Corned Beef Brisket

Brine for Corned Beef BrisketThis month’s Charcutepalooza Challenge was brine, and we went pretty standard and did Corned Beef Brisket, using the last remaining and oh-so-prized brisket from Elly, our poor well-loved and well-missed American Milking Devon cow who went off to freezer camp last fall. I’m from West Texas and make a mean and delicious brisket in a completely different style from the corned beef that is so common here in New England. Because it was so unfamiliar to me, I just followed the standard recipe in the Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing.

Cooling the brine My icebox is always so full, always. So there was no way that big bowl was going to fit, no matter how I tried. We still have tons of snow around and the daytime temps are hovering around around freezing, and I have a spot on my balcony that doesn’t get any daytime sun until very late in the day. So, I put the covered bowl there to cool off the brine and we actually left it out there for 10 days with the meat in the bowl and let it brine that way. We really weren’t worried about the fluctuating temps because it’s been so cold, and it never froze because of all of the salt in the water. Perfect!

Corned Brisket What can I say but that it worked! Perfect corned beef brisket. We again went very traditional and boiled it for three hours with some of our own purple potatoes and cabbage. Yum. There was enough left over that Frank made a lovely sandwich with it for lunch a couple of times. (If only I had time to make some rye bread, eh? But no. It’s sugaring season and we are far too far behind, per usual.) So now that I know how to make corned beef brisket, I may do it again. But I have to say that my barbecue brisket is still yummier to me.

Last chore of the night So thanks for providing us with such wonderful meat, Elly. I still miss you! We still have about half a year with Danny, her son. I should probably make him an appointment for this fall, now, before all of the slots fill up at the slaughterhouses that I’m willing to use. I wasn’t really happy with Westminster Meat this last Thanksgiving. It was fine for the turkeys, but horrible for me. They were incredibly unprepared, ran out of ice and water, and there were several farmers with me for the six hours that I waited in line who were also very unimpressed. Damn it. I really wanted them to succeed, but I’ve been hearing horror stories from other farmers, too. Damn it.

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