It’s almost time for St. Patrick’s Day and Corned Beef!

Yes, we know, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t until two weeks from now, but we’re here to help you get an early start on the all the fun!  One of the recipes needs two weeks to cure in your fridge, but the hands-on times is minutes!  Trust me I tried it this weekend.   Hurry, if you start this recipe soon, it will be ready just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

I found this homemade corned beef recipe in Martha Stewart Magazine last year, but was too late to try it for St. Patrick’s Day in 2009.  I really wanted to try it, so I saved it for this year.

From Martha Stewart Magazine

I made mine over the weekend and I was shocked by how simple it was to make.   The biggest challenge was finding pink curing salt, which surprisingly wasn’t available at Whole Foods or any other local grocery stores or even Sur La Table.

Rather than keep searching, I took my search online and found out that pink curing salt contains sodium nitrite to keep the meat pink.  As I am not a fan of sodium nitrite, I researched further and discovered that kosher salt should do the trick, so I just used kosher salt without the pink curing salt.

The recipe says that the corned beef will be ready in two weeks. Since it takes awhile to cook (3 to 3.5 hours on the stove or 4 to 5 hours in slow cooker on medium or 7 to 8 hours in a slow cooker on low), I decided this is a recipe much better suited for weekend cooking. We are going to cook it on March 11th, a bit before the actual day, but should still make St. Patrick’s Day fun as I will be making Corned Beef Hash for dinner on the actual day!

Making the brine was surprisingly easy. Hands-on time was about 15 minutes total! Â I did have to wait an hour or so for the liquid to cool, but who says you have to be in the kitchen for that?

I made it with a 3lb beef brisket instead of 5lb as there are just two of us. I found that a gallon size Ziploc bag was the perfect fit for the meat and the liquid.

A little fuzzy, but here is mine ready for the fridge time

And, since I enjoy doctoring recipes, I am taking the first recipe up until just before the cooking point and then switching to this ale-braised corned beef, Brussel sprouts and carrots recipe that I found in Real Simple. We try not to eat too many potatoes in our house and I am not a big fan of cabbage, so Brussel sprouts and carrots sound more appealing to me.  And, if you only want to try the simpler recipe, Pape’s Meat Co. in Millbrae, where I bought my beef brisket, has promised me that if mine doesn’t turn out, their corned beef is really, really good. Added bonus, their corned beef is already, well corned.

Are you planning to cook corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day?  If you have another delicious recipe, please share a link in the comments below.

Next week, Elissa and I will share ideas for a fun St. Patrick’s night on the town in San Francisco and San Jose!

Happy cooking!

  1. Update: The corned beef was delicious! I even made corned beef hash with the leftovers. I will definitely try this again next year.

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