Thursday, March 17, 2011

Home-cured Corned Beef - Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Click on the picture for better resolution.  Irish soda bread from Me & Ollies is delicious: lots of savory, sweet and salty flavors, especially of caraway, raisin and baking soda.  Curing method adapted from America's test Kitchen cooks.

Grassfed flat-cut brisket cured for 6 days in the fridge.  First, poked a couple dozen skewer holes in each side.  Next, rubbed in kosher salt, cracked black pepper, paprika, pinches of allspice and thyme, and crushed bay.  Weighted it down and turned it over every day.  Thoroughly rinsed before cooking.

Braised in water with fresh bay leaves, mustard seed and peppercorn for ~3-1/2 hours.  Added carrots, whole baby potatoes, parsnips, cubed turnip and red cabbage--all from local farmers!--during the last 45 minutes (cabbage added during last 15 minutes).

Was super fork tender, moist and meaty, with hints of the bay and mustard poking through.  Not too salty--just succulent the way corned beef should be!  Yum!

Did you know?  Corned beef got its name from the Old English who used the term 'corn' when they referred to large, coarse grains.  The large granular salts used for curing meat thus resulted in "corned beef."

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