Corned beef brisket does not need to be introduced. These spicy, deliciously tender, tangy and tangy breast slices are the stuff that sandwich dreams are made of.
Not to mention breakfast dreams, cabbage dreams and just about everything else dreams. Is there something corned beef doesn’t make better?
I like to make corned beef brisket at home several times a year, including of course on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s super easy and really rewarding, and these days I’ve got it at a well-oiled machine.
Corned beef you cook at home tastes much better than store-bought beef, and not just because you’ve worked on it, it’s actually objectively much tastier. While this seems like a commitment to make, it isn’t. It’s only about 5 minutes of work followed by 6 days of waiting and relaxing before being rewarded with as much tasty and juicy brisket as you could ever want.
What is corned beef?
Corned beef is salted corned beef. It is dried in a salted spice brine and marinated for 5-45 days, then boiled or smoked and steamed to finish. It is called corned because at the time it was the term for coarse-grained salt that was used to heal things.
Why make corned beef brisket at home
Not only is homemade corned beef brisket delicious, but when you make it yourself, you know exactly what’s in it. You can choose the right quality and breast size for your budget, adjust the spice blend, and decide whether or not to add pink salt. It’s also a lot cheaper pound for pound than buying a pre-made / store-bought breast.
What is pink salt
Pink salt is sodium nitrite. It gives cold cuts its characteristic pink color and adds flavor. Pink salt, not to be confused with pink Himalayan salt, is regular salt mixed with sodium nitrite and dyed pink so it won’t be accidentally eaten.
Should you use it? On longer cures this prevents botulism and listeria, but our 6 day salt brine is not at risk of this so you would add it mainly for color and flavor. Nitrites have been correlated with a slightly higher risk of cancer, but it’s generally more concerning if you eat an incredibly large amount of cold meats. Either way, pink salt is completely optional.
You can find it on Amazon as well as locally in any good gourmet store – it is also called instacure # 1, prague powder 1 or cure salt. You may have to ask for it behind the counter.
Why this corned beef recipe
I love this recipe because it’s a simple, barebone recipe that’s small enough for people without a giant kitchen. Most of the recipes I see need a ton of fridge space and large containers. This one uses a 2.5-3lb brisket (enough to serve 4) that fits snugly into a 11-cup standard baking dish. But above all, this recipe is really tasty.
For the best corned beef brisket, remove the fat
Because we’re going to be boiling this corned beef brisket, you need to remove as much fat as possible from the top and bottom of the brisket. The boiled fat looks lumpy and gummy and doesn’t add much to the flavor. If you intend to smoke it instead (i.e. for the pastrami), leaving the fat on it would be a great idea, but if not, that fat should go.
Slow Cooker Corned Beef
Instead of an oven, you can cook the corned beef brisket in a slow cooker on high heat for the same amount of time, as long as your brisket is right for you. If you intend to do this, check the fit of your breast and cut it if necessary before soaking it in the brine.
How to make corned beef
- Prepare and cool the brine. Bring 1 liter of water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add the pickling spices to the water and let it soak while it cools to room temperature.
- Garnish. If you intend to boil your corned beef, such as corned beef or reuben sandwiches, cut the fat off your breast.
- Cover. Transfer your breast to a tight-fitting container with a lid. For a 2.5 to 3 lb. brisket, an 11-cup baking dish is perfect. Cover with the brine cooled to room temperature, add pink salt if you use it and completely submerge the breast in cool, clear water. You may need to weigh the breast down with a small plate.
- Cure. Place the covered breast in the refrigerator. After 3 days, turn the chest over and wait another 3 days.
- To cook. Rinse the salt and spices from your brisket, then cook using your preferred method.
How to cook corned beef
Cooking corned beef is super easy, just let it simmer at a boil (around 180 ° -200 ° F) for 4-5 hours. Depending on your stove, this can be easy or difficult. For me, I prefer the oven, which keeps everything at a constant temperature.
All you need to do is preheat your oven and boil a quart of water with pickling spices. Transfer the brisket to a large ovenproof container such as a Dutch oven. Add the water infused with the pickling spices and enough water to cover. Finally, transfer to a 200 ° F oven for 4 to 5 hours, and voila!
Corned beef for life
Corned Beef Recipe
Super easy tender, juicy and delicious homemade corned beef brisket that tastes much better than store-bought.
- 1/3 Cup kosher salt
- 1/4 Cup sugar favorite brown
- 6 tablespoon pickling spices Split, see below or use store purchased
- 2.5-3 Kg brisket
- 2 qt the water
- 1 teaspoon pink salt optional
Homemade marinade spice blend (optional – made 1 batch, you need 2 for this recipe)
- 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 1 teaspoon White pepper
- 1 paste Cinnamon broken
- 1 Bay leaf torn up
- 4 cardamom pods
- 1/2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns optional
- An hour before starting to prepare your meat, make the brine: bring 2 liters of water to a boil then remove from the heat. stir in sugar and salt until dissolved, about 1 minute, then add pickling spices. Let cool.
- Cut large caps of fat from your breast (optional), then place them in a tight-fitting container with a lid.
- Stir the pink salt into the brine, if necessary. Add the cooled brine until covered. You shouldn’t need all the brine – throw the rest away. If you need a little more than 2 quarts, cover with cold water as needed, or make a new batch of brine if it’s a lot.
- Weigh the breast with a plate if necessary. Seal and store in the refrigerator for 3 days. After 3 days, give a breast boost to the chest and keep for another 3 days.
- To Bake: After 6 days, preheat your oven to 200 ° F. Find an ovenproof pan (like a casserole dish) large enough to hold your breast and fill it halfway with water. Set it to high heat. Gently remove the breast from its container and rinse it well. Add the brisket and the remaining 3 tablespoons of pickling spice and wait for the pot to come to a boil, then transfer to the oven and braise for 4 hours.
- Remove the brisket from the braising liquid and slice it. Keep the brisket with the braising liquid and reheat together to retain maximum humidity, avoiding boiling. Breast breast will keep for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Corned Beef Recipe
Amount per serving (3.5 oz)
Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value *
Large 19 g29%
Saturated fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 98 mg33%
Sodium 973 mg42%
Potassium 145 mg4%
Carbohydrates 0.5 g0%
Protein 18 g36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.