Corned Beef


Curing your own corned beef is easier than you think! The secret to this ultra-tender meat lies in a five-day brine.

Corned Beef
Photo: Andy Lyons
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 45 mins
6 servings plus leftovers


Pickling Spice:

  • 2 tablespoon mustard seeds

  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice

  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves

  • 8 whole cardamom pods

  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

  • 4 bay leaves, crumbled

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)


  • 1 gallon water

  • 2 cup kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon pink curing salt

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 recipe Pickling Spice (above)

Corned Beef:

  • 1 3.5-4 pound flat cut beef brisket

  • 1 medium head cabbage, cut into wedges

  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped

  • 4 carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks


Pickling Spice

  1. In a small bowl combine all ingredients. Set aside.


  1. In a large pot combine the water, kosher and pink salts, garlic, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup Pickling Spice. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Let stand until room temperature. Transfer to a 2-gal. resealable plastic bag set in a large shallow pan.

Corned Beef:

  1. Place brisket in bag; seal. Chill 5 days, turning occasionally.

  2. Remove brisket from brine; rinse thoroughly. Transfer to an 8- to 10-qt. pot. Cover with fresh water. Place remaining Pickling Spice on a double-thick 8-inch square of 100% cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners; tie with 100% cotton string. Add to pot with beef. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 3 hours or until brisket is fork tender, adding cabbage, onion, and carrots the last 15 minutes. Remove spice bag; discard. Thinly slice corned beef. Serve with cabbage, onion, and carrots.

Corned Beef Sandwich Melt:

Spread inside of marble rye bread slices with Dijon-style mustard and thousand island dressing. Add sliced corned beef, shredded fontina cheese, and Pickled Onions*. Spread outside of sandwich with butter and cook in a skillet over medium heat until toasted, turning once.

*Pickled Onions:
In a medium saucepan place 1 cup of the corned beef cooking liquid, 1/2 cup cider vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Bring to boiling. Place 1 red onion, thinly sliced, in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over onions. Let stand at least 1 hour. Drain before using.Nutrition analysis per serving: 682 calories, 31 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 45 g total fat (24 g sat. fat), 153 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 5 g total sugar, 20% Vitamin A, 2% Vitamin C, 1946 mg sodium, 14% calcium, 11% iron

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

198 Calories
8g Fat
14g Carbs
19g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 198
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 1064mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 19g
Vitamin C 58.8mg 294%
Calcium 88mg 7%
Iron 2.5mg 14%
Potassium 692mg 15%
Folate, total 77.8mcg
Vitamin B-12 1.5mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.7mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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