1000 grams [35 oz/2.2 lb] beef. -- I prefer a bone-in rib cut and ask the butcher to corn it. It's best to order it a week in advance.
4 mid-sized, peeled onions
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon full of black peppercorns
100 grams [3.5 oz] lard
1200 grams [42 oz/2.5 lb] potatoes
4 small or 2 large salt-pickled cucumbers [kosher salt pickles]
4 vinegar-pickled cucumbers [sour pickles]
1 tiny pinch of nutmeg
1 jar of pickled red beets, store-bought -- making them from scratch isn't worth the trouble
5 young herring [salt-pickled herring filets] -- Kuttermatjes ["trawler matjes"] tastes the best -- you recognize it by their tails being connected to each other -- but Bismarck herring [herring filet pickled in vinegar with mustard seeds] may be used as substitute
Briefly wash the corned beef, and barely cover it with water. Add the onion, the cloves, the bay leaves and the peppercorns, and allow to simmer for two hours.
Meanwhile, peel, cook and mash the potatoes. Instead of milk, add some of the meat cooking liquid to it.
When the meat is cooked, chop it very finely. Or better still, put it through a meat grinder in coarse mode. That way is the simplest. Still simpler and also cheaper is adding a can of corned beef to the mix. I have been known to do that when I was in a hurry. But each time my husband noticed and asked [in German], "So it's the convenient version today, is it?" Well, sure that ought to be a bit of a difference as far as the flavor is concerned.
Dice three onions and cook them in the lard until translucent, then put through the grinder together with the coarsely diced meat, one young herring filet, one small salt pickle, one vinegar pickle, and five slices of red beet.
Add a bit of freshly ground pepper and a very small amount of nutmeg to taste. Add some salt if needed, but most of the time it has enough salt because of the corned meat and the cooking liquid.
Arrange on a large plate. Served with some young herring or Bismarck herring filet on the side and a few slices of pickles and a few slices of red beet along the edge of the plate, it is a sight for sore eyes.
Put a fried egg on top of each serving to crown the dish.