The first question I remember asking my grandfather when I was a boy was
"Where's the corn in corned beef?"
I remember him laughing harder then he most likely should have, then explained to me how the word corned is another word for something pickled.
The term corned comes from cooking the meat with large rock-salt kernels that were referred to as "corns of salt", as defined by Oxford English dictionary as early as 888 ad.
This is a variation of the method my grandfather taught me, hopefully one day you'll pass it on!
- 1 4# beef brisket, or navel trimmed well (see note about using bigger cuts)
- 1 gallon of distilled water
- 8oz by weight Morton's Kosher Salt
- 2 t Prague Powder #1
- 6 cloves garlic peeled & crushed
- 4 T Lower East Side Brisket Rub
- 8 bay leaves
- 1t all spice berries
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
In a large clean container mix all ingredients of the brine till the sugar and salt dissolves. Carefully add the well trimmed brisket to the curing solution, placing a plastic bowl full of brine on top of the brisket untill fully submerged. It should be at least 1 inch under the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 5-7 days, moving the meat each day to ensure that it stays submerged.
After the desired length of cure is completed, your corned beef is ready for any number of delicous recipes, such as "Making Pastrami The Killer Cook Way aka How to make the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats".
*For larger cut's of meat it is very important to remove all surface fat as it inhibits the absorption of the cure and decrease it's weight by almost 30%. To ensure proper curing rations please refer to the Science of Curing Meats by Meathead Goldwyn and use Prof. Blonder's wet cure calculator.
To Cook in a Dutch Oven: The day before serving, remove the beef from the brine and carefully rinse off all spices under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Preheat oven to 200°F. Place brisket in large Durch oven, cover with water by several inches, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Remove from heat, cover with lid slightly ajar, place in oven, and cook until completely tender, about 10 hours.
To Cook via Sous-Vide: The day before serving, remove the beef from the brine and carefully rinse off all spices under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Re-seal in a vacuum bag and cook at 180° until tender, about 10 hours.
Once beef is cooked, transfer to an airtight container along with cooking liquid (if cooked in a water oven, just store it in its vacuum bag). Let rest at least overnight, and up to 3 days.
The day of: transfer cooking liquid to a large saucepan or Dutch oven along with carrots, potatoes, and cabbage.
Top up with water until vegetables are submerged. Slice beef thinly against the grain and fan slices out in large skillet. Add 1 cup of liquid from pot to skillet and place skillet on top of pot. Cover skillet. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until vegetables are completely tender and beef is heated through, about 45 minutes. Serve immediately with a pint of Guinness or a shot of Jamerson for luck.