Brisket to Corned Beef to Pastrami

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Brisket, that mighty versatile cut of beef.  While I was mostly raised in Nashville, TN I was born in Missouri meaning smoked K. C. brisket is my favorite. We can make it sweet, savory, BBQ,  & corned. Dan claims Ribeye is king, nope Brisket is king for this girl.  

Corned Beef is an American Classic for St. Patty’s Day sorry folks it’s not Irish. The reason being most Irish at the time this recipe came together could not afford the cut of meat. The good news is today you can afford it and it is readily accessible in our store at NCF.

The NCF Brisket sells for $12.99 lb. Last summer we decided that our clients preferred a smaller family sized cut ranging from 3 lbs to 5 lbs instead of the giant 12 pounder our processor was sending. Even a small 3 lb roast will feed a large party of people. I’m using this one brisket to make 2 things. Add in a hash and that is 3 meals.

The recipe I’m using today is not my own. I’m using a recipe from  Katie at the Wellness Mama website . This is a new recipe for me, it has good reviews. The reason why I am going with a new recipe is to use a recipe that is nitrate free.  I hope we all enjoy it. The good news is my family gets to go first.

After we have corned the beef we will the make 2 separate dinners corned beef & cabbage & pastrami.  Where many recipes will call for you to remove the excess fat here we need to keep it  for the pastrami.

The beautiful fat cap there to the left. LEAVE IT!

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Brisket to Corned Beef to Pastrami
One 4- to 5-pound beef brisket (grass-fed if possible) For the brine: 2 quarts of water 1 cup of sea salt (I use Himalayan sea salt) ½ cup raw cane sugar or organic brown sugar (don't worry, the residue sugars in the finished product are minimal) 1 stick of cinnamon or about ¼ tsp cinnamon powder 1 TBSP mustard seeds 1-2 TBSP of black peppercorns ½ tsp whole cloves (about 8-10 individual cloves) 1 tsp allspice berries (optional) 1 TBSP coriander seeds (optional) 1 tsp juniper berries (optional) ½ tsp dried ginger powder or about 1 tsp fresh minced ginger ½ tsp dried thyme leaf 5 garlic cloves, crushed or ½ tsp garlic powder 2-3 bay leaves, crushed ¼ cup beet juice or juice from homemade sauerkraut made with purple cabbage (optional) Instructions Put the water, salt, sugar, and spices (except beet juice or sauerkraut juice) in a large pot and heat, stirring frequently, until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool liquid, using 2 cups of ice if needed, and place in fridge until very cold. It is very important that the brine is cold before it comes in contact with the meat. For the 3-5 day brining process, you can either place the brisket in a large 2-gallon bag and add the brine, or place the brisket in a large glass container with a lid and add the brine. Either way, you want the brisket to be completely submerged and surrounded with the brine. Add the beet juice or sauerkraut juice (if using) at this point once everything is cooled. Place in the fridge (put inside another dish if you just use the plastic bag in case it leaks) and leave it there for at least 3 days (5 days if possible). Each day, flip it over and move the brine around. After 3-5 days, remove from the brine, rinse well with cool water, and cook as you normally would a corned beef brisket. (Don't normally cook a corned beef brisket? See this recipe.) The end!
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Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
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Instructions
  1. Put the water, salt, sugar, and spices (except beet juice or sauerkraut juice) in a large pot and heat, stirring frequently, until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool liquid, using 2 cups of ice if needed, and place in fridge until very cold. It is very important that the brine is cold before it comes in contact with the meat.
  2. For the 3-5 day brining process, you can either place the brisket in a large 2-gallon bag and add the brine, or place the brisket in a large glass container with a lid and add the brine. Either way, you want the brisket to be completely submerged and surrounded with the brine. Add the beet juice or sauerkraut juice (if using) at this point once everything is cooled.
  3. Place in the fridge (put inside another dish if you just use the plastic bag in case it leaks) and leave it there for at least 3 days (5 days if possible). Each day, flip it over and move the brine around. After 3-5 days, remove from the brine, rinse well with cool water, and cook as you normally would a corned beef brisket.
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