Corned Beef

This recipe uses Sodium Nitrite to turn 1 to 2 kg of beef into corned beef. You can use Sodium Nitrite if you are very careful or you can obtain Instacure #1 / Prague Powder #1 / Pink curing salts. Quantities for both are given. Ensure that your Pink Curing Salts are 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 93.75% Sodium Chloride. Any other concentrations will require recalculation.

Use up to 2 kg of beef like brisket, round roast or housekeepers cut. The best cuts will have marbling of fat but no seams running through. Brisket is commonly considered best for this purpose.

Saltpeter or Sodium Nitrate or Instacure #2 or Prague Powder #2 are not suitable for this recipe. Because some of these substances are dangerous if mishandled you need to measure and handle very carefully. As little as a teaspoon of pure Sodium Nitrite can be fatal if ingested directly.

1 to 2 kg beef,

1.4 g / A third teaspoon of Sodium Nitrite

195 g Salt

(Or use 21 g Instacure 1 and 175 g Salt)

110 g Sugar

Spices: Some or all of peppercorn allspice, cinnamon, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, mustard seed, garlic (Fresh or powder.)

2 litres water

If you have pure Sodium Nitrite then mix 1/3 teaspoon (1.4 g) with 195 g salt. If you are using Instacure #1 or Prague Powder #1 then confirm that it is 6.5% Sodium Nitrite and mix it 21 g Instacure #1 with 175 g salt. Don’t use Instacure #2, Saltpeter or Sodium Nitrate.

Dissolve the the curing salts with the full 2 litres of water, do not reduce the volume as the brine will be too strong.

Add any or all spices, using not more than a teaspoon of each.

Immerse the beef in the brine and ensure that it remains covered. A good technique is to put it in a ziplock bag, expel most of the air and seal the bag. Place it in a pot or large bowl in case of leaks and store in the fridge for 7 days. Turn the meat over every couple of days and ensure it remains immersed.

After 7 to 9 days open the bag and discard all the brine and rinse off the meat well.

You can now sousvide the corned beef for 10 hours at 58 celsius, roast or boil it or cook it in a slow cooker as desired.

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