Thursday, March 12, 2009

Corned Beef - It starts with a brine

Last year I modified Alton Brown's recipe and corned my own beef for St. Patrick's Day.

Homemade Corned Beef
2 quarts of water
1 cup kosher salt
2 tbsp salt petre
2 tbsp sugar
1tsp molasses (I didn't have any brown sugar, so I fudged it here)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1tsp black pepper corns
5 cloves garlic
2 slices fresh ginger
3 bay leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 piece of mace
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
1/2 tsp dill weed
1 quart ice

Bring all ingredients to a boil (except the ice and brisket).
Lower to a simmer and stir until salt is dissolved.
Remove from heat, allow to cool.
Add ice.

Place brisket into a zip-top bag, and pour in cooled liquid.
Store in refrigerator for at least a week, flipping meat at least once a day.

1.5 weeks later... it made a delicious dinner, by:

Corned Beef & Cabbage
Removed the brisket from the brine, washed it thoroughly.

Place in a pot, covered with cold water.
Brought to a boil, then backed down to a simmer with 2 bay leaves, some pepper corns and a few ribs of celery.

1.5 hours latter, added the vegetables:
1 head cabbage, cut into wedges
1 lb carrots, cut in chunks
1/2lb+ boiling onions, peeled
potatoes, quartered

It turned out very well, not salty at all.

My dinner guest thought we should dress up mr. beef for his photo shoot. (Eyes are clementines, heirloom carrots around the edge and I believe the nose is a prune)

The meal was delicious, as was the hash I made the next day.

I am a little late to the game this year, but hopefully I can start the pickle tonight!

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