Did you know?…….There is lots to tell you about corned beef…but for now did you realise this is the same as American Salt Beef? No? Me neither when I was growing up. It came minced up in cans called Fra Bentos and mum served it thickly sliced, with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, celery and salad cream, oh yes and bread and butter.
Later I’ve had it piled up as a sky scraper on caraway rye at the Carnegie Deli in New york with huge fat pickled cucumbers, and on similar rye with fiery, eye watering and stinging, English mustard from Brick Lane here in London.
Now I fancy making my own corned beef (Oh yes!) and it should be ready to serve up for my birthday next week…..
So I ordered my piece of brisket and we picked it up yesterday morning from Ginger Pig, (other quality butchers are available, but it happens to be my closest by miles!) and later that day I lowered it into it’s spicy brine in which it will bathe for the next week or so…….
5 litres water
1 tablespoon juniper berries
2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
600 g sea salt
400 g dark brown sugar
3 kg piece beef brisket
Pour the water into a very large pan and sprinkle in all spices, bay, salt and sugar. Place on heat and bring to just below the boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Leave to cool completely.
Prod your piece of brisket all over with a long pronged fork or skewer as you need to be able to penetrate the centre of the meat.
Place the meat in the brine. I used the pot I had cooked it in as it was stainless steel. Or you just need to make sure the container you use is non reactive like ceramic or plastic.
Step 5. Weigh the meat down as it needs to be completely submerged. I used a heavy bowl and a pile of small plates. Cover and leave for about a week, turning occasionally.
Step 6…….I will post as we go along………
And I was hoping to use this pot or pickling crock below. It was my mum’s, and at least her mum’s before that. I usually use it to hold my wooden spoons in and was really excited when I realised that this was actually really perfect for the corned beef! as it was what was, traditionally used. Boo! though, as it really sadly has a hair line crack and will leak. Bugger! Bugger! Bugger! as my gorgeous friend Ron would say.
He’s a beauty isn’t he?….
Also thinking of making these to go with…….
Green herb sauce
Homemade pickled cucumber
Chrain (beetroot and horseradish puree)