Corned Beef

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Cook's Challenge:

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A Co-op invitational! Especially for you. Every other week or so, we'll have a slide show and recipe handout for some moderately difficult recipe. Home chefs are invited to cook along, then send us a photo or a link to a blog, or a video link, or your results in some way. #coopcookschallenge Cook something new! Occasionally we'll run a contest. Find information on our Facebook page, or email jcross a t davisfood d o t coop, and we'll add you to the mailing list.

How To Corned Beef

Watch our silent movie reel, then scroll down for the recipe!

How To (Make Your Own) Corned Beef (From Scratch)

Print This Shopping List:

    • 6 cups water
    • 3/4 cup kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup pickling spice
    • 1 (5-pound) beef brisket
    • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
    • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into thirds
    • 6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
    • Kosher salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 medium head green cabbage, cut through the core into 6 wedges
    • (Optional! 12-24 cans of mild lager--non-alcoholic would be fine, and/or several liters of citrus-flavored soda. If you decide on this flavor boost, we recommend a combination of beer and soda.)

Give your brisket at least three days to brine. If you like a more prominent “pickled” flavor to your beef, keep it corning for a week! We have delicious local, hormone- and antibiotics-free brisket available in our Meat Department. If you’re cooking for a crowd, we recommend calling a week in advance to order the exact amount you’ll need. 530-758-2667, ext. 138


Ingredients for the brine:

6 cups water
3/4 cup kosher salt
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup pickling spice
1 (5-pound) beef brisket


Ingredients for the corned beef and cabbage:

1 medium yellow onion, quartered
3 large carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into thirds
6 medium garlic cloves, smashed
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 medium head green cabbage, cut through the core into 6 wedges
(Optional! 12-24 cans of mild lager--non-alcoholic would be fine, and/or several liters of citrus-flavored soda. If you decide on this flavor boost, we recommend a combination of beer and soda.)


1. To brine the beef: (Time: 3 days –1 week)

Combine the water, salt, sugar, and pickling spice in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

2. Poke several holes on all sides of the brisket with a knife or metal skewer and place in a 2-1/2-gallon re-sealable plastic bag (we used a pot with a lid). Pour the brine over the meat, making sure the meat is completely submerged. Use a clean plate to help keep the beef from floating up if you choose a pot instead of a bag to brine in. Refrigerate for 3 days or up to 1 week.


To cook the beef, carrots & cabbage: (Time: 2-3 hrs)

3. Remove the beef from brine and use a butter knife to scrape off any spices that have stuck to the meat – no need to be obsessive about it, a few spices will help flavor the broth.

4. Place in a Dutch oven or large, heavy-bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid. Add onion, carrots, garlic, and enough cold water to cover. If you’d like to boost flavor, incorporate a mixture of beer (a mild lager or non-alcoholic brew is best) and/or citrus soda or sweetened citrus juice.

5. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce to a simmer. Skim any foam that floats to the top, cover, and simmer until meat is fork tender, about 2 to 3 hours.

6. Once the beef is fork-tender, add the cabbage to the pot, cover, and cook until cabbage is easily pierced with a knife, about 10 to 15 minutes. If you’d like potatoes, add small new potatoes to the pot along with the cabbage. Remove the beef to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Trim fat as desired and thinly slice against the grain. Serve with vegetables, mustard and horseradish sauce if you’ve got it.

Based on a recipe from CHOW.com

Updated 2/2013 Copyright 2013 Davis Food Co-op