Traditional Corned Beef Brisket

Ingredients:
  • 1 (4- to 5-lb) beef brisket, trimmed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into several pieces
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • 12 whole juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 pounds ice (optional)
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

Prepping the Brine: 

  1. Place the water into a large stockpot along with salt, sugar, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved (the aromatic fragrance of the spices is simply amazing!)
  2. Remove from the heat and add the ice.  Stir until the ice has melted.  Ice is added to cool down the solution but you can totally skip this and just refrigerate the brine until it reaches a temperature of 45 degrees F.
  3. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon zip top bag and add the brine.  Seal and lay flat inside a container, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 days.   Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine. If you don’t have a huge zip top bag, brine the brisket in a large tupperware container and make sure to flip the brisket each day to make sure that all of the brisket comes in contact with the brine.

Cooking the Beef Brisket

  1. After at least 10 days, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse well under cool water.  
  2. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot and celery and cover with water.
  3. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
  4. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.