Corned BeefWhile I have used my mom's recipe for corning beef in brine in a crock, we have largely switched over to Julie Child's recipe ("Julia Child & Company", 1978) or its modification by the Cook's Illustrated folks. It does its curing in a plastic bag in the 'frig and does not include the nitrite/nitrate mixture used to preserve color and prevent bottulism (the latter is avoided by the refrigeration).
Julia's cure mixture calls for 1-1/3 cups kosher salt, 3 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 tbsp cracked peppercorns, 2 tsp each powdered allspice and thyme, and 1 tsp each of powdered sage, paprika, and bay leaf. This is enough for 10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5.5 kilos) of beef. She also likes to use with this an optional mixture of 1/2 cup each minced rutabaga, onion, and carrot, and 2 large minced garlic cloves.
In brief, one rubs the spice mixture well into the meat and places each piece in a sturdy plastic bag, squeezing out the air and adding the optional veggies. Place the sealed bag in a dish (leakage insurance), weight it down, and pop it into the refrigerator. Turn the bag(s) and massage each day, curing for a minimum of two weeks, but up to a month (this is skiwer than a "wet" cure). Before cooking rinse and soak the meat to remove excess salt.
The meat will be brown or sort of gray. If you must have red, you should really buy a cure mixture (like Morton's), not mix your own, as the nitrate/nitrites are poisonous in the wrong quantities. Also, these chemicals can generate carcinogenic nitrosoamines on cooking, though boiling--the usual corned beef prep--is less likely to do so.