Homemade Corned Beef Recipe
Corned beef is a fantastic creation that historically sprung into the US from immigrant Jewish communities, and has since taken the entire continent, and the world, by storm. There’s a fine art to making it great, and we think we might have cracked the code. Read on to find out more!
What is corned beef?
At the most basic level, corned beef is a brisket of beef that is salt-cured.
The reason that this was done, historically, was to preserve meat during the winter, or during times such as war, when fresh meat was more expensive or hard to come by.
The reason that we do it today, though, is because it’s somewhat of an art form. People adore it, and we do too!
The name “corn” comes from any particle that’s physically small, such as a grain of corn. Therefore, when chunky, coarse grains of salt are used to cure the beef, it was referred to as ‘corned’, despite no actual corn being used.
Making corned beef is fairly simple. You start off by making a wonderful curing bring with salt and all sorts of pickling spices, and then use that brine to marinate a beef brisket. This is typically done for about a week, but people may do it more or less depending upon their personal recipe.
After the brining process, you must simmer the brisket in water with new herbs and spices for several hours, until it’s properly tender. From that point, it’s ready to eat!
Brining, and doing it right
Brining is everything in a good corned beef recipe, and this recipe is the best one that we’ve ever made! It’s easy to make, but patience with your brine and beef is a big part of it.
First of all, let’s say something explicitly just to make sure that we’ve all got it in our notes: it is essential to follow the ingredients for the curing and brining solution! Not following the recipe exactly will make or break your corned beef, leading to something that you will have waited for, only to have it be subpar.
Finally, we want to mention that we would recommend brining your beef for eight to ten days. A long brine will give you really intense flavor in your final product, and make sure that the solution you make penetrates right to the center of your beef – perfect!
After such a long brine, though, we recommend ensuring that you throughout wash your beef. If you don’t do this, then the external salt leftover from bringing will result in an overly salty corned beef, leading to a dish that’s too overpowering for its own good.
We’re aware that our intense opinions about brining might seem like a lot at this point in time, but we assure you that after you’ve spent eight to ten days living with a brisket sitting in your kitchen, you’ll develop some pretty intense opinions on brining too.
Without further ado, here’s our recipe for the best corned beef we’ve ever had – we hope you love it as much as we do!
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Homemade Corned Beef Recipe
- 5 large bay leaves, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon wholle peppercorn
- 1 tablespoon whole all spice berries
- 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 4 liters water
- ¾ cup salt
- 5 teaspoons pink curing salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 5 cloves garlic
- pickling spice blend optional: wrapped in a cloth
- 2 kgs beef brisket
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 large bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole peppercorn
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small pan, combine all pickling spices ingredients except bay leaves and toast on medium heat until fragrant. Please make sure to keep an eye on the spices as it tends to get easily burned.
- Remove from heat and crush using mortar and pestle. Add the crumbled bay leaves.
- Add the pickling spice mix to 4 liters of water along with the curing salt, salt, brown sugar and garlic. Bring to a boil then let it cool to room temperature
- IN a large container or large sealable plastic bag, place the beef brisket then pour the cooled brining liquid over.
- Brine the beef for about 7-10 days.
- Remove the brisket from the brine and rinse off the brine thoroughly with cold water. Do not skip this step as the corned beef will be salty.
- Place the beef in a a large pot, add the beef broth, bay leaves, peppercorn and salt & pepper to taste.
- Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Cook for 3-4 hours until the beef is fork tender.
- Corned beef is finished and can be stored for in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Shred the meat.
- Saute onion and garlic in a pan. Add shredded corned beef and some broth.
- Serve immediately with bread or rice. Enjoy!