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Homemade Corned Beef


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Home Style  Corned  Beef


We  still  cannot  buy  corned  beef  here  and  I  try  to  make  this  at  least  once  a  year  and  have  it  for  St. Patrick’s  Day.    Then  I  invite  all  of  our  corned  beef  starved  friends  for  dinner.    Corned  beef  must  be  an  acquired taste  because  all  of  the  Latinos  that  come  here think  that  we  are  crazy. Even  if  you  buy  your  corned  beef,  the  preparations  given  here are some  of  the  best  ways  to  cook  it.     


Corned  Beef Brine:

4  cups  water

1  teaspoon  saltpetre

4  whole  cloves

8  whole  allspice  berries

1/4  cup  white  vinegar

1/2  cup  salt

4  bay  leaves   

1  teaspoon  whole  black  peppercorns   

1/2  teaspoon  mustard  seed

1/4  cup  granulated  sugar


Combine  all  ingredients,  and  bring  to  a  boil.    Cool  thoroughly  and  add  4  garlic  cloves,  mashed.




5  pounds  of  beef  brisket

Pierce  meat  well  with  a  sharp  fork  or a Jacquard tool and  place  in  a  large  bag  with  a  zip  type  closure.    Add  brine  ingredients.   Place  in  another  plastic  bag  and  refrigerate. (if you have a plastic container that the meat fits well inside, you can use that. See photo)  if using a plastic container, place a plate on the top of the meat to submerge it in the brine. Be sure to turn it every 2 days.


Turn  the  meat  at  least  every  two  days.    Let  meat  cure  for  2  to  3 weeks (a small cut of meat can be used in as little as 8 to 10 days).    If  you  don’t  plan  to  use  the  meat  at  this  time,  wrap  it  well  and  freeze  it.




Rinse  meat  well,  and  place  in  a  large  pot.    Cover  with  water  and  add:

1  teaspoon whole  peppercorns    

3  bay  leaves

2  cloves  of  garlic  

Simmer  gently  for  3  hours.   

At  the  end  of  2  hours  add;

4  large  potatoes  cut  in  quarters

10 to 12  small  peeled  onions,  whole

2  carrots,  cut  in  large  chunks

At  the  end  of  2  1/2  hours,  add  1  small  cabbage,  cut  in  quarters,  with  the  core  left  on  to  hold  it  together. (I always please toothpicks in the wedges to hold them together) Serve  with  horseradish  sauce  and  mustard.  


Instant Pot Preparation:

Since I got my instant pot, this is my new favorite way to cook corned beef. Rinse the meat  well,  and  place it in the instant pot.    Cover  with  water  and  add the aromatics as in the previous method. Cover the pot and close, checking to see that the pressure gauge is in place. Select manual setting for 50 minutes and start. when the time is up let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Release the remaining pressure, open the pot and remove the meat to a platter. cover and keep warm. Add the carrots, potatoes and onion to the broth inside. Close the pot and cook for 4 minutes. Using natural pressure release as before, add the cabbage wedges and cook for a further 5 minutes. Let the pressure release as before.

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Thanks, @Tropicalsenior, I will try your method for my own Corned Beef.

BTW, as I mentioned last year, the nearby Catholic church does a big corned beef dinner for St. P. day.  

They cook the corned beef as you've stated and then they take the meat, smear it all over with a mixture of brown sugar and yellow mustard, wrap it in foil and oven bake for another hour at about 300º.  It is, without question, the best corned beef in the world.

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9 minutes ago, lindag said:

  It is, without question, the best corned beef in the world.

 let me know how yours turns out. That church corn beef does sound good. Someday I want to use this recipe and make pastrami. One of our members posted a good pastrami recipe and I can't find it. Still looking though. The only problem is, I have neither a barbecue or a smoker. Ridiculous as it seems, this is my only BBQ Grill. It is an Argentinian tabletop brazier. In order to smoke something, I have to fire it up and put a cardboard box over it.


It's not worth a darn for any cool smoking.

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  • 2 months later...

I just noticed your grill and the issue you may have with smoking with it.   The cardboard box may work as smoking is a low temp long term form of cooking with such apparatus.   I'm imagining you would build your charcoal fire in the bottom part with the handles.  The next part above it would be flooded with water.   Then your meat will be placed on the grill  before the smoke containing enclosure is placed above all of this. 


If you could find a piece of sheet metal to bend around to form a cylinder and a small piece of sheet metal to form a cover for the top end,  (that is nearly air tight)  then you would have a smoker.   The top should have a damper that you can adjust to draw the heat and smoke up around the meat.   If you have a thermometer mounted in that metal housing it should be mounted at about the level of the grill so you'll know the temperature the meat is cooking at.  200 to 250 degrees F for 5 to 7 hours (depending on meat)  should have you smoking meats that will be satisfying.   Often after brining grill cooks will pat the

meat dry with paper towels and rub dijon mustard or mayonnaise over the meat and refrigerate it for awhile.  Then bring it out and apply rubs to the meat before cooking it in the smoker. 


I've smoked corned beef on several occasions and it is much better than boiling it in water.  I think you will enjoy it as well.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I know when I cold smoke with my bullet type smoker, I have put ice in the pan versus water and only used a couple of briquettes at a time.

Rule #3: Don't believe what you're told.  Double check.

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