Homemade Corned Beef - Curing and Cooking

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For Brine:
4 quarts hot water
1 ½ cups kosher sea salt
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons The Spice and Tea Shoppe Pickling Spices
1 ½ teaspoons The Spice and Tea Shoppe Pink Curing Salt a.k.a. Prague Powder No. 2
1 5-pound beef brisket
3 garlic cloves

Place the water into a large stockpot with salt, sugar, curing salt and pickling spices. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Let cool at room temperature and then in the refrigerator until completely cooled. Pour brine mix over the brisket in a deep non-reactive pot, add garlic, and place something heavy on top to keep brisket submerged. I use a brick doubled bagged in Ziploc bags to hold it down. Cover pot with lid and cure in the refrigerator a minimum of 10 days but ideally 3 weeks, turning the meat every 5 days.


Cooking the Brisket:

2 Tablespoons Pickling Spices
1 small onion, quartered or 2 leeks green tops removed and coarsely chopped
1 large carrot, cut in large chunks
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
8 to 10 whole petite red potatoes
1 head cabbage, cut into quarters

Stove Top Method:

After curing, the meat will still need to be cooked. Remove brisket from brine and rinse under running water to remove the brine. Bring to boil enough water to cover the brisket. Add the cured brisket with pickling spices and vegetables and simmer until a fork easily penetrates the center, about 3 hours. 30 minutes before done add potatoes and 15 minutes before done add cabbage wedges.

Slow Cooker Method:

Cover and cook on high until corned beef is tender, 4 1/2 hours or 8 1/2 hours on low adding the cabbage in the last 30 minutes. It is important not to add the cabbage too soon or it becomes mushy.

Instant Pot Method:

Place corned beef on rack in the pressure cooker with the spices (but no vegetables) and add 4 cups water to pressure cooker.
Use manual setting on high pressure for 90 minutes. When timer goes off hit cancel and allow for 15 minutes natural pressure release before quick releasing the remaining pressure.

Remove corned beef and put it in an oven proof dish and pour 1 cup of the hot broth over it, cover with foil and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve.

I have found if I pierce the potatoes with a fork, wrap in a dish towel and microwave for about 2 minutes before adding with the vegetables in the next step everything is cooked at the same speed. Otherwise the potatoes aren’t done, and the vegetable are soggy. After the corned beef has been removed from the pot, put microwaved potatoes, onion, carrots, celery and cabbage in the pot with the remaining broth and cook them on high for 3 minutes. Do a quick pressure release. Arrange vegetables around warm brisket and pour over remaining broth.

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