Make Your Own Corned Beef

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

Cooking Instructions

  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.

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