It's easy to make your own corned beef at home. Just plan ahead. The beef brisket will take about 3 weeks to cure. You can also use bottom round roast in place of brisket if you wish.
Boil water. Add salt and saltpeter, stir to dissolve and set aside to cool.
Place brisket in a large crock, zipper-style plastic bag or another non-metallic container. Pour salt water over the meat and add garlic, pickling spices, and bay leaves. Meat should be submerged; use a weighted jar to hold meat under pickling solution.
Refrigerate or set in a cool place for 3 weeks.
Drain and remove bay leaves before cooking.
- Saltpeter is known commercially as potassium nitrate and is used to give the meat a pink coloring.
- Bottom round roasts may be substituted for the brisket for a leaner corned beef.
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal March 8, 1995. Reprinted with permission.