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CORNED BEEF - DIY STYLE

Making your own corned beef from scratch is actually pretty easy. All you need is 5 pounds of your favorite cut of brisket (I use the flat cut, it's much leaner), a large zip lock bag, a handful of spices, some salt, some pink curing salt #1, and room in your refrigerator. This hunk of deliciousness takes up a bit of space for 7-10 days but the results are worth it! If you gather what you need and start the process between March 7-10, you'll have a beautiful, rosy corned beef ready for your St. Patrick's Day celebration! Let's do this!

  WHAT YOU NEED:    -   sharp knife  -  jumbo zip lock bag/large baking dish  -  saucepan

WHAT YOU NEED:

 sharp knife

-  jumbo zip lock bag/large baking dish

-  saucepan

  INGREDIENTS:   - 5 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of most fat. You'll see the top of the flat (on the left) is pretty lean, but beneath (up above) it requires plenty of trimming. I've lifted up the deckle (a flap of meat) that reveals a huge fat pocket that should be removed).

INGREDIENTS:

- 5 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of most fat. You'll see the top of the flat (on the left) is pretty lean, but beneath (up above) it requires plenty of trimming. I've lifted up the deckle (a flap of meat) that reveals a huge fat pocket that should be removed).

 -  2 pounds of ice (roughly 6 cups). If you want to weigh it to be sure, it's 900g or 2 pounds on your scale. Measure it ahead of time and stick in the freezer until you need it.

-  2 pounds of ice (roughly 6 cups). If you want to weigh it to be sure, it's 900g or 2 pounds on your scale. Measure it ahead of time and stick in the freezer until you need it.

 -  1 1/4 cups (310g) coarse sea or kosher salt  KIDDOCJJ Tip: here it's VERY important to weigh your salt. Above shows you just how much lighter Diamond Kosher salt is (on the left) and how much more compact and dense Baleine (very much like Morton's Kosher Salt) is. So when it comes to corning and brining, where the amount of actual sodium is super important, weigh your salt for perfect (and safe) results.               

-  1 1/4 cups (310g) coarse sea or kosher salt

KIDDOCJJ Tip: here it's VERY important to weigh your salt. Above shows you just how much lighter Diamond Kosher salt is (on the left) and how much more compact and dense Baleine (very much like Morton's Kosher Salt) is. So when it comes to corning and brining, where the amount of actual sodium is super important, weigh your salt for perfect (and safe) results.

 

 

 

 

 

 -  5 tsp pink curing salt #1  KIDDOCJJ Tip:  I must first clarify this is NOT Pink Himalayan Salt! Pink Curing Salt #1, also known as Prague Salt, contains, by law, 6.8-6.9% nitrate, and the remainder is Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Why? Nitrates in small amounts stop the growth of botulism and Listeria, both bacteria that thrive during the corning process unless nitrates are present. Curing Salt #1 is meant for use with brining and wet meat preservation, whereas #2 typically is used for dry meats like ham and salami.  NITRATES!!!?????  Nitrates are present in many vegetables including  beets, cabbage, carrots, celery,  radishes and spinach.   Don't be misled if a package says "nitrate free" and is loaded with celery powder - it's essentially delivering sodium nitrate extracted from the powder.

-  5 tsp pink curing salt #1

KIDDOCJJ Tip:  I must first clarify this is NOT Pink Himalayan Salt! Pink Curing Salt #1, also known as Prague Salt, contains, by law, 6.8-6.9% nitrate, and the remainder is Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Why? Nitrates in small amounts stop the growth of botulism and Listeria, both bacteria that thrive during the corning process unless nitrates are present. Curing Salt #1 is meant for use with brining and wet meat preservation, whereas #2 typically is used for dry meats like ham and salami.

NITRATES!!!?????

Nitrates are present in many vegetables including  beets, cabbage, carrots, celery,  radishes and spinach.  Don't be misled if a package says "nitrate free" and is loaded with celery powder - it's essentially delivering sodium nitrate extracted from the powder.

 -  2 quarts (8cups) of water  -  1/2 cup dark brown sugar  -  1 tsp EACH allspice berries and coriander seeds  -  1 tsp red pepper flakes and 2 tsp black peppercorns  -  2 tsp mustard seeds  -  12 whole cloves  -  1 tsp ground ginger  -  6 large or 8 small bay leaves, torn

-  2 quarts (8cups) of water

-  1/2 cup dark brown sugar

-  1 tsp EACH allspice berries and coriander seeds

-  1 tsp red pepper flakes and 2 tsp black peppercorns

-  2 tsp mustard seeds

-  12 whole cloves

-  1 tsp ground ginger

-  6 large or 8 small bay leaves, torn

  INSTRUCTIONS:   1.  Toast the peppercorns, coriander, red pepper flakes, cloves and mustard seeds in a pan until fragrant and the mustard seeds start to jump.  2. Remove and either grind coarsely in a spice grinder, or put in a ziplock and crush with the bottom of a heavy pot or flat end of a meat hammer.

INSTRUCTIONS:

1.  Toast the peppercorns, coriander, red pepper flakes, cloves and mustard seeds in a pan until fragrant and the mustard seeds start to jump.

2. Remove and either grind coarsely in a spice grinder, or put in a ziplock and crush with the bottom of a heavy pot or flat end of a meat hammer.

 3.  Place the 2 quarts of water, the brown sugar, pink curing salt #1 and kosher salt in a large pot.  4. Heat on medium high until all the salts and sugar are dissolved.

3.  Place the 2 quarts of water, the brown sugar, pink curing salt #1 and kosher salt in a large pot.

4. Heat on medium high until all the salts and sugar are dissolved.

 5.  Stir in the crushed spices and the bay leaves.   

5.  Stir in the crushed spices and the bay leaves.

 

 12.  Make a paste with 2 TB grainy mustard and 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar.   13. Put your boiled corned beef on an ovenproof pan. Schmear with the mustard/brown sugar mixture and run under the broiler.

12.  Make a paste with 2 TB grainy mustard and 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar. 

13. Put your boiled corned beef on an ovenproof pan. Schmear with the mustard/brown sugar mixture and run under the broiler.

 6. Add the ice cubes to the brine to cool it down quickly.  7. Refrigerate until the brine is very cold.

6. Add the ice cubes to the brine to cool it down quickly.

7. Refrigerate until the brine is very cold.

 And there you have it - CORNED BEEF that YOU made yourself! Remember those leftovers (if you have any) will make perfect Reuben sandwiches, or better yet, some yummy hash (with leftover potatoes, some onions and peppers, topped with a runny egg......YUM!) Enjoy!

And there you have it - CORNED BEEF that YOU made yourself! Remember those leftovers (if you have any) will make perfect Reuben sandwiches, or better yet, some yummy hash (with leftover potatoes, some onions and peppers, topped with a runny egg......YUM!) Enjoy!

 8. While you are waiting for the brine to cool, set up your corning bag. Write that date you started with a marker, and write out your schedule of turning the bag, checking each date off as you do. If you miss a day, don't worry; we just want to make sure both sides of the beef get equal exposure to the brine.

8. While you are waiting for the brine to cool, set up your corning bag. Write that date you started with a marker, and write out your schedule of turning the bag, checking each date off as you do. If you miss a day, don't worry; we just want to make sure both sides of the beef get equal exposure to the brine.

 9.  Once your brine is cold, put your brisket in the bag. Place the bag in a larger container and then pour in the brine and spices.  If you have too much brine, strain what's left over, and return the solid spices to the bag.  10. Refrigerate and turn every other day for 7-10 days. Then it's time to cook this!  11. When ready to cook, rinse off the beef and put into a pot of cold water. No salt needed. Bring up to a boil, then cover and turn to simmer and cook for about 90 minutes (halfway through, if you love your boiled dinner, add small potatoes, cut up carrot chunks and quartered cabbage to the mix.   

9.  Once your brine is cold, put your brisket in the bag. Place the bag in a larger container and then pour in the brine and spices.  If you have too much brine, strain what's left over, and return the solid spices to the bag.

10. Refrigerate and turn every other day for 7-10 days. Then it's time to cook this!

11. When ready to cook, rinse off the beef and put into a pot of cold water. No salt needed. Bring up to a boil, then cover and turn to simmer and cook for about 90 minutes (halfway through, if you love your boiled dinner, add small potatoes, cut up carrot chunks and quartered cabbage to the mix.