Corned beef just might be one of the best things out there. No, I take that back. HOMEMADE corned beef is about the best thing out there. It takes a humble, and slightly intimidating piece of beef, a brisket and through a super simple curing process turns it into something extraordinary and super simple to prepare!
Super tasty, economical, healthy, and easy? YEP!
And since I’m a bit of a food nerd, here is a random fact. The name corned beef comes from the fact that it is made with “corns” (course) salt.
I have prepared it two ways, a wet method, and a dry method. I think I preferred the dry method as it’s a bit more traditional, and does not use sugar. The taste was delicious, but even though I knew the origin of the name, I chose to use granular Real Salt. Not advisable, it ended up being too salty both *cough* times. I will be investing in some Kosher Real Salt for next time. The wet method made for a slightly firmer texture, making for great sandwiches.
Either way, it is a super simple to do, and I highly suggest doing it!
#1- The Wet Method
recipe here Leave out the nitrite called for in the recipe! All cured meats have nitrates by definition, but they should DEVELOP not be added.
Pros: Taste was a bit more “developed” and not quite as near the store bought version (a pro and a con, because it was super tasty, but a little different).
Made for a better corned beef lunch meat. When cold, simply cut across the grain.
Cons: Took up more room in the fridge, more prep time, and less traditional.
#2- The Dry Method (pictured)
recipe here I cooked it 3 hours before dinner, and ended up taking the beef out after two and adding cabbage and onion to the water and cooking them.
Pros: No sugar, super quick prep time, taste was very similar to store bought, quicker curing time.
Cons: Texture was better for just eating, but would not make a good sandwich. Uses a plastic baggie (which I’m not too worried about, but I know others might be.)
So, use #1 (without nitrite!) for corned beef sandwiches, or if the thought of having your beef in a plastic baggie for an extended period is not fun for you. Use recipe #2 if you want a quicker prep time, and would like to eat it warm with vegetables.