Dragon Eats: Corned Beef

corned beefMy late husband, Geo, was very fond of a good slab of corned beef. An adventurous cook, he enjoyed making anything from scratch. Years ago, he ran across instructions in a newspaper for corning beef and immediately adapted the recipe. The beef stays submerged in the brine for many days, and needs to be “agitated” daily. He kept the brine pot in his beer refrigerator and made it a point to give it a poke every time he got a beer. Thus, it was “agitated” quite often. —BTW

The brining of it
7 quarts water
3 C kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, smashed
20 peppercorns
20 cloves
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried thyme
6-9 lbs brisket, top or bottom round.
(Several small briskets can be brined together.)

In a large stockpot or lobster pot, stir seasonings into the water until the salt dissolves. Add the beef, cover and refrigerate pot for 7-10 days, stirring daily.

The cooking of it
Rinse the beef well, place in a clean pot and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, and simmer about 15 minutes.

Remove beef, drain pot and add beef and fresh water to cover generously. Add:

1 medium onion, sliced
2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
2-3 cloves garlic, smashed
10-15 peppercorns

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 – 3 hours, until meat is tender (depending on size).

Note: Geo liked his corned beef with lots of flavor. He omitted the first simmer, and simply rinsed the beef and cooked it as directed.

Extra brined briskets can be frozen for later use.

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