Deli-Style Corned Beef
Brining your own corned beef at home is easy, all you need is the right equipment and time. Beyond the pink salt, which can be found at a butcher shop or on Amazon, you probably have the spices in your cabinets already. Once you taste the real deal, you’ll never go back to the pre-brined store bought version.
Make Your Own Corned Beef at Home
- 1 whole beef brisket, roughly 10 pounds
- 2/3 cups Prague Powder cure, or pink salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, crushed
- 1/3 cup paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1/4 cup pickling spice
In a large food safe non-reactive container, mix all of the dry ingredients with water. Whisk to dissolve spices. If you don’t have a vessel large enough to hold the brisket, try looking at a restaurant supply or ordering one online.
Place brisket in the container, and fill with additional water and weight with a plate so the brisket is entirely submerged. Cure for 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.
Drain liquid. Rinse the brisket under cold water.
Place in a pot just large enough to hold the brisket. Add water to cover the meat and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer for 3 hours, or until the brisket is fork tender. Let cool in the liquid for one hour.
Slice and serve on sandwiches with sauerkraut, or with cabbage and potatoes boiled in the poaching liquid until tender.
Photograph by Madeleine Hill.