Homemade corned beef is relatively easy to make but does require some time — generally 14 days. All you have to do is turn it over every day.
Corned beef is beef that is cured in brine. You will need to use a brisket for better results. Brisket is a fatty, tough cut of meat. Although you will trim a lot of the fat off you need to leave some on the meat for this. You can get rid of it after you boil the corned beef.
You are also going to need to make a brine which essentially is a very salty liquid made from water, coarse salt and brown sugar. You will add pickling spices, peppercorns and curing powder to the liquid. It is very important that your liquid be completely cold before you add it to the beef or it will cook.
Curing powder is made with nitrates and will make your corned beef pink. You can corn your beef with out the powder if you want but it will be gray. The flavor will be the same. Up to you!
Make sure to flip you meat every single day. Keep it in a covered container in the refrigerator and tend to it daily. Once you cook it you will probably have left overs. They will freeze very well and you can use them another time for corned beef hash or Reuben Sandwiches.
Serves sixteen to twenty people
1- 4 to 5 pound brisket
4 cups water
1 cup coarse salt
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup pickling spice – mustard seeds, coriander seeds, juniper berries and bay leaves
3 tsp. curing powder *
1 TBS black peppercorns
Trim the brisket off any nerves. Leave some fat on it. Rinse it and place it in a covered container that is large enough to hold it and the brine.
Place the rest of the ingredients in a small pan. Bring water to a boil, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and cool down completely.
Pour brine over meat and refrigerate between 10 to 14 days. Turn meat around in container every day.
* Curing powder can be found online. It is not expensive and will last you a long time. It will prevent the meat from turning gray as it has nitrates. Go ahead and google it to see where you can find it. I got mine at www.sausagemaker.com.
After 10 to 14 days, remove the corned beef from the brine. Place it in a pot with water and add:
1 large onion – quartered
8 peeled and smashed garlic cloves
1 TBS black peppercorns
1 TBS pickling spices or 1/2 TBS mustard seeds, 1/2 TBS coriander seeds and 6 bay leaves
1/2 TBS dill seeds
Bring the pot to a simmer and cook the meat for about 4 hours. If you want to make a boiled dinner, go ahead and add cabbage, carrots and potatoes to the pot about 20 minutes before it is finished or add it to the broth after you have finished cooking the beef.
Remove the corned beef from the broth and allow it to cool completely. Wrap it in foil and refrigerate it for up to 2 weeks.
CALORIES 379.50; FAT 28.69 grs (sat 9.58; mono 13.94; poly 1.01); PROTEIN 27.47 grs ; FIBER 0.00 grs; CARBS 0.71 grs; CHOLESTEROL 148.17 mg; IRON 2.81 mg; SODIUM 1714.58 mg; CALCIUM 12.09 mg