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This is an easy modern way to make your own corned beef from a beef brisket. It was originally posted by Elsie Bauer on Simply Recipes. It makes a flavorful corned beef that will rival anything ready-made in the store. I don't use the pink curing salt, and I use ground spices if I don't have the whole ones on hand. The curing process takes 5 days. At that point you can cook the beef according to your favorite Corned Beef recipe or put it in a zipper freezer bag with some of the brine and store for later use.
- 1 tablespoon allspice berry
- 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds (brown or yellow)
- 1 tablespoon coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
- 9 whole cardamom pods
- 6 large bay leaves, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1⁄2 cinnamon stick
- 1 gallon water
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 5 teaspoons pink curing salt (sodium nitrite, Prague Powder #1, DQ Curing Salt #1)
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- Mix the first 8 ingredients together in a high walled bowl & crush with the back of a spoon.
- In a large pot, combine the 1/2 stick of cinnamon, the brine ingredients and 3TBLS of the spice mix. (Reserve the remaining spice mix for cooking the beef after corning.) Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.
- "Crock Method": Place the brisket in a large, flat container or pan, and cover with the brine. The brine should cover the meat. If the meat floats, weigh it down with a plate. . Place in the refrigerator and chill from 5-7 days. Every day flip the brisket over, so that all sides get brined.
- "Zipper Bag Method": Place the brisket in a 2 gal. freezer bag with about 2 quarts of brine, squeezing all the air from the bag before sealing it. Place the bag in the refrigerator as above. It is a good idea to place the bag in a container in case it leaks.
- At the end of the cure, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse it with cold water. The meat can now be cooked by slow simmering or baking. To simmer, place the brisket in a large pot and cover with at least one inch of water. Add a tablespoon of the pickling spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer (barely bubbling), and cook 3-4 hours, until the corned beef is fork tender.