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How to make corned beef

Updated February 21, 2017

Corning raw meat in salt brine is a time-honored method of preserving meats. Corned beef is preserved this way. The procedure is not too difficult, but it takes about three weeks to accomplish the task. Here is how to make corned beef.

Place the beef brisket in a large crock.

Dissolve the saltpeter in warm water and then add the sugar, minced cloves, pickling spice and paprika to the saltpeter mixture.

Add 3/4 cup salt in 2 quarts water, then add the other mixture and stir well. Pour this over the meat in the crock. Be sure the meat is totally covered with the liquid.

Cover the crock and refrigerate for 3 weeks. Turn the meat once or twice each week.

Take out the meat at the end of the third week and soak it in several changes of fresh cold water to remove the excess salt.

Soak the meat a final time in clean, fresh water for 24 hours in the refrigerator. An alternative to this is to boil the marinated meat in water to remove the excess salt.

Prepare and cook the corned beef using your favorite recipe.

Things You'll Need

  • 8 to 10 pounds of good quality beef brisket
  • 1/4 tsp. saltpeter
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. mixed pickling spices
  • 3/4 cup salt
  • 2 quarts water
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