Sunday, November 27, 2016

Home-Cured Corned Beef

Who knew that home-cured corned beef could be so easy to make and so much more delicious than the store-bought variety? I certainly didn't, but shouldn't have been surprised because most things homemade are always mo betta! I decided to take the challenge after I tried to buy corned beef at two of our local supermarkets recently, and neither one had any on hand because, I was told, it wasn't THAT time of year (i.e., St. Patrick's Day). So what's a girl does when craving corned beef when it's out of season? Well, make it yourself! After perusing many recipes, I came up with a blend of pickling spices that floated my boat and added it, along with a little chopped fresh garlic, to a brine for the beef brisket. Six days later, the beef was corned and ready to be cooked. Deeeelish!



PICKLING SPICE BLEND:
2 tbsp. whole black peppercorn
2 tbsp. yellow mustard seed
2 tbsp. coriander seed
1 tbsp. allspice berries
1 tsp. celery seed
10 whole cloves
1 tbsp. ground mace
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 small 3" cinnamon stick, broken into 1/4" pieces (I use kitchen shears to do this)

2 bay leaves (I like to use fresh), to be added to the brine

BRINE:
1 gallon of water
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
4 tsp. pink salt/sodium nitrite - optional (this is what gives the corned beef its pinkish hue)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Two 4.5-lb. flat cut briskets (or one large 7+ lb. brisket)

COOKING THE CORNED BEEF:
2 medium carrots, cut into 2" dice
1 small onion, cut into 2" pieces
2 stalks of celery, cut into 2" pieces
1 tbsp. pickling spice
2 bay leaves

1. Combine all the pickling spices together in a small bowl. Pour into a spice jar or glass container; cover tightly and set aside. 

2. For the brine: combine 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 cups kosher salt, 4 tbsp. of pickling spice, minced garlic, 2 fresh bay leaves, and 4 tsp. of the pink salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. Place the briskets into a plastic container and pour enough of the brine to cover them. Place a small plate over the briskets to keep them submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 days. 

4. After a minimum of 6 days, the beef briskets are corned and ready to be cooked. 

5. To cook: place the briskets into a large pot and cover with water. Add 1 tbsp. of the pickling spice, bay leaves, 2 medium carrots, 1 small onion, and 2 stalks of celery (all cut into 2" pieces) to the water; bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the beef is super tender. Slice and serve with prepared horseradish or your fav mustard on the side. 



 For the pickling spices: celery seed, ground ginger, yellow mustard seed, whole cloves, black peppercorns, dill weed, cinnamon stick, whole coriander, and allspice.

 For the brine: combine 1 gallon of water with 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 1/2 cups kosher salt, 4 tbsp. of pickling spice, 2 bay leaves, minced garlic, and 4 tsp. of the pink salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

 Flat-cut beef brisket.

 Place the briskets into a plastic container and cover with the brine; weight the briskets down with a small plate to keep them submerged. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 6-8 days.

 6 days later, voila!

 Place the brisket into a large pot and cover with water. Add 1 tbsp. of pickling spice and 2 bay leaves.

 Add carrots, onion, and celery to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the beef is really tender. 

Serve the corned beef with prepared horseradish and/or mustard, with potatoes, carrots, cabbage a la a New England boiled dinner, or whatever else your heart desires!

No comments:

Post a Comment