16/12/2012

Brined Brisket (AKA Corned Beef)

I'm not sure why I actually did this ...

In these days of refrigeration  the age old method of salt curing is no longer necessary. I think I had it in mind to make a proper corned beef hash, or similar, and rather than buying brined meat which could well have been exposed to all manner of rubbish, thought it good to have a go myself.

It is, after all, very tasty!

I went for a simple brining solution based on about 100g of salt per litre of water, which worked out well for me as my vessel held the meat and that litre of water perfectly. For salt, I went with smoked Maldon.

Spices were fennel seed, black mustard seed and cardamom. Maybe a teaspoon of each and a few cardamom. For that subtle sweetness, sugar is often added.

That won't do for me, but I was pleased to find in ancient recipe books that honey was often used. I went with a tablespoon of my local honey.

Bring the water to the boil in a pan. Add in the salt and honey and ensure that it has all dissolved.

Allow the water to cool. Once lukewarm, add in the spices.

Once cool, pour over the meat.



Left for 7 days, turned once daily, it came to cooking time ...

... and I'd forgotten why I began this process, so we just had it cooked through in the oven for a couple of hours in a beef stock and served with mash and veggies.


It was certainly very good indeed, the meat more tender and with a subtle flavour from the spices, even after further cooking. It's something I'd certainly do again, not necessarily out of need, but certainly for the flavour.

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