Making your own Corned Beef is a wonderful way to prepare a Brisket without all the added chemicals. It is fairly easy, but does take forethought because of the brining time, but worth it. A couple of things to note: this corned beef will most likely be less salty than a commercially prepared version. It will also be darker in color as it does not have the added chemical (Salt Peter -potassium nitrate or Sodium Nitrite) which would keep the meat, "pink". You will sometimes see," Pink curing salt", listed in some recipes.
· 2 quarts water
· 1 cup kosher salt (I use Celtic sea salt)
· 1/2 cup brown sugar
· 1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
· 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
· 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
· 8 whole cloves
· 8 whole allspice berries or 1 tsp ground allspice
· 12 whole juniper berries
· 2 bay leaves, crumbled
· 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
· 2 pounds ice
· 1 (4 to 5 pound) Miles Smith Farm beef brisket, trimmed
· 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
· 1 teaspoon ground allspice
· 2 bay leaves
· 2 teaspoons salt
· 1 pound diced carrots, approximately 8 small
· 1 pound diced onions, approximately 3 small
· 2 pound potatoes peeled and chopped, approximately 3 medium
· 1/2 pound diced celery, approximately 4 stalks
· 1 head cabbage, chopped, approximately 2-3 pounds
Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a large glass jar or crock or large zip top plastic bag and add the brine. If using a jar or crock make sure the meat stays below the liquid. You can weigh down a bowl inside the jar to 'push' the meat below the liquid line. If using a plastic bag, seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place either container in the refrigerator for 8-10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.
After 8-10 days, remove from the brine and rinse. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot, potatoes and celery and cover with water by 1-inch. Add seasonings.
To cook on the stove: Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Add Cabbage 30 minutes before done. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.
For Crock pot: Add all ingredients but cabbage and cook on low for 8 hours. Add cabbage for last 45 min to 1 hour.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: approximately 3 hours (6-8 in crock pot)
Inactive Prep Time: 10 days