Watch Cooking Channel

Super Food Nerds: How to Make Corned Beef

How to Make Corned Beef

Welcome to Super Food Nerds, a new column which will be written in alternating installments by me, Rupa (Food and Beverage Editor, Culinary Staff) and my colleague Jonathan (Research Librarian, same place). Each installment will be dedicated to a particular topic – how to DIY something you don’t normally DIY, how to perfect a dish usually taken for granted, plus best techniques, underlying chemistries and a handful of inexplicable preferences. Basically, if we can overthink it, we’re on it.

So, spring’s in the air, and naturally our thoughts are turning to beef. OK, that’s a lie, I was already thinking about beef — specifically, corned beef. There’s the whole St. Patrick’s Day thing, and I also really like corned beef. I’ve kept a mysterious bucket of brining beef in our kitchens’ walk-in fridge since last week, and have taken out pieces here and there to braise. After decent testing and rigorous eating, I’m pretty happy with the end result.

To make corned beef, you take a big, flavorful piece of meat and infuse it with even more flavor in the form of a salt-sugar-spice solution (aka brine) for way longer than you’d ever think you could safely keep meat in a fridge. Then, you cook it. The cumulative effect of beef, salt, sugar, spices and time is so much more than the sum of its parts that it’s sort of mind-blowing and unbelievably rewarding.

Here’s the gist (FAQ and recipe follow):


How to Make Corned Beef

I cut a whole beef brisket in half (you can start with half a brisket if your commitment to beef is less than mine, which is both possible and probable) and submerged it in a gallon of salted, sugared, flavored water.

How to Make Corned Beef

(I had dissolved kosher salt and brown sugar and added herbs and spices to the water). I weighed it down with a plate and let it sit in the fridge for four days, at which point I took out one of the halves, rinsed it, braised it and fed most of the kitchen staff with it.

How to Make Corned Beef

Three days later, I checked on the other half, and did the same thing. That’s it. Shockingly easy, remarkably delicious. You really should try it.

Corned Beef: FAQ
If I wanted to make homemade corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day, should I get on it now?
Yes.

How much corn do I need?
You don’t need any. Corn here just refers to the size of the salt grains used to brine the beef. They’re kernel-size, or at least they can be.

If there’s not any corn, what’s the point of corned beef?
Corning started out as a food preservation technique long before there was refrigeration. The first use of the word dates back to at least the 1500s (and probably long before). It works like this: When you put something that’s not very salty (like meat) into a salty liquid (like brine), the salt levels are going to try to even themselves out to be the same both inside and outside the meat. What happens then is that the brining liquid (salt, sugar, spices) travels inside the meat, providing seasoning and flavor (making it delicious) as well as creating an unfriendly-to-bacteria environment inside (keeping it edible for a longer period of time).

Nowadays, we have fridges to handle food preservation, but fridges alone can’t make you a sandwich. That’s where the corned beef comes in.

What do I need to make it?
See the recipe below. But in short, you’ll need meat, a large vessel to put it in, salt, sugar, spices and fridge space. And time. You’ll also need some time. Four to seven days, ideally.

What meat should I use?
Brisket is classic (and easiest to carve and serve), but any tough, long-cooking cut works. Neck and shank would probably do well, too. If you go with brisket, you can do the flat cut (leaner), the point cut (more flavorful) or both.

What’s a good container to do this in?
We used a large plastic bucket, but you could use a nonreactive stockpot, a very large plastic bag or even a cooler. (As long as it fits in your fridge.)

And why should I make it for St. Patrick’s Day? Is it Irish?
Sort of. Corned beef is, corned beef and cabbage isn’t. The food writer Francis Lam did some pretty thorough digging into the history, and his conclusion is more or less that it’s Irish-American and also delicious and we should just enjoy it and not stress about the authenticity.

Why is corned beef usually pink?
A lot of beef brines use pink curing salt (a combo of regular salt and sodium nitrite, mostly used in sausage-making) to give corned beef its characteristic color. Because it’s a specialty ingredient that I’d have to track down, and the beef’s color wasn’t important enough to me to go to the effort, I didn’t bother. So this recipe gives you corned beef that doesn’t look pink. It looks brownish, like cooked beef. If you ever buy naturally-cured bacon, you’re probably familiar with the color.

Does it make a difference how long I brine it for?
Honestly, there was not an enormous difference between the four-day brisket and the seven-day brisket. If you only have four days, you’ll be fine cutting it short. In the four-day brisket, we noticed that the fattier meat took the brine a little better than the leaner meat did.

How do I cook it when I’m done curing it?
Like this (on the stovetop), or like this (in the slow cooker). With the leftovers, make Corned Beef Hash or Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls or Corned Beef Grilled Cheese. It’s a pretty versatile ingredient and a brisket’s pretty large, so plan to have all corned beef everything for at least a couple of meals.

Why am I not corning beef right now?
I have no idea, but you should probably go start. Recipe follows.

Corned Beef
Recipe courtesy Rupa Bhattacharya for Cooking Channel

Yield: One 10- to 11-pound roast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes (includes cooling time, plus 4 to 6 days brining time)
Ease of preparation: easy

Ingredients
2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
20 juniper berries
20 black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
One 10- to11-pound brisket, split into flat and point

Directions
Combine the salt, sugar, juniper berries, peppercorns, cloves, thyme and bay leaves with 1 gallon water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely, about an hour.

Pour the brine over the brisket, weighting the brisket down with a heavy plate to ensure it’s completely submerged. Cover, and transfer to the refrigerator for 4 to 6 days.

After 4 to 6 days, remove the brisket from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse the brisket well in cold water, and cook according to your favorite recipe.

Get More St. Patrick’s Day Recipes and Food

Tags:

Comments (2390)

  1. Czech poptávka – poptávky zdarma…

    Czech poptávka – poptávky zdarma…

  2. Allevamento Rottweiler Ferrara posted 10/31/2013

    Title…

    [...]The information mentioned within the post are some of the best out there [...]…

  3. 3ds colors posted 10/31/2013

    Title…

    [...]The facts mentioned within the report are a number of the very best obtainable [...]…

  4. CIRUGIA DE COLUMNA posted 10/31/2013

    Title…

    [...]that could be the finish of this post. Right here you’ll locate some web-sites that we feel you’ll value, just click the links over[...]…

  5. oxycodone posted 10/31/2013

    Dear admin, thanks…

    Dear admin, thanks for providing this blog post. I found it great. Take care,…

  6. Adderall posted 10/31/2013

    Title…

    [...]here are some links to internet sites that we link to since we feel they may be worth visiting[...]…

  7. Czech poptávka – poptávky zdarma…

    Czech poptávka – poptávky zdarma…

  8. Výškové práce posted 10/31/2013

    Výškové práce…

    Výškové práce…

  9. shazování a úklid sněhu posted 10/31/2013

    shazování a úklid sněhu…

    shazování a úklid sněhu…

  10. dezinfekcni prostredek posted 10/31/2013

    dezinfekcni prostredek,dezinfekcni prostredky,dezinfekcni pripravek,dezinfekcni pripravky,chytra dezinfekce,bezpecna dezinfekce,sirokospektralni dezinfekce,setrna dezinfekce,kvalitni dezinfekce,ucinna dezinfekce,praskova dezinfekce,dezinfekce aktivni…

    dezinfekcni prostredek,dezinfekcni prostredky,dezinfekcni pripravek,dezinfekcni pripravky,chytra dezinfekce,bezpecna dezinfekce,sirokospektralni dezinfekce,setrna dezinfekce,kvalitni dezinfekce,ucinna dezinfekce,praskova dezinfekce,dezinfekce aktivni k…

  11. videofilmowanie ostroda posted 10/31/2013

    Yahoo results…

    While searching amazon I found this site in the results and I didn’t think it fit…

  12. videofilmowanie ostroda posted 10/31/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to quality articles that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  13. real time forex posted 11/01/2013

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  14. gout remedy posted 11/01/2013

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am regularly proclaiming that its difficult to procure quality help, but here is…

  15. key man insurance posted 11/01/2013

    Title…

    [...]Here are several of the web-sites we advocate for our visitors[...]…

  16. cpanel web hosting posted 11/01/2013

    Title…

    [...]very handful of internet websites that come about to be comprehensive below, from our point of view are undoubtedly very well worth checking out[...]…

  17. weight loss plans posted 11/01/2013

    Title…

    [...]Every when inside a whilst we select blogs that we read. Listed below are the newest websites that we pick out [...]…

  18. More posted 11/02/2013

    Recommeneded websites…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]……

  19. Financing posted 11/02/2013

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  20. how to get bigger breasts posted 11/02/2013

    Title…

    [...]Here are a number of the websites we suggest for our visitors[...]…

  21. fastest web hosting posted 11/02/2013

    Title…

    [...]always a major fan of linking to bloggers that I appreciate but really don’t get a lot of link enjoy from[...]…

  22. web hosting cpanel posted 11/02/2013

    Title…

    [...]usually posts some very fascinating stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]…

  23. spokane valley mall posted 11/02/2013

    Links…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]……

  24. ford crate engines posted 11/03/2013

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  25. las vegas escorts posted 11/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]Here is an excellent Blog You might Locate Interesting that we Encourage You[...]…

  26. website posted 11/03/2013

    Great website…

    [...]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[...]……

  27. spells posted 11/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool web-site that you simply could possibly appreciate. Take a look for those who want[...]…

  28. free games posted 11/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[...]…

  29. Title…

    [...]Every the moment inside a when we choose blogs that we read. Listed below would be the most current web sites that we choose [...]…

  30. hire a corporate blog writer posted 11/03/2013

    Title…

    [...]just beneath, are a lot of totally not associated sites to ours, nonetheless, they may be surely really worth going over[...]…

  31. wd tv live posted 11/04/2013

    Title…

    [...]check below, are some completely unrelated web sites to ours, on the other hand, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]…

  32. commodity trade posted 11/04/2013

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  33. sneak a peek at this site posted 11/05/2013

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  34. white teeth posted 11/05/2013

    Title…

    [...]usually posts some quite intriguing stuff like this. If you are new to this site[...]…

  35. chine tourisme posted 11/05/2013

    Sites we Like……

    [...] Every once in a while we choose blogs that we read. Listed below are the latest sites that we choose [...]……

  36. home page posted 11/05/2013

    Tumblr article…

    I saw someone talking about this on Tumblr and it linked to…

  37. Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  38. Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  39. MMA rukavice, Boxerské rukavice, MMA shop, Grappling rukavice…

    MMA rukavice, Boxerské rukavice, MMA shop, Grappling rukavice…

  40. muscle posted 11/06/2013

    Title…

    [...]usually posts some very exciting stuff like this. If you’re new to this site[...]…

  41. cd key posted 11/06/2013

    Kup cd key hry na Gamesale.cz…

    Kup cd key hry na Gamesale.cz…

  42. porodní asistentka posted 11/06/2013

    Jarmila Kovaříková – porodní asistentka…

    Jarmila Kovaříková – porodní asistentka…

  43. ex back expert review posted 11/07/2013

    Title…

    [...]The information mentioned in the post are a number of the ideal accessible [...]…

  44. Critical Bench Press posted 11/07/2013

    Title…

    [...]we came across a cool internet site that you simply could delight in. Take a search when you want[...]…

  45. car insurance posted 11/07/2013

    Title…

    [...]Here are several of the internet sites we recommend for our visitors[...]…

  46. Rady, tipy návody. posted 11/07/2013

    Rady, tipy návody…

    Rady, tipy návody…

  47. Title…

    [...]Sites of interest we have a link to[...]…

  48. brain posted 11/07/2013

    Superb website…

    [...]always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I like but don’t get a lot of link love from[...]……

  49. brain posted 11/07/2013

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here today, so I just took to piddeling around online and found…

  50. coupons posted 11/08/2013

    Check this out…

    [...] that is the end of this article. Here you’ll find some sites that we think you’ll appreciate, just click the links over[...]……

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c