Corned Beef is surprisingly easy – pair it with Irish Soda Bread, whole grain mustard, and a pint of Irish stout for a complete St. Patrick’s Day meal.
Corned Beef – serves 8-10 people
1 gallon water
1.5 cups kosher salt
0.5 cup sugar
2-3 bay leaves
4 teaspoons pink salt (sodium nitrite)*
8-10 garlic cloves, smashed
4 tablespoons pickling spice
5 lbs beef brisket
1 carrot, roughly chopped into 4-6 pieces
1 head cabbage, quartered
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped into 4-6 pieces
In pot large enough to hold brisket, combine 1 gallon of water with salt, sugar, sodium nitrite, garlic and pickling spice. Bring to a simmer, and stir until all sugar and salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Place brisket in brine. Weigh down with a plate to ensure that all parts are submerged. Refrigerate in brine for 4-5 days.
Remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly. Place in a pot just large enough to hold it. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then simmer until brisket is tender (about 3 hours). Remove brisket from pot and add carrots, cabbage and celery. Simmer gently until vegetables are tender, then add brisket back in. Bring to heat. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Meat can be refrigerated for several days in cooking liquid. Reheat in the liquid or serve chilled. Slice thinly and serve on a sandwich or with additional vegetables simmered until tender in the cooking liquid.
* Sodium nitrite, or curing salt, is available at specialty shops. It’s what gives the corned beef its “corned” flavor, as well as the pink color. Omit if not readily available.