Corned Beef

Originally posted June 24th, 2007 by Kris

Corned Beef  is often enjoyed only around St. Patrick’s Day. This recipe allows you to corn your own beef brisket at home. This results in a superior product without use of the preservatives found in commercially prepared corned beef briskets. The recipe is simple and straightforward, but does require significant preparation time.


Quantity Ingredient
1 5-6 pound beef brisket or top round
1/3 c brown sugar (upwards of ½ c.)
1 c coarse sea salt (1½ c.)
2 Tbsp chopped shallots or onion, garlic also an option
1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper (coarse grind)
1 Tbsp crushed juniper berries
1½ tsp allspice (crushed)
1½ tsp cloves (crushed)
2 bay leaves, crushed
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp rosemary (crushed or chopped)
2c Guinness or other Stout (14oz. bottle or can)


Rub brown sugar into all surfaces of the beef. Place in a ceramic, glass, plastic or other non-metallic/non-reactive bowl and cover securely. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Drain any juices.

Combine salt, shallot or onion, juniper berries and all other herbs and spices in a small bowl. Rub the salt mixture into all surfaces of the beef. Place any excess salt mixture in the bottom of the bowl or spread over the top of beef. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 days (up to 7 days), turning each day and rubbing more of the salt mixture into the beef.

To cook, scrape salt mixture from beef, and place in a heavy stockpot (do not use an aluminum pot) and fill with water to just cover the beef. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a very low simmer and cover, cooking for 4 to 5 hours. Check water level periodically and fill to cover. In the final hour cooking add the stout. Cool the beef in the cooking liquid.

For use in corned beef hash, cut into ¾” to 1” cubes. For traditional corned beef, press the beef between two heavy plates, weight the top plate with something heavy and refrigerate overnight. Slice very thin and serve cold.

Once cooked, cubes of corned beef can be stored in a freezer for 3 to 4 months.


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