If you don’t live in Massachusetts, you might not know that we’ve been without potable water in Boston since Saturday afternoon. JP and I were in Maine for the weekend so we stocked up on nearly 30 gallons of water before coming home. This combined with a bit of work that came up meant no cooking on Sunday. So, I decided to start the Corned Beef process this week – no cooking needed which meant it was easy to clean up after (since we have to wash dishes with bottled water and all…).
Week: 18 of 52
Cookbook: various websites
I reviewed a few recipes online and in the end went with this:
- 2 quarts of water (bottled, in this case)
- 1 cup salt (Kosher)
- 3 tablespoons pickling spices
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- A few bay leaves
I mixed up the brine and poured it over this great brisket we got from Open Meadow Farm in Lunenburg, MA. They pasture raise Black Angus cows.
The brisket and brine went in a giant Ziploc bag and into the fridge, where I’ll turn it over every day for the next week or two, before making some great sandwiches, hash, and who knows what else.
To be clear, I didn’t use saltpeter. While recipes typically call for some amount of potassium nitrate, I really wasn’t psyched about adding a chemical used in fertilizer for the sake of having red corned beef when done. I’ll take my drab-colored beef over chemicals, thank you very much.
UPDATE 5/9: Here’s what it looks like so far…