Corning Your Own Beef - TIming
Today I noted the St. Paddy's day prepared corned beefs on sale and bought one as usual, but I also went over to the meat counter and had them give a nice point cut of brisket (I know, fattier, but flat cuts are sometimes leaner than I like apart from their fat cap).
Anyway, having never corned beef myself before, I'm now finding that reputable recipes range from 5 days in brine (Ruhlman) to 10 (Alton Brown). Even the short of that range leaves me too late for Paddy Day.
But I would like to hear what people here have experienced with corning beef and the timing of it all.
I've done 5 days and found it could have improved with a longer soak. The center of the beef was still gray, indicating that the pink salt didn't really reach the center.
That said, the flavor was still very good. I think if you don't mind a gray center and a milder cured flavor then it'll still be delicious.
I've always corned my own brisket with my mother's recipe. Her instructions say to soak in a crock for 36 hours. BUT, that's not refrigerated. I used to do mine that way for years, and found the hard way that over 36 hours makes it way too salty. Nowadays, I refrigerate it, and it takes a full week to cure.
I've made corned beef using a brine (Ruhlman) and using a dry rub (Morton Tender Quick).
The brine acts faster while the dry rub requires about 5 days per inch of thickness.
Both results were delicious. If you're in hurry, I suggest a brine.
I used a whole brisket - deckle (point) and flat, but I don't remember if I separated the two or corned the whole shebang.
Looks like takes two days minimum to make. Better get the corned beef going in the next few days if want to eat homemade Sunday. If last minute can always get at the store - this week noticed many local sales. I am leaning toward an 'eye of round' corned beef roast this year. Is leaner than brisket. Slice very thin. Great plain, in hash, or on a Reuben.
I have an old electric indoor rotisserie and like how it roasts beef. Is a good show then great food. Meat comes off basted in its own juices at the perfect temperature. Makes awesome sandwich meat. Will roast root vegetables in the oven. Do crave fine-cut cabbage slaw with grated carrot and tangy tart creamy dressing on the side.
A recipe for 2+ day corned beef and how to braise is here: http://www.ehow.com/how_5087394_cook-... Is good boiled with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic. Can cook submerged in water about one hour per pound until fall apart tender.
A second link with pictures of cured corned beef pastrami made in ten days then smoked to 137 degrees F in the center: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/86... Like finishing in a smoker with in-direct low smoky heat.
Okay, I've embarked now, and am using an Alton Brown Good Eats recipe. I am going to create a separate thread on one point of this saga, having to do with one tough-to-find ingredient: potassium nitrate (saltpeter) and its cousin, sodium nitrite:
If I am in a hurry to corn a piece of meat I use brine and inject
it into the meat with a syringe such as they sell in the grocer's.
It can be cooked immediately after shooting.
Inject all the brine you can get the meat to take on a 1 inch grid
and don't worry about getting too much brine in as the meat
will only accept so much. Pre mixed brine's can be gotten from
Eldon's Sausage supply out in Idaho. In my experience they
ship same day.