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Apr 27, 2012 07:49 AM

brine and spice for Jewish style corned beef

Thanks, now I know how to cook the corned beef, but I need recipes for the spices and brining of Jewish corned beef, including how long to brine.

I've been meaning to make this for a long time, but want it to be really GREAT!!!


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    1. I think the Alton Brown recipe makes a jewish style corned beef (at least it seemed similar to what I had in the Centre Steet Deli outside of Toronto, which is definitely a jewish deli).

      I have had very good success with it. I don't believe you can buy saltpetre anymore, but Prague powder #1 is a substitute - just check the usage amounts per pound of meat that should come with it. (It is not a 1-for-1 substitute for the saltpetre).

      The recipe is at . I generally use the point part of the brisket.

      7 Replies
      1. re: abacus2

        I have also made this recipe and adore it.

        1. re: abacus2

          Just FYI, Prague Powder #1 is also known as Instacure #1 (which is sometimes called pink salt).

          1. re: porker

            Where can I find this stuff in the Boston, MA area preferably close to Lexington,

            1. re: msmouser

              I don't know - I'm in the Montreal area and pink salt is almost illegal in Canada...
              It may be better suited to ask this question on the boston board: where can I get pink salt?

              Theres alot of misinformation out there - some people think saltpetre (potassium nitrate) is the same as pink salt. Some people think sodium nitrate (or sodium nitrite) is the same as instacure. etc etc etc.
              Then throw in Morton Tender Quick, which again is different.
              A few outdoor places will produce their own version of pink salt. I've seen some forums mention L.E.M. cures from Bass pro shops. This seems the same as instacure#1, but I'm not 100%.

              Alls I'm trying to say is theres a lot of confusion when it comes to curing salts. Learn a bit before proceeding as it has its potential hazards as well. I order pink salt (instacure#1 and instacure#2) from the Sausage Maker
              They have a dedicated corned beef cure, but I never tried it.

              Maybe check out Morton's site - they have a recipe for corned beef as well
              (they recommend a curing time of 5 days per inch of thickenss

              Theres also a method for corned beef on the Rhulman site
              Don't know if it qualifies as "Jewish style". He brines for 24 hours for a 2" thick brisket. This seems very short to me (although I never tried his method).
              I'd expect a brining period of maybe 8-10 days, to get the curing effect through and through the meat (it'll have a pink ring and be gray in the middle when cooked if under-cured).

              Let us know how things work out.
              If you want to take it a step further, you can smoke the cured brisket (then steam) to make pastrami or Montral Smoked Meat. Maybe have a gander:

              1. re: porker

                A friend of mine did Ruhlman's corned beef and it turned out gray in the center. He emailed M.R., who basically agreed more brine time would help, but curiously, just 24 hrs. more.
                My rule of thumb is 3/4" penetration per week with brine, 1" with a salt rub.

              2. re: msmouser

                msmouser you can purchase cure #1 in the amount you want at Christina's in Inman Square and online (delivered right to Lexington). There have been an number of threads on the Boston board. I included the latest below and "chow" autolinks a number of the previous ones in the sidebar if you want to do more research.


            2. re: abacus2

              Abacus, saltpetre is available on order at Rexall pharmacies. It takes a day or two to be delivered. I got 1 lb for $14, enough to last for years.

            3. It looks like this post is supposed to be a reply to this thread: We can't join them up, but you may want to check out the other thread for context.

              1. To my mind, pastrami and Montreal smoked meat are east-european/Jewish in origin while corned beef has always struck me as being Irish. Not sure there's such a thing as a Jewish corned beef.

                Maybe this thread on making Montreal smoked meat from scratch might help:

                1 Reply
                1. re: biggreenmatt

                  I have heard that the Irish in New York missed their salt beef, and started to buy cured brisket, not smoked, on the Lower East Side.

                2. Has anyone tried using one of these recipes for Beef Tongue?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chazzer

                    I cured and pickled beef tongue. Not quite "corned beef" tongue, but the curing is somewhat similar. I used this method
                    substituting beef tongue for pork.