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Tropicalsenior

Homemade Corned Beef and a plea for help

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Note that I have corrected my original post:  Prague Powder #1 contains sodium nitrite, not sodium nitrate.

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1 hour ago, mgaretz said:

Ever dry rub pork belly for home cured bacon?

No, but I sure would be interested in this. Pork belly is about $3 a pound here, and bacon is almost $10 a pound. Thank you for the link. I'm still reading it and it's fascinating. My only problem is that they cut the pork belly into narrow strips. but I've got a new butcher and I think I can talk him into giving me a big piece.

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One year I corned my own using Rulman's recipe and bought a prepared corned beef which I leach salt from before smoking. Ok they were both made into pastrami but in the end there was not enough difference to make from scratch again

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2 hours ago, mgaretz said:

 

Ever dry rub pork belly for home cured bacon?

 

Countless times.

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2 hours ago, scubadoo97 said:

One year I corned my own using Rulman's recipe and bought a prepared corned beef which I leach salt from before smoking. Ok they were both made into pastrami but in the end there was not enough difference to make from scratch again

Oh, I agree with you. They make darned good corned beef in the States. if I were living there I probably wouldn't make it. I'd wait until after Saint Patrick's Day and fill the freezer. But they've never even heard of it down here. This is a hard place to live if you liked cured meat or a good steak. I make my own breakfast sausage, Italian sausage, Argentinian sausage, Mexican chorizo and ham. There are some things in life you just can't live without. You guys drive me crazy, posting all those gorgeous steaks and prime ribs.

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8 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

@chromedomeI do use coarse salt in my brining, in fact it's the only thing I use. I was just worried about mixing it with a nitrite powder. When we first moved down here, I was delighted to find a coarse salt in a package in the grocery store. I came home and set up a batch of dill pickles, which we couldn't get down here either. Within 2 days I had the most vile mess that you've ever smelled. I read the label on the package that I had bought and it was called Sal Inglaterra (English salt). When I was finally smart enough to read the dictionary I found out that I had bought Epsom salts. Not recommended for dill pickles!

BYT, it is supposed to reach 85 degrees here this afternoon.

 

 

It was sleeting here earlier tonight. Wonder how quickly I can book a flight down your way....


Have to be out of town on business the next 3 days. Need to pull my brisket out of the freezer and get it thawed and brining when I get back, I guess. Best I recall, it's a nice sized piece, so I'll split it into corned beef and pastrami, now that I have the smoker.

 

(And the next place I'm contemplating going, on business, is Denver at the end of February. It snows and such in Denver, the end of February. A lot. I may have lost my mind.)

 

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Thank you for all of your replies. I've learned more in 2 days from all of you than I have learned in all of my internet searches. It's nice to receive advice from people who know what they are talking about and are generous in sharing their knowledge.

 I received several recipes from @Norm Matthewsthat are some of the easiest and best that I have received. He has kindly given me permission to share them with you. I hope that he will consider posting them on the recipe gullet. At this time of year this is such a popular topic and his recipes are definitely keepers.

CORNED BEEF
   FOR THE BRINE
   2 quarts water
   1 cup Canning and Pickling salt
   1 tablespoon Tenderquick
   1/2 cup sugar
   1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
   1 teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
   1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
   1 cinnamon stick, crushed
   4 dried bay leaves, crushed
   8 whole cloves

   1.    Make the brine: Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salts, sugar, and spices; remove from heat, and stir until salts and sugar dissolve. Let cool.
   2.    Make the corned beef: Place brisket in a nonreactive container just large enough to hold it. Pour cooled brine over meat. Place 2 small plates on top to keep meat submerged; cover, and refrigerate for 2 weeks.

Cooking Corned Beef
Serves 6-8

3 1/2 lb  or so Corned Beef Brisket from above
1/2 to 1 bottle beer
Water to cover, approx 2 cups
10 black peppercorns
1 whole allspice
1 bay leaves
12 sprigs fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 whole leeks, green trimmed to fit pot, slice white part to clean
1 medium onion, peeled, quartered

Simmer brisket about 3 hours
Add
7 or 8 whole carrots, cleaned
2 large rutabagas, trimmed and quartered

Simmer 1/2 additional hour

This is a long process but delicious. Please read all three recipes before proceeding.
   Here is a recipe for CORNED BEEF from scratch. My family really likes it:
   1. FOR CORNING
   4-5 lb. front cut brisket
   1 to 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
   1/2 cup packed brown sugar.
   In a saucepan, put enough water to cover brisket, add salt and sugar. Heat and stir to dissolve, cool. Place brisket in ceramic or glass bowl and pour water with dissolved sugar and salt over brisket. Cover with plastic and weight with non-metallic weight. Refrigerate 2 weeks.
   2. FOR SPICING
   8 bay leaves
   5 large cloves garlic, coarse chop
   1 tbsp. peppercorns, cracked
   1 tbsp. coarse salt
   3 dried hot peppers, 1 1/2 inches long, seeds removed
   Rub spices hard into meat, wrap tightly in foil, put in plastic bag and refrigerate 3-5 days. Unwrap meat, leave spices on,(OMIT THE FOLLOWING and skip down to the next recipe) place in Dutch oven, pour on 2 inches of boiling water and cook, covered, barely simmering 3-4 hours, turning occasionally and adding more boiling water as needed. Let cool, uncovered, in broth. Serve hot or cold. Can be kept in refrigerator one week.

   3.CORNED BEEF WITH CABBAGE
   This recipe is for use with the usual very salty store-bought corned beef. The washing, soaking in water and changing the cooking liquid are to reduce the saltiness. If you use the brisket prepared as above, you may omit those steps.
   I hope this helps.
   4 to 5 lbs corned brisket
   1 clove garlic, slivered
   1 onion stuck with 2 cloves
   8 carrots
   water
   6 onions
   6 turnips
   1 head of cabbage, quartered
   Wash the meat and let it set in cold water for an hour before you cook it. Then slash it in several places and insert the slivers of garlic. Place the beef in a large kettle, add 2 carrots and an onion stuck with 2 cloves and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 1 hour. Then pour off the water and cover with fresh boiling water. Continue cooking until the corned beef is tender but not mushy. This may take 4 to 5 hours, but watch it carefully and  test it often with a sharp fork. During the last hour, add 6 carrots, the onions and the turnips. Twenty minutes before you are ready to serve, add the quartered head of cabbage.
   Arrange the cooked corned beef on a hot platter and surround it with the vegetables. Serve with baked or boiled potatoes and a variety of good mustards and pickles.

 

Thank you, Norm. And thank you to everyone for your valuable advice.


Edited by Tropicalsenior Grave error! (log)
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Now I have filled myself with doubt. I was all set to make corned beef for the first time this weekend, following TropS advice, recipe & guidance but whilst doing a bit of research on if I could adapt to using a slow cooker, I realised the Australian recipes I was finding for Corn Beef were all a little different - they all seem to involve vinegar. I have read this topic and the other one that popped up about Paddys day corned meat, and vinegar is never mentioned/ or i missed it. I wonder why?  Is  American Corned Beef different from Australian?

 I would just usually follow  the advice here, but this meal is one of my husbands favourites - and I never make it because he raves about his mothers. So perhaps I should make an 'American version" and just call it something else?! Have any of you ever used vinegar in the simmering liquid?  I asked his mother and she constantly tops up the vinegar whilst cooking. 

 

I have to admit (somewhat guiltily ) that my own expectation of Corned Beef is entirely British - it comes in a can, is highly processed, and, if you buy it pre-sliced, as my husband denounces, it looks and tastes like salty cardboard, is perfectly square and crumbles when you bite it. I love it.

 

Its not available in this country -_-

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@CantCookStillTryAs we all know, too often, taste is in the preference of the diner. Is your husband Australian? If so, he has probably grown up with the taste of vinegar in his corned beef. Myself, I can't imagine it. However, I have seen vinegar in the brine even here in the US. Maybe you could put in just half of the amount that the recipe calls for in Australia. If his mother puts in vinegar that's probably the flavor that he is used to.

Don't feel alone, I grew up with the canned corn beef, too. I had no idea there was any other kind and I still love canned corned beef. Once in a great while, we will get it here but it comes from either Argentina or Chile and doesn't taste anything like the corned beef from the States. The only other canned meat that we can get is the ubiquitous Spam in about 10 flavors and I still like the original.

I've been researching corned beef in the slow cooker and some people swear by it. Go for it! I'd still cook the vegetables separately because you don't want any hint of mush in them.


Edited by Tropicalsenior addition (log)
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Canned corned beef, like Spam, makes good hash.

 

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 I can buy pretty good corned beef hash in a can, but I never thought of spam hash. it does sound good, especially with the leftover vegetables from the corned beef.

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We'd have Spam hash every couple of weeks when I was a kid. Cheap, and Daddy liked it. Spam, potatoes and onions, and usually served with boiled cabbage and soup beans. Lent itself to many a fragrant evening in the den.

 

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2 minutes ago, kayb said:

We'd have Spam hash every couple of weeks when I was a kid. Cheap, and Daddy liked it. Spam, potatoes and onions, and usually served with boiled cabbage and soup beans. Lent itself to many a fragrant evening in the den.

 

Childhood food memories seem to last forever. However, to this day I detest tomato soup because of Campbell's. Seems like this would be a great idea for a new topic.

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