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Making your own Corned Beef from scratch is as easy as mixing up the brine and then letting it sit for 3-5 days!
John Henry's Trimmed Beef Brisket
For the Brine:
2 quarts water
1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp ground
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1-2 Tbsp black peppercorns
8-10 whole cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp fresh, minced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
5 garlic cloves, crushed or 1/2 tsp powder
2-3 bay leaves, crushed
1 tsp allspice berries (optional)
1 Tbsp coriander seeds (optional)
1 tsp juniper seeds (optional)
1/4 cup beet juice or juice from homemade sauerkraut made with purple cabbage (optional - it's just for color)
  • Make the brine by putting the water, salt, sugar, and spices (except beet or sauerkraut juice) in a large pot and heating, stirring frequently, until sugar and salt dissolve. Cool liquid, using 2 cups of ice if needed, and place in refrigerator until very cold. It is very important that the brine is cold before it comes in contact with the meat.
  • For the 3-5 day brining process, you can either place the brisket in a large 2-gallon Ziploc bag and add the brine, or place the brisket in a large glass container with a lid/cover and add the brine. Either way, you want the brisket to be completely submerged and surrounded with the brine. Add the beet juice or sauerkraut juice (if using) at this point for color.
  • Place in the fridge (if you use the plastic bag put it inside another dish in case it leaks) and leave it there for at least 3 days (5 days if possible). Each day, flip it over and move the brine around.
  • After 3-5 days, remove from the brine, rinse well with cool water, and now it is ready for your favorite corned beef recipe!

See our other recipes for Slow Cooker and Stove Top preparation of Corned Beef & Cabbage!

Check out our YouTube video walking you through this process:

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