Although the exact beginnings of corned beef are hard to pin down, it’s pretty universally acknowledged that it first arose when people started preserving meat through salt-curing. And when the British Industrial Revolution spread to Ireland, the Irish began producing a significant amount of the Atlantic’s corned beef, using local cattle and salt imported from the Iberian Peninsula. Today, corned beef is used most commonly in Reuben sandwiches, corned beef hash, and with cabbage–a traditional Irish dish. No matter what you’re planning to use your corned beef in though, here’s the perfect recipe for homemade corned beef the whole family will love.
For the Brine
• 8 cup water
• 1 cup Earth Fare coarse salt
• 1/2 cup Earth Fare sugar
• 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
• 1 tsp mustard seeds, crushed
• 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
• 1 cinnamon stick, crushed
• 4 dried bay leaves, crushed
• 8 whole cloves
For the Corned Beef
• 5 lbs flat-cut beef brisket
• 1 medium onion, halved
• 1 medium celery stalk, halved
• 1 medium carrot, peeled, halved
• 1 lb baby turnips, peeled, trimmed
• 1 lb baby carrots, peeled, trimmed
• 1 medium head cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
• 1 lb small red potatoes
• Earth Fare Dijon mustard, for serving
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 4 days.
3. Rinse brisket; discard brine. Place in a large pot. Add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Add onion, celery, and halved carrot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
4. Set a steamer in a large saucepan. Add enough water to reach the bottom, and bring to a boil. Add turnips. Reduce heat, cover, and steam until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with baby carrots, steaming 10 to 12 minutes. Add to turnips.
5. Transfer corned beef to a cutting board. Tent with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes. Discard remaining solids from broth, then bring to a boil. Add cabbage and potatoes, and simmer until tender, about 25 minutes. Add turnips and carrots, and cook until warmed through. Transfer vegetables to a platter; reserve broth.
6. Trim excess fat from beef. Slice thinly against grain, and transfer to platter. Serve with broth and mustard.