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 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.