St. Patrick’s Day is just over a week away – and this is probably the only post you’ll get from me about it.
Y’all, I’m just not into any holiday that forces me to wear a color that looks awful on me. I’d rather just skip it. What I don’t skip is the corned beef. I love corned beef.
And I cured this myself! Because guess what! My grocery stores don’t put corned beef out until right before St. Patty’s Day. Gahhh. So I bought some brisket, soaked it in some salt water with a bunch of funny smelling spices, and let it hang out in my fridge for 5 days.
Also, I learned that the reason store-bought corned beef is pink is because they use a dyed salt to brine it. I had no idea. I always thought it was just one of those mysteries of the world.
Anyway, it wasn’t difficult to do it myself. It took maybe 30 minutes to get the beef in it’s brine and then I didn’t think about it again until it was time to cook. And it turned on wonderfully. If you don’t want to buy 7 jars of spices that you’ll never use again, go ahead and get the corned beef from your grocery store and just cook that as directed.
I cooked mine with carrots, onions, and potatoes and then I added cabbage at the end of the cooking. The veggies turned out so good. We love cabbage and when it’s cooked with the corned beef, it turns out almost buttery. It’s so delicious – my husband and I practically fought over it!
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Brine from Ruhlman
- To cure the beef:
- Put black peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds in a small dry pan. Place over medium heat and stir until fragrant, being careful not to burn them. Crack peppercorns and seeds in mortar and pestle or with the side of a knife on cutting board. Combine with red pepper flakes, allspice berries, mace, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves, and ginger.
- In a pot large enough to hold the brisket, combine one gallon of water, kosher salt, sugar, and half of the spice mixture. (Store the other half in an airtight container for when you actually cook the beef.)
- Bring to a simmer, stirring until salt and sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold.
- Once cold, place brisket in brine, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 5 days.
- Place carrots, onion, and potatoes in the bottom of a crockpot. Sprinkle with thyme.
- Remove brisket from the brine and rinse thoroughly. Place on top of the veggies and sprinkle the remaining pickling spice (the spice mixture you had left over). Add enough water to just about cover the meat. Cook on low for 8 hours.
- After 8 hours, place the cabbage wedges on top of the meat and cook another 45 minutes or until the cabbage is tender.
- Slice the corned beef and serve with the vegetables and mustard.