Homemade Corned Beef: A recipe & how-to

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In many places around the world brining or corning beef are specialties. In countries like Italy (Bresaola) and Mexico (cecina) many butchers still keep a brine or pickled barrel where they submerge tough cuts of meat for several days to absorb flavors and prolong their keeping time.In fact, Corned beef was a Cork specialty, as butchers would prepare for long sea voyages. Cork has a long tradition of corning beef  and much of the 17th century and during the Napoleonic Wars, Cork supplied the British army with huge amounts of corned beef.

Corned beefI grew up eating Cecina (corned brisket) but never knowing where or how it was done. Just recently I came across this mouth-watering recipe from one of my favorite cook-books called Forgotten Skills of Cooking According to  Darina Allen, author of the book, the skill of corning beef is still unknown, but eating corned beef has gone out of favor in Ireland. Her local butcher showed her how to corned the beef before he retired.

Brining Beef

I love corned beef and cabbage. Is a very inexpensive way to eat and in this tutorial I will be showing you step by step, how to brine the brisket and prepare 100% from scratch corned beef an all time favorite!. This easy, effortless and delicious recipe is timeless. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did. Perfect for St. Patrick’s day, Easter or anytime. Use left over corned beef for next day breakfast ,corned beef and sweet potatoes hash and quick stir fry.

GOOD TO KNOW: when Corned Beef is smoked it becomes in what we know as Pastrami.

Corned Beef Recipe

Serves 8
Preparation time
: 5 days in advance
Cooking time:
2 1/2 hours

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 pounds of grass-fed beef brisket
  • 1 large cabbage
  • 8 small onions (peeled and cut in half)
  • 8 small carrots (peeled and cut in half)
  • 5 parsley stalks
  • 5 thyme stalks
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds
  • 1 tbs pepper

FOR THE BRINE:

  • 12 cups of water
  • 4 cups of salt
  • 1 large pot and a heavy cover (I used my cast iron cover) we want to make sure to seal the pot very well to prevent air to filter.

How to:

View this recipe in Spanish

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  1. TG
    April 28, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Why is cornbeef always eaten with cabbage? I’ll admit that’s the way I always eat it, but not really sure why.

  2. Brenden
    April 28, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Make a little sauerkraut and we are good to go!

  3. sarena
    April 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

    I’ve made my own corned beef and used celery juice for brining as most recipes use whey which I avoid!

  4. Jeremy Priestner
    April 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I feel kind of stupid for asking this, but does anyone know why corned beef is named so? It doesn’t seem to have any connection which is why I ask.

  5. Ringo Gato
    April 28, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    Isn’t the amount of salt totally out of sync with Paleo principles? We have a drive to seek out salt probably because it is uncommon in Paleo foods and we need some, but 4 cups? Considering salts negative affects on acid-base physiology, it sounds like too much.

    • Robb Wolf
      April 28, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      Salt is way down my list of things to go after. The acid base issue is…very overhyped.

  6. bluprint
    April 29, 2011 at 6:31 am

    You don’t have to use brisket. Corning is an excellent way to prepare that piece of freezer-burned beef roast or even on wild game like deer.

  7. Erin
    April 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Could you do this with other meats? Like leg of lamb?

    • Consuelo Werner
      April 30, 2011 at 5:26 pm

      yes you can.Briskets, poultry, and fish are just a few meats that work well with this process. Aleg of lamb is naturally tender a marinade would be a better choice to add flavor.

  8. Pat
    April 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    May have to try this, although I do not know how it will compare. I have access to a traditional deli that makes their own corned beef.

  9. how do I get a pension
    March 17, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I savour, cause I found exactly what I used to be taking a look for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

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