How to Make Corned Beef: A Delicious and Simple Recipe

Sliced corned beef on a plate with whole roasted potatoes, cabbage and baby carrots. Text overlay reads: How to Make Corned Beef.

Making your own corned beef at home may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple and incredibly rewarding. The flavor and tenderness of homemade corned beef far surpasses anything you can find at the store. In this article, we’ll guide you through the easy process of making your own corned beef, allowing you to immerse yourself in the world of homemade cured meats.

What is Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a salt-cured roast or brisket, often enhanced with sugar and spices for added flavor. Typically, it is made from tougher cuts of beef, such as brisket or round roast, which are slow-cured and cooked to perfection. The result is a tender, savory delight that will have your taste buds singing.

Beef brisket in a corned beef brine.

Home Cured Corned Beef: A Flavorful Delight

While you can easily purchase corned beef from the grocery store, there’s something special about making it from scratch. The homemade version turns out incredibly tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor that you won’t find in pre-packaged roasts.

Making your own corned beef allows you to experiment with different spices and flavors to suit your taste. The brine recipe we’ll share with you combines the perfect balance of sweetness and spice, making each bite better than the last.

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Home cured corned beef in a stock pot with cabbage.

How to Make Corned Beef: A Simple Process

Now that you understand the allure of homemade corned beef, let’s dive into the process. Curing a roast or brisket in a salt bath is the key to achieving that tender texture.

For this recipe, you’ll need Prague powder #1 (also known as InstaCure or pink curing salt #1). It’s important to maintain a ratio of 3.2 teaspoons of cure per gallon of liquid for a 1.5 inch thick, 4-5 pound roast. This will ensure a deep pink color throughout the meat.

  1. Make the brine: In a large stock pot, bring water, apple juice, salt, brown sugar, pickling spice, and Prague powder #1 to a boil. Stir well to dissolve all the salt and sugar.
  2. Cool the brine: Remove the brine from the heat and add 1 quart of ice. Allow the brine to come to room temperature.
  3. Cure the beef: Place the beef brisket in a large food-safe plastic container and cover it with the brine. Refrigerate the brisket and let it cure for 5-7 days. Remember to turn and stir the brine mixture daily.

That’s it! With just a few quality ingredients and some patience, you’ll soon be enjoying your very own homemade corned beef.

Corned Beef Cure Ratios: Perfecting the Process

Dry cures are typically measured by the weight of the meat being cured. In this wet brine recipe, the key is to ensure the correct ratio of cure suspended in the liquid. This ensures that the meat is fully penetrated before cooking.

A thinner brisket flat will typically cure in 5 days, while a thicker cut like a round roast may take closer to 7 or 8 days. It’s important to rotate your meat in the brine and agitate the liquid daily to prevent the salt from sinking to the bottom.

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Sliced corned beef on a plate with whole roasted potatoes, cabbage and baby carrots.

How to Cook Corned Beef: A Delicious Twist

Once your beef is cured, it’s time to cook it to perfection. While boiling with the reserved pickling spices is the traditional method, we have a mouthwatering twist for you.

Try our recipe for Smoked Corned Beef and Cabbage, which involves braising the beef with delicious veggies. While it may not be the most traditional approach, the flavors will blow you away. Get ready to enjoy a corned beef experience like no other.

More Corned Beef (and Cabbage!) Recipes

If you’re looking for more corned beef inspiration, whether it’s for a St. Patrick’s Day feast or simply a tasty meal, we have a few recipes to satisfy your cravings:

  • Corned Beef Jerky
  • Smoked Corned Beef and Cabbage
  • Bacon Wrapped Smoked Cabbage

Experience the Homemade Delight of Corned Beef

Making your own corned beef is a journey of flavors and aromas that will elevate your culinary skills. The satisfaction of creating this beloved delicacy from scratch is unparalleled.

So why wait? Dive into the world of homemade cured meats and experience the joy of crafting your very own corned beef. Visit Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ to explore more tasty recipes and elevate your cooking game.