I wasn’t going to write my recipe for corned beef…until I couldn’t find a recipe quite like mine. I have seen many people write about curing their own, simply boiling it, only roasting it, cooking it in stout, cooking it with mustard, cooking it in all sorts of ways. The way I make it is kind of different. I found a recipe for the way I cook it maybe 3 or 4 years ago but I can’t seem to find it now. So I will be giving you the gist of what I do. I sadly don’t have step by step pictures for this one. So sorry! We don’t generally eat meat unless it’s local for the most part but after I mentioned it when looking for recipes for Irish Heritage Day (St. Patrick’s Day) my husband had to have it (this coming from the guy that was mostly vegan for 5-6 years before he met me. That means you know it’s good.). So he got it. He picked up a package with the peppercorns included so it was fairly easy to put together and didn’t take a week to cure.
What I did was soak the meat without the peppercorns in water with kosher salt and soy sauce. I sometimes add random other things like garlic and ground pepper but at least add salt. I leave this for 18-24 hours.
The next day I drain the liquid and pat dry the beef. Then I sear it in my big enameled cast iron pot for a few minutes on high for each side in oil. Then I rub a little kosher salt into fatty side of the beef.
After that I add water to fill up half the pot. It is here that I add the peppercorns along with smoked paprika, bay leaves, dill, parsley, freshly crushed garlic (loooottttsssss of it!) and whatever else I’m “feeling” or have on hand. Fresh herbs are great here.
When the water starts to warm I finish filling the container and drop a lid on top. I push the lid slightly to the side so a bit of air can come out. Bring to a boil on high before reducing to medium low heat for 3-4 hours. Check the water periodically to see if it needs more. It will at some point.
After the 3/4 hours I take out the beef and roast it on 325 F for maybe 2 hours. I cook it on the fatty side down and covered for 1 hour then flip and cover for 30 minutes. The last 30 minutes I take the cover up to help crisp up that fat. It depends on the meat and the size. Prepare for it to be half the size it was when you got it! I remember my disappointment the first time I made it. So sad and tiny…but also absolutely amazing. You can also eat it straight from the boiling as it is cooked and tender. This last bit helps crisp it up and also gives it more flavor. It’s amazing.
I cook whole red potatoes in the leftover liquid. It can be pretty salty so if you don’t like that I would water it down. Or add some of the liquid to a new pot of water. I like to save the liquid like this to reuse over and over. I freeze it and keep it for similar recipes to build up the richest and most amazingly deep flavors. You can strain and make gravy from it as well. Next time I make this I will try to give a more exact recipe! You can also pop cabbage wedges into the container cooking the curves beef for the last half hour. Drip some liquid over each wedge and roast!