Corned Beef Brisket

CAVEAT — This takes 3 to 5 days.
For St. Patty’s day, boil with potatoes and cabbage cut to quarters or eights. Maybe a little Guiness.


The meat:
• One 4-5 pound beef brisket (fresh or thawed)
The Brine:
• 2 quarts of water
• 7/8 cups of sea salt (I use Himalayan sea salt or Kosher salt)
• ½ cup raw can sugar or organic brown sugar
• 1 stick of cinnamon or about ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
• 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds
• 1-2 tablespoons of black peppercorns
• ½ tsp whole cloves (about 8-10 individual cloves)
• 1 tsp allspice berries (optional)
• 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (optional)
• 1 tsp juniper berries (optional)
• ½ tsp dried ginger powder or about 1 tsp fresh minced ginger
• ½ tsp dried thyme leaf
• 5 garlic cloves, crushed or ½ tsp garlic powder
• 2-3 bay leaves, crushed

1. Put the water, salt, sugar and spices in a large pot and heat, stirring frequently, until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool liquid, using 2 cups of ice if needed, and place in fridge until very cold. It is very important that the brine is cold before it comes in contact with the meat.
2. For the 3-5 day brining process, you can either place the brisket in a large, 2-gallon bag and add the brine, or place the brisket in a large glass container with a lid and add the brine. Either way, you want the brisket to be completely submerged and surrounded with the brine.
3. Place in the fridge (put inside another dish or 9′ x 13′ sheet cake pan, if you just use the plastic bag in case it leaks) and leave it there for at least 3 days and 5 if possible. Each day, flip it over and move the brine around. After 3-5 days, remove from the brine, rinse with cool water and cook as you normally would a corned beef brisket.

NOTE: Next time, I’m going to brine a frozen brisket for 5 days. Why thaw out first?