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Corned Beef, Home-Cured III (M, TNT)
Source: this is based on a recipe I found on, which was itself credited as adapted from Time Life Books
Serves: 6-8

1 gallon water
1-1/2 lb. kosher salt
1 lb. dark brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. whole mustard seeds
1 sprig thyme
18 juniper berries
18 peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 gallon boiling water
1 egg in shell
Extra salt if needed
1 beef brisket, 4-6 lbs.
6-10 cloves garlic, crushed

Bring first 8 ingredients to a high rolling boil for 5 minutes; turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

When brine is cool, test saltiness with the egg. It should float to the top. If it sinks, add more salt until it floats.

Clean a large stoneware crock or plastic tub or bucket with a solution of 1 tbsp. baking soda in 1 gallon boiling water. Rinse well and drain dry.

Rinse the meat and pierce all over with a BBQ fork. Put it in your clean container and pour the brine over. Add garlic. Put a heavy plate or half a brick on top of the meat to keep it submerged. Cover; store in the fridge or a dry place cooler than 60°F for 3 to 10 days.

Remove meat from brine and rinse under cold running water for at least 15 minutes. Cook immediately or freeze.

The brine can be strained, reboiled, and reused by refreshing it with about half the quantities.

Poster's Notes:
Juniper berries are rarely found at the supermarket. I found them at the local hippy-dippy-wymynspace-natural-apothecary-and-spice-shoppe.

If you don't have a mortar and pestle, seal the peppercorns in a Ziploc and whack them with your rolling pin. You want them just cracked, not pulverized.

The longer you leave it in, the saltier it gets. I have found 3 days to be PLENTY. And a thorough rinse after removing from the brine is CRITICAL. Also, you definitely will want to prepare it by boiling which will further reduce the salt content. If you broil or roast, you'll end up with a very chewy salt lick.

Posted by TooMuchCoffeeMan

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A