Totally Homemade Corned Beef (except for the Moo)

It’s March and St. Patrick’s Day is coming.What says Irish more than Corned Beef and cabbage, culcannon and soda bread.

I’ve been making this recipe for the last two years. I got it originally from Recipezaar of which I am a member. It’s totally delicious. It’s not horribly  salty like store bought and the herbs really stand out. Because I don’t use saltpeter in the brine, the meat is not red. It’s healthier but if you want to use the saltpeter (1/2 tsp for this quantity or 2 tsp per gallon of MORTON’S TENDER-QUICK), go for it. If you brine the beef this weekend, you’ll have it right in time!!!


1 (8-10 lb) beef brisket  OR 5 lb Bottom round for a leaner beef .If you go for a smaller roast than the big brisket, don’t cut down on the spices. I actually like it “Corned!!!”

4 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in thirds

 The Brine

 2 quarts water

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup white vinegar

4 tablespoons sugar

3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon peppercorn

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 pinch ground cloves

The Simmering Liquid

water, to come up 3/4 to side of brisket

 1 teaspoon peppercorn

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole allspice

 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves

 4 garlic cloves, sliced


1 Combine all of the brine ingredients and bring to a boil, then cool.

 2 In a huge plastic roasting bag (do NOT use a garbage bag), place the beef brisket, the cooled brine, and the 4 garlic cloves. You can use a big pot too and put a plate on the meat to keep the meat submerged.

3 Make sure that all of the meat is covered by the brine (cutting the brisket in pieces if you need to), tie off tightly, place in a pot large enough to hold it all, and refrigerate for 6 to 7 days, turning occasionally.

4 After the 6 to 7 days, remove brisket from the brine and discard the brine.

 5 Rinse the meat thoroughly, then place in a Dutch oven or other large pot and add enough water to come up 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up the side of the meat.

6 Add the rest of the Simmering Liquid ingredients (peppercorns, mustard seeds, allspice, cloves and garlic), bring to a boil and skim off any foam.

 7 Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook, covered, for at least 3 hours, but 4 hours doesn’t hurt anything. Meat will be SO tender and delicious!