Homemade corned beef brisket
Yield: 12 servings
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons pink salt cure (optional)
8 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (4-inch) piece of ginger, sliced into 1/4-inch rings
6 tablespoons pickling spice, store bought
1 (5-pound) beef brisket
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in two
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
In pot large enough to hold brisket, combine 1 gallon of water with kosher salt, sugar, pink salt cure (if using), garlic, ginger and 3 tablespoons pickling spice.
Bring to a simmer, stirring until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled.
Place brisket in brine, weighted with a plate to keep it submerged. Cover. Refrigerate for 5 days.
Remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly. Place in a pot just large enough to hold it. Cover with water and add remaining pickling spice, carrot, onion and celery. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer gently until brisket is fork-tender, about 3 hours, adding water if needed to cover brisket.
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.
Source: Andrew Sherrill, executive chef at the Blue Star, adapted from "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing" by Michael Ruhlman.