March 1, 2012

Brined Brisket -From Scratch- for St Pat's Day

I've had corned beef and cabbage for St Patrick's Day and always say, "I want to make my own corned beef". But you have to plan ahead since the brisket needs to brine for about a week.

I'll look for about a 4 pound beef brisket. From my research so far I'll be bringing to boil -
1C water
1/4C salt (salt is salt when dizzolved, so I'll use regular sea salt instead of 1/2C of Kosher salt.
1/4C apple cider vinegar (I never eat white vinegar)
2 Tb sugar (I'll use sucanat)
1-2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
a couple cloves
(I'll partially crush the whole spices to better release their flavor)
Let this cool once it's come to a boil and add 2, cut in thirds, garlic cloves. Then add the meat. Make sure the meat is covered by the brine - maybe cutting meat in pieces if need be. This could be stored in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, for 6-7 days.

You could cook this by itself for a meal. But I want to cook it with the traditional cabbage, potatoes and carrots.

The meat will cook first for several hours in large pot along with an onion. Then add a cabbage head cut in wedges, 6 potatoes quartered, and 4 carrots sliced - cook till tender. Then add 1/4 C fresh parsley and a few Tb of butter. The meat should be shreddy.

Enjoy, and tell St Pat's story.
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