Kerry's homemade corned beef

Cold, Hard Football Facts for Mar 14, 2009



The Troll-in-Chief doesn't eat store-bought corned beefs. In fact, only a useless, baseball-watching, vegetable-eating, wine-sniffing non-troll would stoop so low as to buy a corned beef in the store when you can make a much tastier version so easily inside the cozy confines of your own cardboard-box home.
 
It's real easy to do. Buy a big slab of brisket. Then mix together the brine (salt, sugar, water). And then add the pickling spices. A few days later, you'll have corned beef. (After you've made your own corned beefs, you can also follow our tips for cooking it here.)
 
Here's how it's done:
 
10-pound slab of fresh brisket
 
For the brine:
1 gallon water
2 cups kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons Instacure No. 1 (pink salt), optional
5 garlic cloves
 
For the pickling spices:
2 Tablespoons whole peppercorns
2 Tablespoons whole mustard seed
1 Tablespoon whole coriander
1 teaspoon whole Juniper
1 teaspoon whole all-spice
1 teaspoon whole clove
1 stick cinnamon
10 bay leaves
 
Cut the 10-pound slab of brisket into two to four pieces. Pour gallon of cold water into ceramic crock or other non-reactive, food-grade container. Stir in salt, brown sugar, garlic powder and optional Instacure No. 1 until all is dissolved. Add garlic cloves.
 
(Note: Instacure No. 1, also sold as "pink salt," is a preservative nitrate that helps the meat maintain its red color. You can make corned beef without it, but it will likely turn gray, in the Irish-Yankee style of corned beef common in New England.)
 
Take half of each of the following -- peppercorns,  mustard seed, coriander, juniper, all-spice and clove -- and lightly crush. You can do this easily by putting the spices in a Ziploc bag and lightly crushing with a rolling pin. Add the crushed spices, along with the half that's not crushed, into the brine. Break up the stick of cinnamon and break up the bay leaves and add those. Finally, add the meat so that it's submerged.
 
Put something heavy on top of the meat to keep it submerged (a plate will do the trick). Cover crock and place in refrigerator or cool dry place for 4 days. Remove meat and cook as you would any other corned beef. Unused corned beef can be frozen for a year.

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