Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recipe: Corned Beef Brine


Corned Beef


Here is a recipe for basic brine for making your own corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day. You will need to make multiples of this recipe depending on the size of your brisket. The brisket will (of course) need to be fully submerged in the brine.


How long should you leave the brisket in the brine? Some recipes call for as short as three days, others call for seven or more. My advice would be to set up the brine immediately and pull the brisket the night before St. Patrick’s Day.


The recipe calls for ‘pickling spices’. Here is a list of what goes into pickling spices, but it might just be easier to purchase some from most stores (spice aisle) or via an online retailer such as Penzey’s:


PICKLING SPICES


2 cinnamon sticks, broken into small pieces

1 tablespoon mustard seeds (whole)

2 teaspoons black peppercorns (whole)

1 teaspoon whole cloves

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon whole allspice

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon juniper berries

1 teaspoon crumbled whole mace

1 teaspoon dill seeds

4 dried bay leaves

1 small piece dried ginger


Your pickling spices will last up to 4 months if stored in a dark area in a dry, airtight container.


Corned Beef (with thanks to about.com)


4 quarts water

1 cup kosher salt

12 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons pickling spices

8 bay leaves

1 cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

5 cups sugar


Preparation:

Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the salt and saltpeter (optional). Stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Allow to cool. Stir in the other ingredients. The brine is now ready for use. For brining, always use a non-reactive, air tight container like plastic or stainless steel.

Smoke your brisket as you would otherwise.


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