Recipe courtesy of Time Life Books

Brine for Corning Beef

  • Level: Easy
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Ingredients

4 quarts water

1 1/2 pounds kosher salt

1 pound dark brown sugar

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 sprig thyme

10 juniper berries

10 crushed peppercorns

1 tablespoon baking soda

4 gallons boiling water

1 egg, in shell

Salt, if needed

Cold water to cover meat

1 (5 pound) beef brisket

5 cloves garlic

Directions

  1. Bring first 9 ingredients up to the peppercorns to a boil and boil hard for 5 minutes. Leave the brine to cool. Clean a stoneware crock or plastic bucket and its lid with a solution of 1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 gallon boiling water. Rinse well and leave to drain dry. To test the saltiness of the brine put egg, in shell in the cooled brine. If it doesn't float, add enough salt until it does. To draw off any excess blood and to help the brine penetrate, pierce the beef all over with a trussing needle or skewer and place meat in cold water for about 45 minutes. Remove the meat from water and place in crock or bucket. Pour the cooled brine over the brisket. Add garlic to the brine. Place a plate on top of the brisket to submerge. Place a lid or plastic wrap over container. Store in a refrigerator or dry place, at a temperature below 60 degrees. Salting time depends on the thickness of the meat. Allow 3 to 10 days for salting time for brisket. When removing meat from brine, always use clean tongs: this way the brine will stay good longer and be reused with the same kind of meat. It is possible to strain off the brine and reboil it, adding a refresher of about half the above quantities. Naturally the crock or bucket will need a complete cleaning. This should be done before mold appears.
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