Make Your Own Corned Beef

Prep: 8 days

Cook: 3 hours

Serves: 10

This recipe is from Bruce Aidells’ and Denis Kelly’s The Complete Meat Cookbook. Bruce lives in the Bay Area and loves cooking with Niman Ranch meats.


8 cups water, or more if necessary to cover the meat

1¼ cups kosher salt

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp pickling spices

1 6-to-8 pound Niman Ranch beef brisket

1 medium onion, spiked with three cloves

3 garlic cloves

1 carrot, coarsely chopped

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon peppercorns


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan. Add the salt and sugar and stir to dissolve. Stir in the pickling spices. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cooled to 45°F.
  2. Pour the brine into a large bowl or crock and submerge the meat in it, making sure it stays under the surface by using a heavy plate as a weight. Refrigerate for 8 to 12 days. Stir the brine each day and turn the beef occasionally.
  3. To cook the corned beef, remove the meat from the brine and put it in a large pot. Cover with water and add the vegetables, bay leaves and peppercorns. Simmer over low heat until tender, 2½ to 3 hours, or more if necessary.
  4. Thinly slice across the grain and serve hot or cold.