Since my Pure Beef cookbook came out, I've tweaked this recipe a bit. The main change is that I've decided that it's worth making with curing salt, mostly so that it looks like what people expect corned beef to be: pink. Curing salt, also called pink salt, is sodium nitrite, and is available online. If you'd prefer not to use it for any reason, you can skip it. Just know that your corned beef will turn out pale red-brown. But you won't miss any of the flavors of traditional corned beef. Just add boiled cabbage and potatoes.
Course Main Course
Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 3hours
Total Time 3hours20minutes
Author Lynne Curry
1teaspoonpink salt (sodium nitrite)optional
13½ to 4 pound bottom round roastor sirloin tip roast, chuck roast or brisket
2medium onionspeeled and quartered
4medium carrotspeeled and cut into 2-inch-long rounds
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan. Remove it from the heat, add the kosher salt, pink salt (if using) and sugar, and stir until they dissolve. Pour the salt mixture into a 4-quart or larger glass, ceramic, or plastic container.
Add 4 cups ice-cold water along with the garlic, pickling spices, bay leaves, black pepper and cinnamon stick. Add 1 cup ice cubes and stir to chill the brine rapidly or put it in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Pierce the beef all over with a wooden skewer to help the brine penetrate, submerge the beef into the brine, and refrigerate for 4 to 5 days.
Drain the beef along with the garlic and spices in a large strainer and rinse it briefly in cool running water, reserving the garlic and spices. Discard the brine. Put the beef in a pot that fits it snuggly and fill the pot with cool water to cover the beef by 1 inch. Add the reserved garlic and spices.
Bring the water to a boil over medium heat then reduce the heat to low, and simmer gently, partially covered. After about 2½ hours, add the onions and carrots, and continue to simmer until a skewer slides in and out of the beef with ease, 3 to 3½ hours total.
Serve the corned beef warm in thick slices moistened with some of the cooking liquid and with the vegetables on the side. To store, transfer the corned beef into a container, add enough cooking liquid to cover it, and refrigerate it for up to 4 days.