Monday, January 21, 2013

Corned Beef

I love corned beef. Adore it. sliced thin and piled on rye bread, cut thick and served with boiled potatoes and cabbage, or one of my very favorite breakfasts, corned beef hash. Mmmmm. Corned beef. So when I heard from a friend that Kathy at  Leftcoast Grassfed had an amazing corned beef recipe, I had to get it from her. Oh how glad I am that she shared with with me (and now you). It's super easy, brine for at least 10 days and then cook for a couple of hours but the flavors from this meat! Oh they're hard to describe. Not at all like store bought or even deli corned beef. They're delicate and subtle but definitely there. Let me go taste another piece so I can describe it better. This meat is definitely not a one note flavor. I get the clove and the allspice, a hint of cinnamon and sugar and it's salty but not overwhelming. It's just delicious and makes an incredible corned beef hash.

1 (4-5 lb) grassfed beef brisket, trimmed
2 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
12 whole juniper berries
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/2 tsp ground ginger

  • Place the water into a large stockpot along with salt, sugar, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves, and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. The aromatic fragrance of the spices is simply amazing.
  • Remove from the heat and cool to a temperature of 45 degrees F.
  • Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days (I did 2 weeks). Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine. If you don’t have a huge zip top bag, brine the brisket in a large Tupperware container and make sure to flip the brisket each day to make sure that all of the brisket comes in contact with the brine.
Cooking the Beef Brisket

1 small onion, quartered
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped 

  • After at least 10 days, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until the meat is fork tender.
  • Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.

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