Make your own corned beef with spices and an easy brine, and skip the preservatives!
Here's a delicious homemade corned beef recipe, along with instructions for the corned beef and cabbage dinner. Start the corned beef with a fresh beef brisket about 7 days before you plan to make your dinner.
- For the Beef:
- 10 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 3 tablespoons pickling spices
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 fresh beef brisket (7 to 9 pounds)
- For the Vegetables:
- 3 ribs celery (cut into 2-inch pieces)
- 2 large onions (cut into wedges)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 6 medium red potatoes (halved)
- 5 carrots (cut into thirds)
- 2 small rutabagas (or 1 medium rutabaga, cut into 2-inch chunks)1 head of cabbage (cut into 6 or 8 wedges)
Combine water, salt, sugar, mustard, spices, and 3 cloves minced garlic in an 8-quart nonreactive stock pot.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
When liquids have cooled, trim the corned beef of excess fat and put into the liquid. You may need to transfer the liquids and corned beef to a larger container or bowl, just make sure it is nonreactive. If necessary, add more cold water to cover the beef.
Using a heavy pottery bowl or a few small bowls, weigh the corned beef down so it will stay submerged in the water. Cover the pan and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. Take out once a day to stir lightly, and turn the beef as needed.
On the 6th or 7th day, remove the beef from the brine and rinse well with cold water. Place in a large (8-quart or larger) pot. Cover with cold water and add the celery, onions, and 2 cloves minced garlic. Bring to a boil; skim off any scum which develops on the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
Uncover the pot and add the potatoes, carrots, rutabaga or turnip, and cabbage. An 8-quart pot should be large enough, but if you don't have room for all of the vegetables, bring another pot of water to a boil and add a 1 tablespoon of salt; add the cabbage or other vegetables which wouldn't fit.
Cover the large pot and cook until meat and vegetables are tender, about 1 hour longer.
If cooking some vegetables in another pot, cook just until tender and keep warm.
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