If you would of said to me not so long ago, “You should make your own corn beef.” I would of thought you were crazy. That just seemed like too much, but then I got seduced into it by Mrs. Wheelbarrow and The YummyMummy. Those clever ladies started a blog contest called “Charcutepalooza” . Doesn’t the name alone make you want to participate? Foodies are always up for a party or celebration. You have a new challenge very month from the bible of cured meats, Charcuterie, by Micheal Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, over a course of a year and the best recipes made from the cured meats from a participating blogger gets a trip to Italy.
Now you would think that would get me to sign up. No. I thought that it is a huge commitment. Gabriel has so many sports, home work, whine, whine, plus I didn’t think that I had the money for buying a good piece of meat and f#%&! it up. Which I knew I was capable of. It would of made me sick to waste a good piece of meat, so I decided not to sign up.
Then I find out over 200 blogger signed up. What? That is crazy. These people are all nuts. It has gone viral. OMG, I am now feeling left out. One thing a foodie hates is to miss the party! I told myself that my reasons are still sound for not joining, but now I should push myself a bit.
So, the biggest news about brining beef is that it is super easy. Shockingly easy. I have to say the taste was great. My corn beef was tender and had a great depth of flavor. I made this corn beef for about $4.95 a lb. By the way, Katz famous deli in NYC sells their corn beef online for $19.95 a lb. I know that they have been doing it a long time, but I can not believe that corn beef is that much better then mine. Maybe they think everyone wants to reenact the famous Katz deli scene with Meg Ryan in “Harry met Sally”.
This is my interpetation of the recipe from Charcuterie read over the phone to me from my brother, who lives in LA and uses the book religiously. So it is basically how I heard it. I have since ordered the book. You all just need to buy the book.
7 lb. Brisket (can vary in size)
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1 oz. pink salt (curing salt. Not Himalayan pink salt)
3 garlic cloves
2 T. pickling spice
2 T. black peppercorns
2 T. mustard seeds
2T. coriander seeds
2 T. hot pepper flakes
2 T. allspice berries
2 T. whole cloves
1 T. ground mace
1 T. ground ginger
2 small cinnamon sticks
24 bay leaves, crumbled
Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, pink salt and half of the pickling spice. Place brisket into water make sure that is submerged. I put a plate on the top of the meat to make sure it is submerged. Place in the refrigerator for 5 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.
After 5 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to cover with water by 1-inch. Place the remaining pickling spice. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.
Now for what I was waiting for… a sandwich. I love, love, love sandwiches. A reuben is one of my favorites. I love corn beef on pumpernickel or rye. I need lots of swiss cheese. I take sauerkraut and rinse it really well and saute’ it in some fresh cabbage, then place that on the sandwich. Finally press it as I grill it. Like a panini. When it is hot and melty goodness I serve it with mustard & homemade thousand island dressing. Some bites I put a little mustard on, then other I use thousand island. OMG. Now I want to re-enact the Meg Ryan scene in Katz Deli. You will be so glad that you made your own corn beef.
But wait there is more….
Homemade cornbeef hash. Man, this is good. I always make extra baked potatoes when I bake them because they can be used in so many different ways. This is one of them. I cut up one big baked potato into small pieces. Throw in a handful of green onions and lots of garlic. Cut up a slice of corn beef into small pieces. Mix it all together. Place in heated saute’ pan with olive oil and butter melted in it. Keep over medium heat until browned. Season with salt and pepper. I like a few squeezes of Sriracha as well.
My son devoured this up with berry smoothie for our Sunday breakfast. I had mine with an egg and cup of coffee. It was fabulous.
In the end, just push yourself a little out of your comfort zone and make something that you have never made before. Even if it is not perfect, you learned from it and you will do better next time. I seem to be relearning that lesson over and over.
Pull up a chair, Elizabeth