With St. Patricks day rapidly approaching, I started the annual corned beef today. Corned beef is a cut of cow, commonly brisket but sometimes plate or other cuts, cured in salt and/or other preservatives. In this case I am using a combination of what is commonly called 'pink salt' (sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite, I always forget which), Mortons kosher salt (can I get an endorsement already?), and garlic flavored sea salt. With that I have also added a generous amount of brown sugar, pickling spices I put together last fall so don't ask me what is in them, and paprika.
Unlike brisket that you smoke, corned beef should be trimmed of most of the fat cap in my opinion. While I know there is great love for a fatty brisket in many parts of the world, it's just not something I overly enjoy unless it has been smoked. On the other hand, smoked brisket fat is one of the most delicious things in the world, which is why I limit myself to at most once a year.
At this point the cut of beef will sit in the fridge with a twice daily 'over hauling'--that is to help spread the liquids that are expelled and the spices more evenly over the cut. This helps more evenly cure the beast, which could potentially take longer than the eleven days I have already allocated if I did not do so.
As it gets closer to the day I'll update this post with more pictures and commentary.
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.