The verdict is in! The organic beef brisket/silverside that I corned at home a few weeks ago without nitrates was voted by ALL that tasted it as “the best corned meat they have EVER tasted!”
With winter rearing its head here in Australia, we are all turning to yummy, bone-warming meals to warm our souls. My mother used to do a mean Corned Beef so this is always a favourite in our house. Previously, we have bought the raw store-corned nitrate loaded version, but after how easy and how yummy it is to do yourself at home, NEVER again will I cook a store bought version.
Nitrate is a preservative found in many meat products including bacon, salami and many smallgoods. It is considered carcinogenic and has been linked to cancer. What better reason to avoid it at all cost!
Here’s the recipe I adapted from another who had apparently originally adapted it from Alton Brown’s Good Eats. It will take at least 10 days in the fridge to fully corn and you can freeze in the brine once done.
Corning your meat
- 2-2.5kg organically reared beef brisket/silverside
- 2 litres water
- 1 cup himalayan rock salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 star anise
- 1 tsp allspice powder
- 12 juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
Place the water into a large stockpot along with all the dry ingredients. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. At this point it smells beautiful!
Take brine mixture off the stove and leave to cool to room temperature.
Once it has cooled, place the meat in a zip top bag or large glass container with lid and add the brine. Seal and lay flat, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and flip over to stir the brine.
Cooking your Corned Meat 10 days later
- 2 white onions, whole and peeled
- 3large carrots, peeled and cut in large chunks
- 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1-2 tbsp agave syrup
- 10 cloves
After at least 10 days, rinse the meat and place into a slow cooker or a pot just large enough to hold the meat. Add the above ingredients and cover with water.
In a pot, bring to the boil over low heat and simmer for 3 hours until the meat is fork tender.
In a slow cooker, set to low and leave for 7-8 hours.
Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain. In our house we serve it with the onions, carrots, white sauce, mashed potato and peas. Yummo!