Corned Beef, Home-Cured

Corned Beef, Home Cured


Yield: Serves 12


Ingredients:


TO CURE MEAT:
3/4 cup kosher (coarse) salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons pickling spice
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon cream of tartar
5 cloves garlic, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 6- to 7-pound beef brisket
***
TO COOK MEAT:
The cured beef brisket
12 carrots
12 ribs of celery
12 small onions
6 medium turnips or rutabagas, cut in half
12 medium potatoes
2 heads cabbage, each cut in sixths
Preparation:


TO CURE MEAT:


Combine all ingredients, except the brisket, in a bowl and toss to combine. Rub mixture onto all surfaces of the meat. Place meat into a zip-style bag and close bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.


Leave brisket in refrigerator for 2 weeks, and up to a month. Turn the bag over every couple of days, massaging spices into meat (through the bag--don't open it up).


TO COOK MEAT:


Rinse brisket well, place in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover meat by 2 or 3 inches. Bring to a boil; skim off any foam and simmer for about 3 1/2 hours, partially covered, until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Add vegetables during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.


I usually allow 2-4 weeks for the meat to cure in the pickling spices, though I have cured it for as little as 5 days. However, the flavor is more intense with a longer curing time. Serve with mustard and horseradish, and flavorful whole-grain breads, such as rye and pumpernickel.

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