Friday, March 8, 2013

Corn Beef

You will need to get started on corn beef well before St. Pat’s day because it must be cured at least 5 days or more.  Great thing is you will probably be able to enjoy several terrific meals out of your work and effort.  Start watching for sales on corn beef now. 

Corn Beef 


1 gallon water
2 cups Kosher salt
3 tbsp pickling spices
½  cup brown sugar
1 large bay leaves, crumbled
½ teaspoons ground ginger


1 4 to 5 pound beef brisket
1 tbsp pickling spices

Use a mortar and pestle to crush the pickling spices a little (or the back of a spoon).  Add about 3 tbsp. of the spice mix (reserve the rest for cooking the corned beef after it has cured), plus add half stick of cinnamon, 1 large bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger to a gallon of water in a large pot, along with the Kosher salt, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate until well chilled.

Place the brisket in a large, flat container or pan, and cover with the brine. The brine should cover the meat. The meat may float in which case you may want to weigh it down with a plate. Alternatively you can use a 2-gallon freezer bag (placed in a container so if it leaks it doesn't leak all over your refrigerator), place the brisket in the freezer bag and about 2 quarts of brine, squeezing out the air from the bag before sealing. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 5 days. Every day flip the brisket over, so that all sides get brined equally.

At the end of the cure, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse off the brine with cold water. Place the brisket in a large pot that just fits around the brisket and cover with at least one inch of water. If you want your brisket less salty, add another inch of water to the pot. Add a tablespoon of the pickling spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer (barely bubbling), and cook 4 hours (or put in a cock pot) until the corned beef is fork tender. At this point you can store in the fridge for up to a week.  Remove the meat to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes before cutting. You can also use the spiced cooking liquid to cook vegetables for a boiled dinner or corned beef and cabbage. Slice thinly against the grain to serve.

Left overs?

Make a grilled Reuben sandwich with rye bread, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.

Or how about home made hash.  A little boiled potatoes, onion, chopped up corn beef and salt and pepper. Simple and great when topped with an over easy fried egg.  

Left overs are a very good thing and that makes me happy.   Tomorrow I'll share Irish Stew.

Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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