Being Father’s Day I thought it would be good to share with you one of my Dad’s favorite things that I make. Corned Beef. Folks this is not just something to bring out on St. Patrick’s Day, this is good eating anytime of year. And once you learn to make your own, you will never buy one of those packaged ones from the meat case again.
Corned Beef is generally made from either the Point or the Flat cut of the Brisket.
When I make it I usually do both. I use the Flat for a traditional Corned Beef Meal, and the point I re season and smoke to make Pastrami. You will want to separate the muscles before you put them into the brine for ease of handling.
If you plan on making this, the first thing you will want to do is free up some real estate in your refrigerator. This will require the space of a pretty large pot or a 5 gallon bucket. If you are one of the fortunate ones that has an extra fridge in your garage or basement, Hooray, that makes it all the easier. This vessel that will contain the brine and beef will be taking up space for 10-14 days, so plan accordingly. You could also use 2 smaller vessels , with the point in one, and the flat in the other, if you find that to be more manageable.
Okay, now we have to talk about the vessel that will hold the brine, This MUST be a non-reactive material. Plastic is best for this. example of Non- reactive would be Ceramic or Stainless Steel.You will also want something you can get a good seal on the lid with.
What you will need to make the Brine:
2 Quarts Water
1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 tsp Mustard Seed
1 tsp Black Peppercorns
8 Whole Cloves
8 Allspice Berries
12 Juniper Berries
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp Ginger
About 1 1/2 lbs of Ice.
In a non reactive pot combine the water and all ingredients except the ice. Heat to a simmer and let cool somewhat. Add the ice and stir in until it melts. You want a liquid temp of around 45- 46 degrees here, so place the brine into your bucket and refrigerate if needed to get to this temp before adding the meat.
Place the meat into the brine and make sure it is completely submerged. weight it down if you must. a good way to do this is with a plate and a couple cans of vegetables sealed inside a ziploc bag. Put the lid on and make sure it is tight, and place into the fridge. Every couple of days, remove the lid and stir the brine and make sure the meat is still fully submerged.
After about 10 days remove the meat and rinse well. Put it into a pot and add some potatoes and carrots and cabbage if you wish. cover with water by about an inch and bring to a boil. turn down the heat to a simmer and cover loosely. Simmer for 2- 3 hours until the meat is fork tender and the veggies are soft. Slice the meat across the grain and serve with the veggies.
Cook from the heart, taste the love