Cooking Technique: Homemade Corned Beef

Tue, Mar 16, 2010

Cooking, News, Recipes, Techniques

Corned Beef and Cabbage is as Irish-American as you can get when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s day. But what if you can’t find corned beef in your local store, or it’s so fatty that you’re spending all the green on fat rather than good meat?  Today’s technique will help remedy this situation! We are talking about how to make your very own homemade corned beef!

First off, lets take a look at what corned beef is. It has nothing to do with corn as the name may lead one to believe, it actually is called “corned” because of the grains, pepper corns, and coarse salt used with the brine to cure the beef brisket. If you’ve never had corned beef and cabbage you may have had or seen a Ruben sandwich where the meat used is corned beef. Smoking corned beef produces pastrami.

Keep in mind that making homemade beef brisket isn’t quick. The process can take anywhere from 1 week to 3 weeks (5 days per inch of meat).

In order to make your own you’ll want to start off with a good quality beef brisket. You don’t want it to be too fatty (a little is good to keep the meat moist), but if it comes with a lot of fat, trim it down to about ¼ inch.

Next you want to make your brine. This brine solution is for a 6 – 8 lb brisket

  • Enough water to cover the meat
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper corns

Bring the water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add in the salt and sugar, stir well to help it dissolve. Next add in the other spices, vinegar and bay leaves. Allow the brine to cool to room temperature.

Add the meat to either a large seal-able container (a plastic tub with a lid that is air tight or a plastic roasting bag that will seal) and add the brine. Make sure the brine is completely covering the meat and the container is sealed. If using a tub you will want to add something heavy to keep the meat completely submerged in the brine. Put in the refrigerator to let it cure.

About once a day, you’ll want to turn the meat. This will take at least a week and up to about 3 weeks, depending on how big a chunk of meat your are using, before your beef brisket is turned into corned beef. Your corned beef will not retain the red color that you see in commercially produced corned beef. which keeps the red by using saltpeter.

Here is a video of how one man likes to make his homemade corned beef!

Photo by PlaysWithFood.
Video by rldel149.

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This post was written by:

Rochelle - who has written 324 posts on Made in Kitchen Blog.

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2 Responses to “Cooking Technique: Homemade Corned Beef”

  1. Brian Says:

    Now this looks like some good MAN food to me.

  2. Bonnie Says:

    I love corned beef and cabbage. Now I can make my own. i will try this and will let you know how it works out for me.

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