With St. Patrick's Day coming up Caytlin McCleery from Cayt's Meats and Meals joined us with some of her secrets to the best corned beef!
1 1/2 cup kosher Real sea salt
1/2 cup cane sugar
8 Tbsp. pickling spices
Mix this into 8 cups hot water. Stir it until there is no more granulation in the salt and sugar. Let it cool completely. Add this into 16 cups of cold water. This is your brine mixture. Add a 5-7 lb piece of beef (typically a brisket) into this mixture and let it brine for at least 3-5 days.
This mixture does not contain Prague Powder(sodium nitrites) so you won't get that distinct, pink color that you see in commercial corn beef. If you want that color, add in a little beet juice!
Once this has been brined for a minimum of 3 days, remove it from the brine and rinse it. At this point, how do you want to cook it?
*Traditionally, corn beef is boiled in a big pot for hours upon hours until it has become tender. Adding in potatoes and cabbage the last bit of the boiling process make for a full, delicious meal.
*Make Pastrami! Throw this on the smoker, slathered in stone ground mustard and let it cook low and slow at 250° until it hits an internal temperature of 203°.
*Make a hybrid of corn beef/pastrami. RECOMMENDED!
Set the beef on the smoker, using hickory wood, set temp to 160°-180° and let it take a smoke bath for 3-4 hours. Then wrap it up in a deep roasting pan with several cups of water. Set it in the oven at a temp of 275° and let it low and slow cook for 6-8 hours until it hits an internal temperature of 203°. It's so incredibly salty and delicious!
Cayt says it doesn't have to be a brisket. She's tried a chuck roast and Tri-Tip and absolutely loved the Tri-Tip! Experiment and see what you like!
Find more great recipes on Cayt's Meats and Meals Facebook Page.