This braised corned beef requires a bit more time during preparation, but the end result makes all that time so worth it. Serve it for your Saint Patrick’s Day celebration or for an extra-special meal. —Josh Rink, Milwaukee, Wisconsin,
- FOR BRINE:
- 2 quarts plus 2 cups water, divided
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons curing salt, such as Prauge powder
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 10 whole allspice
- 10 whole cloves
- 10 whole juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks (2-3 inches)
- 2 whole star anise
- 2 pounds ice cubes
- 1 fresh beef brisket (4 to 5 pounds), trimmed
- FOR BRAISING:
- 2 to 3 cups water
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
- 3 celery ribs, cut into thirds
- 2 large onions, skins removed and quartered
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To make brine, place 2 quarts of water plus the next 12 ingredients in a large 6-8 quart stock pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar and salts have dissolved, 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat; add ice and and stir until ice has melted. Place brine in the refrigerator and allow to cool completely. Place a 3-4 gallon resealable plastic bag inside a large baking dish or roasting pan; add brisket and pour brine over beef. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, ensuring brisket is completely submerged. Transfer to refrigerator; allow to rest for 10 days, agitating bag occasionally to redistribute spices and liquid.
After 10 days, remove brisket from brine; rinse brisket thoroughly and discard brine. To braise brisket, preheat oven to 300°. Place carrots, celery and onion in large roasting pan; pour remaining 2 cups of water into pan until water level is 1/2-inch high. Place brisket over vegetables and cover with aluminum foil; transfer to oven. Cook, covered, until very tender about 5-6 hours.
Remove brisket from roasting pan, discarding vegetables and cooking juices; tent beef with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Or, to slice for Reuben sandwiches, wrap corned beef well with plastic wrap after cooling for 10 minutes; place in refrigerator and allow to cool completely overnight. Slice thinly against grain.
4 ounces cooked beef: 194 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 64mg cholesterol, 938mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 31g protein.