Thursday, March 15, 2012

Homemade Corned Beef part 2

Here's how that wonderful

homemade corned beef turned out!

Cook the corned beef after brining for at least five days and up to ten days (see previous recipe here). Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Drain the meat and discard the brine. Place the brined brisket in a covered baking dish with water up to 3/4 of the sides of the meat. Add 4 small cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon whole cloves. Cover and place in oven to cook low and slow for about three hours (it depends on the size of your brisket).

Add traditional vegetables if you wish (potatoes, cabbage, carrots, etc.). They will taste absolutely fabulous after cooking in this liquid. To serve, slice corned beef brisket against the grain and surround with vegetables. And don't forget to make enough to have reuben sandwiches also!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Homemade Corned Beef

Above: "uncured" corned beef brisket, after five days of brining and just about ready to simmer to perfection.

With a little planning, you can prepare the best corned beef you'll ever eat - homemade. It's just as simple as buying a prepared corned beef brisket at a store, and much better. Nitrate-free corned beef is technically "uncured." This recipe uses none of the chemicals that make corned beef pink, it is much healthier (and tastes better, in my opinion!). Start preparing this at least five days ahead of time, up to seven to ten days.

This recipe uses a four to five pound beef brisket (if your brisket is larger, simply double the ingredients). There is always much discussion about which cut is better to use, the point or the flat. Generally the point cut has more fat and will result in a very tender brisket, but as it should be, this brisket is cooked low and slow and will come out delicious whichever cut you use. The flat cut is easier to find in an average store, and, you could eliminate the problem altogether by buying the entire brisket. Just something to think about, especially if you really like corned beef!

In a saucepan, combine:

1 quart water

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup white vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar (I used raw sugar)

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 pinch ground cloves

Heat slowly and be sure that sugar and salt are completely dissolved in the liquid. Allow to cool completely then pour into a resealable plastic bag.

Add the four to five pound beef brisket,

plus three large cloves of garlic, sliced,

seal, and place in a glass dish (in case of leakage) and refrigerate at least five days, up to 10 days.

Tomorrow I'll publish the recipe for the simmering liquid and a photo of the finished corned beef brisket!


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