer bag or airtight container.
If you want to portion it into meal-size portions, put them into separate bags or containers. Squeeze out the air from the freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Put labels on the bags or containers with the date frozen and the contents.
Tips For Freezing Corned Beef
- Never freeze corned beef in the can. However, if you purchase your corned beef in a vacuum-sealed bag, you can freeze it as it is.
- Slice the corned beef so that you can remove just as many slices as you need. This will save on waste. Divide corned beef hash or corned beef pie into meal-size portions.
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags to avoid freezer burn.
- Although you may take a corned beef dish out of its tray to cool it down, you can put it back in to freeze. This will stop textural changes from happening.
For How Long Can You Freeze Corned Beef?
You can freeze corned beef, corned beef hash, corned beef pie, and corned beef casserole for up to three months. After this time, the taste and texture of the corned beef will deteriorate.
How Do You Defrost Corned Beef?
The best way to defrost corned beef slices is slow and steady in the fridge. Put them in the night before you want to use them. If the slices are very thin, you can add them straight into your dish but there will be extra moisture. This added liquid may ruin your dish.
It is best to defrost a corned beef dish in the fridge overnight and then reheat it. This helps it retain taste, texture, and nutrients.
Can You Refreeze Corned Beef?
No, you can’t. You need to use the corned beef or corned beef dish within a couple of days of defrosting. Make sure that you keep it in the fridge until you cook it. Processed meats shouldn’t be refrozen because every time you refreeze, ice crystals form and when you come to defrost the item, it can end up mushy. It can also cause bacteria to form and you could risk getting food poisoning.
Is It a Good Idea To Freeze Corned Beef and Corned Beef Dishes?
Yes, the taste of corned beef remains the same although you might notice a slight textural change. It can be a little softer after it has been frozen but it still heats up just as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing corned beef but in case you are still curious, we have answered a couple of questions here.
Is it easy to freeze corned beef and vegetable pie?
Yes, it is. Both pastry and vegetables freeze well. However, although vegetables and pastry freeze well for much longer than corned beef, you should only freeze the pie for a maximum of three months otherwise the meat will start to deteriorate in taste and texture. It is a good idea to freeze the pie in the original dish. Wrap the pie in aluminum foil and put it in a freezer bag. Squeeze out all the air from the bag to prevent freezer burn.
What can I serve with corned beef?
Traditionally, cabbage and mashed potatoes are served with corned beef. Other vegetables that go well are carrots, parsnips, and turnips. You could serve corned beef hash with baked beans and corned beef pie with fries.