This Homemade Corned Beef recipe will make you wonder why you’ve never made it yourself before. The corned beef brine is a perfect balance of everything that you love about Corned beef for St Patricks day and gives you the most fork tender and flavorful brisket you’ll ever have!
With St. Patricks Day fast approaching I wanted to share this homemade corned beef recipe with you so you had plenty of time to make your own corned beef for all of your favorite corned beef recipes like Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup and Corned beef Hash.
Corned beef is traditional St Patricks day food and is super popular this time of year. When I first started thinking about making this I went to the store to buy store bought corned beef and then it hit me? What the heck am I doing, homemade is almost always better. (Save for the jiffy cornbread mix….there is no way to top that for a fast easy cornbread!!)
This corned beef recipe has subtle hints of cloves, ginger and cinnamon while being super tender. Cut against the grain it is so succulent and literally melts in your mouth.
The meat is very well seasoned, comes out fork tender and has the perfect red color you expect in the best corned beef recipe.
What does Corning Beef even mean?
Corning is actually a pickling method of using salts, and spices to season or flavor the meat. You cure/brine the meat for several days then rinse the meat and cook as you normally would any beef brisket.
What gives Corned Beef its traditional red color?
Prague powder is a pickling salt that is a bright neon color that after several days of brining gives you that beautiful red color we’ve come to expect with homemade corned beef.
You can find it in some supermarkets but I got mine at Amazon – this one by Anthony’s …. look at that crazy neon pink color, hard to believe that it turns the corned beef red but it does.
Don’t worry about the neon pink color… it is totally edible and not harmful at all!
What ingredients go into a the corned beef brine recipe?
- Kosher Salt
- Brown Sugar
- Pink Salt (Prague powder)
- Mustard Seed
- Black Peppercorns
- Whole Cloves
- Whole Allspice Berries
- Bay Leaves
See? No fancy things in these corned beef spices. You can find most of them at your local supermarket except for the Prague powder pickling salt which you can find at a local butcher or on Amazon.
How do you make corned beef?
Start with the brine. Add your water to a stock pot and then add all of the brine ingredients to the water.
You’ll want to stir it while it boils, it takes about 15 minutes to dissolve the sugar and the salt, then it is done.
Add the ice to help cool it and use a thermometer to get the brine to 45° or less. You might need to put it into the refrigerator to help cool it down. This step is critical because you don’t want hot water to come into contact with the corned beef to start any cooking.
Pour the chilled brine over the top, remove any air and seal the bag. Then you can store it in any container in the fridge. (I put mine in a large stock pot, but a bowl is fine too. I’m always afraid the bag will spring a leak and I want to catch any liquid before it creates a mess in my fridge.
At this point it is your option how you cook it. I like the slow cooker method to cook my corned beef. Set it and forget it just works for me.
PRO TIP: Be mindful of the amount of water and ice you use. Measuring is important. More or less water will effect the flavor of the final corned beef taste. Too little water, it will be super salty,. Too much water and it could be bland.
Common Questions with this homemade corned beef brisket recipe
Can I make Corned Beef on the stove top? This recipe is easily adapted to be made on the stove. Braise it in a cast iron pot or stove pot for 3-4 hours on a medium simmer until the brisket is fork tender. If you make it this way you can add the cabbage with about 15 minutes to go to be braised in the liquid.
Can I make corned beef without the Prague Powder Pink salt? You can absolutely make a delcisou corned beef recipe with out the pink salt. BUT,…. you’re brisket will be brown like you a regular beef brisket. The flavors will still be corned beef tasting though!
What kind of brisket should I buy for the best corned beef brisket recipe? Any beef brisket will work very well for corning the beef in the traditional corned beef brine.
What kind of sauce works with Corned beef? I use this horseradish cream sauce and add a little mustard to it. It adds just the right creamy zing we love with corned beef. It also works as a sandwich spread!
Recipes to use this homemade corned beef brisket recipe!
- Easy Corned Beef Hash
- Soup: Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup
- Corned Beef Reuben Dip
- Hot Reuben Casserole
- Corned Beef & Cabbage (coming Thursday! )
- Reuben Deviled Eggs
- Corned Beef Swiss in Puff Pastry Sliders! (easy one pan appetizer!)
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This Homemade Corned Beef recipe will make you wonder why you've never made it yourself before. The corned beef brine is a perfect balance of everything that you love about Corned beef for St Patricks day and gives you the most fork tender and flavorful brisket you'll ever have!
- 1 quart water
- 12 ounces kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons pink salt see post for specific kind
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
- 6 whole cloves
- 12 whole juniper berries
- 8 whole all spice berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 1" fresh ginger, sliced thin (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 3 pounds ice
- 4-5 pounds beef brisket
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 large carrots chopped
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 cups water
Place the water, in a large stockpot. Add Salt, sugar, pink salt, cinnamon, mustard seeds, peppercorn, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook on high heat until salt and sugar have dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the ice. Stir until melted. Brine should be 45° or cooler. Refrigerate if necessary.
DO NOT SKIMP ON ICE. You need the volume of water to help dilute the mixture, Shorting water or ice will yield a salty brisket.
Place the brisket into a large zip lock bag. Once the brine is cooled to 45° pour over the brisket into the plastic bag. Remove air, seal the ziplock and place in a bowl/stock pot that will fit in the fridge. Allow to brine for 5 days.
Daily, pick up the bag and swish the liquid around so that the brine gets moved around and all areas are able to get completely saturated.
After 5 days remove brisket from brine, toss leftover brine. Rinse brisket and pat dry.
Place cut onions, carrots and celery in to the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the brisket on top.
Cook on high for 8 hours until brisket is fork tender. You can use the vegetables in the bottom of the crock pot but they will be somewhat mushy.
Serve along side boiled potatoes, carrots and cabbage (done in a separate pot) if you want less mushy vegetables.
This recipe was adapted from Alton Brown's recipe for homemade corned beef.
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