Corned beef in Coke – Lucky or not?

Over the years I’ve gotten some great recipe ideas from the folks working in grocery stores. These souls have a special radar that detects the slightest hint of “I’m not sure how I’m going to cook this” crossing my mind. So, as they hand over the goods, they’ll  volunteer their favorite fixings.

I once got an terrific tip from a Whole Foods fishmonger for curried skate wing sauteed in butter with scallions and almonds. On the rare occasion I can find filleted skate, it’s the only way I make it.  And then there was the friendly cashier at my local PCC market who offered a simple way with fresh sole fillets — seared in a cast iron skillet, topped with crushed potato chips and some other ingredient I can’t recall off-hand and then zapped under the broiler for only seconds til brown and crispy.

Today’s tip at Trader Joe’s takes the cake. Gearing up for St. Patrick’s day, TJ’s has a case full of raw uncured corned beef roasts – no nitrates. “Oh, that looks soooo good,” commented the “bag lady” as she lifted a huge corned beef roast.  “I know, it’s huge. I get grief every year for lack of leftovers so I decided to supersize it this year.” I must have looked slightly uncertain at some level, because, sure enough, here it comes:

“I have THE BEST recipe for corned beef.  Cook it in the slow cooker with a can of Coke – real Coke, not Pepsi, not diet, real Coke. It’s so tender that way, unbelievable.”

I didn’t see her wink. No leprechauns hiding in the aisle. Hmmm, should I try my luck?

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