DIY Corned Beef
Historically Toronto has been a corned beef town. Montreal is known for Canada's best smoked brisket but lately Toronto has been nipping at its heals with some great deli. Corning meat (curing in brine) is quite simple to do, does not need special equipment and requires little work.
Usually beef, specifically it is the brisket that is the most commonly pickled. Duck however, and mutton, pork, tongue have been known to be pickled in crock-pots around the world. The following is a multi-day recipe for deli style (think rye bread, yellow mustard and a pickle) corned beef that is easy for you to do at home.
A "deckle" or the fatter cut of beef brisket 4-5lb
Coarse kosher salt as needed
1 egg in its shell to test brine
1/3 cup brown sugar
Water as needed
8 Bay leaves crushed
5 large garlic cloves coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon mustard seeds, bruised
2 tablespoon black peppercorn
1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1) Locate an enameled pot that is big to enough hold the brisket
and enough water to cover by at least two inches.
2) Make brine by stirring coarse salt into water that will fill your crock pot (factoring in the displacement of the brisket). Allow salt to dissolve before adding more (about 1.5 cups). Your brine is correct proportion when the un-cracked egg will float in the salted water.
3) Pour the brine into a pot to simmer for 15 minutes, allow to cool completely, and then pour back into the enameled crock. Lower the brisket into the brine and weigh it down with a heavy object that is food
safe and non-metallic to hold the meat in the brine. Place your crock into
the refrigerator and allow to cure for two weeks -but no longer than a month.
4) Rinse the corned beef. Place the brisket onto aluminum foil.
Mix the coriander, garlic, mustard, bay leaves and pepper flakes in a bowl
then rub into brisket. Wrap the brisket tightly, place into a plastic bag and refrigerate for 4 days.
5) Being sure to leave your spice rub on the brisket, place the meat into your large stove-top pot, cover with 2 inches water and very gently simmer your brisket for 3-5 hours. Add boiling water if necessary. It is finished when you can pierce with a fork and taken out with very little resistance.
After allowing your brisket to partially cool in its own broth it is ready to be sliced very thinly and eaten deli style. Your brisket will be good for up to a week. To re-heat, place slices in your steamer for several minutes (or longer, depending on thickness).