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Corned Beef

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi ! I have googled for the perfect corned beef with no success,
I would like to make it myself, instead of buying it in a tin, would
appreciate help !Thank you !
post #2 of 14
Do you mean corning the beef yourself, not cooking a piece of beef that's already been salted etc.?

I'm not sure if this yields the "perfect" corned beef (that would depend on the quality of the beef and how you feel about nitrates), but older versions of Joy of Cooking have a recipe. I'll paraphrase:

For a 5-pound piece of brisket, make a brine with 4 quarts hot water, 2 cups coarse salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons pickling spice, and 1 1/2 teaspoons saltpeter or sodium nitrate (to deter botulism and preserve the color). Let the brine cool, pour it over the meat in a nonreactive container. Add 3 cloves garlic. Weight the meat to keep it submerged and cover the container. Refrigerate for 3 weeks, turning the meat every 5 days.

The recipe doesn't say anything about how much fat to leave on or trim off.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
post #3 of 14

Here's another one

1 gallon/4 liters water
2 cups/450 grams kosher salt
1/2 cup/100 grams sugar
1 ounce/25 grams pink salt (5 teaspoons) (instacure #1)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons/20 grams Pickling Spice

1 5-pound/2.25-kilogram well-marbled (first-cut) beef brisket
2 tablespoons/20 grams Pickling Spice

Combine all the brine ingredients in a pot large enough to hold the brisket comfortably. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove the pot from heat and allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the brine until it's completely chilled.

Place the brisket in the brine and weight it down with a plate to keep it submerged. Refrigerate for 5 days.

Remove the brisket from the brine and rinse it thoroughly under cool running water.

Place the brisket in a pot just large enough to hold it and add enough water to cover the meat. Add the remaining pickling spice and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer gently fr about 3 hours, or until the brisket is fork-tender (there should always be enough water to cover the brisket; replenish the water if it gets too low).

Remove the corned beef from the cooking liquid. Slice the beef and serve warm, or cool, then wrap and refrigerate until you're ready to serve, or for up to a week.

You can make your own pickling spice too.

2 tablespoons/20 grams black peppercorns
2 tablespoons/20 grams mustard seeds
2 tablespoons/20 grams coriander seeds
2 tablespoons/12 grams hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons/14 grams allspice berries
1 tablespoon/8 grams ground mace
2 small cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken into pieces
24 bay leaves, crumbled
2 tablespoons/6 grams whole cloves
1 tablespoon/8 grams ground ginger

Lightly toast the peppercorns, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds in a small dry pan, then smash with the side of a knive just to crack them.

Combine the craced spices with the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Store in a tightly sealed plastic container or glass jar.
post #4 of 14

Corned Beef--Julia's Way

Although my mom would make home-cured corned beef in the traditional crock, submerging the meat in seasoned brine, we've had success with Julia Child's method that uses a large zip-type plastic bag. It's easy and takes very little space. You'll find the recipe (for both corned beef and corned pork) and details of the process in "Julia Child & Company", Knopf, 1978. (That book as well as its sequel has been printed in a single volume, but I'm not sure of the title.)

The pickle is pretty standard:

1-1/3 cups kosher salr
3 tbp sugar
1 tbp cracked peppercorns
2 tsp each powdered sage, paprika, and bay leaf

For beef she adds 1/2 cup each of minced rutabaga, onion, and carrot, plus two large cloves of garlic, minced

For pork she adds 2 tbp crushed juniper berries.

The cure (note there is no water) is rubbed into the meat which is sealed in a plastic bag, weighted, and refrigerated for a minimum of two weeks, with daily massages. Because there are no nitrates or nitrites, the meat turns out gray, not red.

The whole process reminds me a lot of making gravlax from salmon.
post #5 of 14
What about the corned beef that most people buy? My biggest qualm is that it's always way too salty. Is there a way to remove some of the salt? I was thinking, soaking the beef in regular water might draw some of the salt out, but I'm afraid it'll "de-brine" the meat as well. Any suggestions?
post #6 of 14
Simmer it in water. Use a very large pot with lots of water or change the water halfway through. You'll lose some flavor with the salt though.

By definition, this is a brined meat- it requires salt to do properly.
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post #7 of 14
I used to know a chef who used to carve the date into the brisket before curing, Always served a whole garlic pickle with every order, And the best Rye bread. Benji God bless you......................:chef:
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -

'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
One time a guy pulled a knife on me. I could tell it wasn't a professional job; it had butter on it.- Rodney Dangerfield -

'We're ALL amateurs; It's just that some of us are more professional about it than others'. - George Carlin
post #8 of 14
Not a suggestion so much as a question posed primarily for visitors who surf to this thread. Could you be looking for an alternative preparation for brisket rather than a recipe for corned beef. With St. Patricks Day grocery ads all featuring "Corned Beef Brisket" the distinction might be helpful.
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
just an old guy learning to live off his own cooking
post #9 of 14
Here's a thought....years ago I worked in a little gin mill in New Haven during hockey season(s) so I could satisfy my Hockey jones( LET'S GO NIGHTHAWKS ! ) and cook at the same was a rather worn establishment, but still had some respectability to it, especially among the judges and lawyers that frequented the place...I was, of course, required to pull a shift on Saint Paticks Day, no matter how I complained. Now, Saint Patrick's Day where you live might just be an excuse to "put on a clinic", but there it was a cross between Xmas Eve and the , as you can tell, the owner took his corned beef seriously....and THIS is how he made it :

Take your corned briskets, and briskets only, mind you, and give them a good rinse in cold water. Place them in a heavy-bottomed pot, cover them in cold water, and add the following:
Brown sugar,1# per brisket
Halved Chef Potatoes,2# per
Peeled quartered turnips, 1 ea. per
Peeled ,halved onions, 1 per
Pickling spice TT

Bring to a boil, cook 'til done. Remove briskets, strain stock, reserve. Toss the other junk. They've absorbed some salt. Dilute liquid with some Guiness, orange juice and water and use to cook your vegetables.

I couldn't possibly tell you how much salt is extracted by doing this, but it does help. Especially if there's some Guiness left over !

Dare I say.....Pogue Mahone !! IRELAND FOREVER
"Do sober what you said you'ld do drunk" - Ernest Hemingway
"Do sober what you said you'ld do drunk" - Ernest Hemingway
post #10 of 14
skilletlicker- I was referring to a different way of preparing the pre-packaged stuff, such as the ones Costco carries.

Irishchef- thanks a lot for the recipe. I'll give it a try this year. I was wondering, how much beer to juice to water do you generally use?
post #11 of 14
Just enough to flavor the's all personal taste...remember, it won't look very appetizing while you're making it, but it'll be worth it.
"Do sober what you said you'ld do drunk" - Ernest Hemingway
"Do sober what you said you'ld do drunk" - Ernest Hemingway
post #12 of 14

Corned beef

Well, I know we're past the big day now, but I might suggest an old, old style of serving which has sort of been forgotten. I've had great acceptance and compliments from guests at dinners as well as cocktail parties:
Make a glaze with brown sugar, a little dry mustard, worcestershire and vinegar. Smear it all over your cooked brisket (better to separate the deckel from the flat. Trim, but leave enough fat to make it slooshy and keep it real)
Blast it in the oven, basting as needed, to just set the glaze on.

Work up your glaze as you like- pinch of clove, peppercorns, honey, pineapple juice (juices from canned fruits reduced to syrup can impart subtleties).
Some will not like the sweetness, but most welcome the change.
The most compliments I ever had was when I glazed with Honey & Wasabi.

Leftover corned beef- I've turned it into hors d'oeuvres by making a farce with stewed leeks, cabbage and CB, plenty of parsley, and stuffing into scooped out & roasted Red B potato halves.
When I needed a St. Pat's vegie ho'do', and was carving the CB on a board, I simply left out the CB from the potato stuffing- a durable and satisfying little item.
Did a drop-off, all cold, for an office party last week- made CB sandwiches on rye demi rolls. Smeared bottom bread w/ mustard butter and topped the meat with a simple dijon slaw.
The world needs to be eating more cabbage!
post #13 of 14

Hi, I'm seeing the problem with the "corned" thing...

...and that Corned Beef by definition needs to be brined in salt. I'm sure you could reduce the salt in the recipe, but that would be purely a trial and error kind of thing.

It's the same as koshering meat. The salt draws out the blood.

I don't know if this helps but it voident hoit!

post #14 of 14

A query?

I did wonder if you meant fresh silverside or an already corned piece. If already corned I cook it in large pan of barely moving water and just hiff in those things that come to hand. Brown sugar, bay, pepper, veggies, etc etc. It may make a difference if you are serving it hot or cold. The broth is a very good soup base well strained and de fatted. Fresh silverside makes a very good slow roast. But I may be misunderstanding you. I haven't had tinned corned beef, but am quite certain you will happier with your own preparation.
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