Corning Beef

Corning your own beef for St. Patrick’s Day is easy and delicious

3-years ago I was in Boston on a business trip. One evening I decided to stop in a well-known Irish Pub close to my hotel and have the perennial favorite: Corned Beef and Cabbage. I have rarely been so disappointed. It was dry, too salty and, other than the salt, had no taste.

That evening I was online and telling a friend, who is a Food Network chef, how awful it was. He  was telling me that most commercially packaged corned beef uses nitrates to speed up the process and add to the color.  He then gave me step-by-step directions for corning my own beef. I decided to try it.

After doing it just once I will never go back to commercially made corned beef again. Here are the directions. 

Corning Your Own Beef
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  1. 1 cup kosher salt
  2. 1 cup dark brown sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons whole coriander
  4. 1 1/2 tablespoons whole mustard seeds
  5. 1 1/2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons whole allspice
  7. 4 sprigs fresh marjoram
  8. 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  9. 2 bay leaves
  1. 1. Mix all of the spices together
  2. 2. Rub the mixture into 2 1/2 - 3 pound brisket
  3. 3. Put the spice-covered meat into either a large non-reactive bowl or a large zip-lock bag. If necessary cut it into two pieces.
  4. 4. If you put the meat in a large bowl, weight it down with a small plate.
  5. 5. Add enough cold water so that the meat is completely covered.
  6. 6. Cover it a place it in the refrigerator for 7 - 10 days. If using a zip-lock bag, which I do, put the bag in a large bowl in case of any accidental leaks. I also shake the bag once or twice a day.
  1. If you are working with a brisket larger than 3 pounds you may need to adjust the proportions of the spices up.
Charles E. Brown

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