Chief McKernan’s Corned Beef with Honey Mustard Glaze

In this article we will explore a recipe with a hint of Irish origins. Before you go find the newest Irish member of your crew, wait and continue reading. Chief Mike McKernan, who submitted this recipe, says he and his crew found it at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade Party, and the person who shared it with them was not Irish! They thought it was some of the best corned beef they had ever tasted so, in true fire crew style, they began working on the recipe. After some trial and error, they got it to taste just right. It is now our good fortune to be saved from the trial and error because Chief McKernan is sharing it with us. 

Chief Mike McKernan, originally from Pawcatuck, Connecticut, is a member of Ledyard Fire Company, District No.1 in Ledyard, Connecticut. The department is comprised of two career and 28 volunteer firefighters who work out of one station. Chief McKernan was given the nickname “Turtle” because he was slow getting to a fire (I’m guessing it happened one time years ago). He works as a Marine pipefitter for Electric Boat –“Builders of the World’s Finest Submarines.”  

Chief McKernan says the recipe is easy to prepare and costs around $20.00. The Fargo Station 1 “B” Shift crews made this recipe. True to “B” Shift style, they added their own flare by slicing it thin, putting it on marbled rye bread, and eating the corned beef as sandwiches. On the side they added homemade coleslaw and mashed potatoes. Chief McKernan will be happy to know that everyone loved it, and there wasn’t a single complaint, which is very impressive with sometimes tough fire crew judges (eaters).

Corned Beef with Honey Mustard Clove Glaze
3-4 lbs. Hummel corned beef brisket or point cut (use a good-quality corned beef)
1 jar Grey Poupon stone ground mustard
1/2 cup+ honey
Whole cloves or ground cloves
Note: When using whole cloves, remove the cloves after cooking, unless your guests realize they can eat the clove, but most won’t eat it.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Boil corned beef in Dutch oven to 155 to 160º.
Remove from water (reserve water for potatoes and carrots).
Place corned beef in aluminum foil envelope. Place envelope in baking dish.
Mix mustard, honey, and cloves together to make a sauce.
Pour source over corned beef and bake until 180º.
Ease of preparation: Easy.
Time: About 1 hour boiling and about 1 hour cooking in oven.
Cost: About $20.00 (about $3.50 per person for the corned beef).
Feeds: Around six firefighters. 

Download the recipe as a PDF HERE.

* I would like to add a follow-up to one of our former submitters, Dan Rinaldi of Providence, RI. Dan was one of three finalists in the New England Patriots Tailgate Cook-Off at Gillette Stadium on October 2. The event was judged by professional chefs. Although Dan didn’t win this year, it is very impressive to be a finalist. Dan says he has already started on a recipe for next year. Congratulations, Dan! 

I am always looking for more recipes. Please share your creations with other firefighters by sending in your favorite recipe. Each article contains a quick introduction to those submitting the recipe, their department, their recipe, and any stories that may surround the legendary dishes. Send recipes and photos of the finished dishes to Please also include your name and e-mail address. 

Eat together when you are able, and stay safe out there.

Craig Nelson has been in the fire service for nine years, working as a volunteer, paid-on-call, and a full-time firefighter/EMT. He works for the Fargo (ND) Fire Department and works part-time at Minnesota State Community and Technical College–Moorhead as a fire instructor. He also works seasonally for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a wildland firefighter in Northwest Minnesota. Previously, he was an airline pilot. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in executive fire service leadership.

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