Making Corned Beef Brine

Create corned beef brine if you want to turn a slab of beef brisket into the best cut of corned beef you've ever tried. If you are looking for a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day or just hankering for a slice of corned beef and cabbage (with a dab of horseradish, of course), you can make your own delicious corned beef by using this brine recipe.

Both the English and Irish have been corning beef (brining beef) for centuries. Salt kernels used to look a lot like corn kernels, hence the name "corned beef." This technique is used to transform a tough piece of beef into a melt-in-your-mouth delicacy we now associate with the celebration of St. Patrick's Day and everything Irish.

A basic brining recipe is salt and water, but you'll want to add some additional spices to make a truly delicious corned beef. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare this meal-traditionally the beef brisket sits in the brine between one and two weeks before it's cooked.

You will always want to brine your brisket in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower (use bags of ice to keep temperature low if needed) so you do not risk the growth of bacteria. To brine your brisket, invest in a large pot and move the shelves of your refrigerator such that you can place the pot of meat and brining solution in the refrigerator until you are ready to drain and cook it.

Corned Beef Brine Recipe

Ingredients You Will Need:
6 cups cold water
¼ cup salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon paprika
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon saltpeter dissolved in ½ cup warm water

Combine the ingredients listed above and pour over the brisket. Turn the brisket once a day as it sits in the refrigerator for between one and two weeks. Drain brisket. Simmer in pot full of water for one hour, then discard the water. Refill pot with water and cook for another three hours. Serve with horseradish sauce.

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