Prep 240 hrs
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins
This recipe comes from Good Eats with Alton Brown, slightly modified. An essential St. Patty's Day meal, it might take a while but your patience will be rewarded with some great corned beef any New Yorker would be proud of. And really the fridge does most of the work. If you can't find saltpeter, you can go without. It'll still taste good, it just won't have that classic pink corned beef color. You may also substitute one tablespoon dry gin for the juniper berries if you can't find them in your area. If I have any leftovers there's nothing better than corned beef hash from breakfast the next morning.
- 2 quarts water
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1⁄2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons saltpeter
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 8 cloves
- 8 allspice berries
- 12 juniper berries (substitute 1 tablespoon gin)
- 2 bay leaves, crumbled
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 lbs ice
- 1 (4 -5 lb) beef brisket, trimmed
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
- 1 head cabbage, cored and cut in eight pieces
- Use a mortar and pestle, meat mallet, etc to break open the whole spices.
- Place the water in a 6-8 quart stock pot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Remove from heat and add ice, stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine in the refrigerator until it reaches 45ºF.
- Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2 gallon zip-top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat in a container. Place in refrigerator for 10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is submerged and flip the bag.
- After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place brisket in a large stock pot with the onion, carrot and celery. Cover with cold water by 1 inch, bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer 2.5-3 hours until the meat is fork tender. Add the cabbage when the corned beef has 30-45 minutes left to cook. Bon Appetito.