Home Cured Corned Beef

Photo borrowed recipe.com

Who is looking for an adventure in the kitchen this month? Have any of you considered creating your own home cured corned beef? 

The thought has crossed my mind the last couple of years, when in passing corned beef at the super market, I have wondered, “What is up with that pink meat.  That is not normal!  But it's in the market, (I think to myself), so it must be safe right? And its only one time per year that we indulge in such a salty savory treat as corned beef with cabbage and potatoes. So I purchase my unnaturally colored pink meat and celebrate St Patricks Day as usual.

Well, as it turns out corned beef is cured with pink salt, aka sodium nitrate.  It provides the pink color and apparently helps with the texture.  That is what I have read.  So I also read that you can withhold the pink salt, and Ta Da, no unnatural pink color.   Below is a recipe that can be used with the pink salt or without.     

Home Cured Corned Beef

Yield: Serves 12 Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup kosher (coarse) salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 6- to 7-pound beef brisket
  • ***
  • The cured beef brisket
  • 12 carrots
  • 12 ribs of celery
  • 12 small onions
  • 6 medium turnips or rutabagas, cut in half
  • 12 medium potatoes
  • 2 heads cabbage, each cut in sixths



Combine all ingredients, except the brisket, in a bowl and toss to combine. Rub mixture onto all surfaces of the meat. Place meat into a zip-style bag and close bag, squeezing out as much air as possible.

Leave brisket in refrigerator for 2 weeks, and up to a month. Turn the bag over every couple of days, massaging spices into meat (through the bag--don't open it up).


Rinse brisket well, place in a large pot and fill with enough water to cover meat by 2 or 3 inches. Bring to a boil; skim off any foam and simmer for about 3 1/2 hours, partially covered, until meat is tender when pierced with a fork. Add vegetables during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

I usually allow 2-4 weeks for the meat to cure in the pickling spices, though I have cured it for as little as 5 days. However, the flavor is more intense with a longer curing time. Serve with mustard and horseradish, and flavorful whole-grain breads, such as rye and pumpernickel.

Are you ready to make your own home cured corned beef?

To make it extra special make sure you purchase local beef directly from a farm or butcher shop, your preference whether its grass fed beef or grain finished, just make it local.  Its fresher, its cleaner and it’s just better in our opinion.  Go to our Meats Directory to find your beef, whether its grass fed beef, or any other organic meat grown and harvested in Colorado! 


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