St. Patrick's Day came early to our house this year! My partner, Chris, is ambitious at work and at home, which means she often has the patience and focus to do things like: research the science of curing meat safely, invest in some supplies and tools, and make corned beef from scratch. And I am so glad about that, because dinner was delicious. Even our kid loved it. While he has an unusually large appetite for a toddler, he doesn't usually eat much meat. Yet even he was shouting "mo' beef!" throughout our meal.
Last week, Chris brought home a plain, raw brisket. She set out to cure it, a process that takes 7 days (Luckily, after the initial set up, the process is completely passive). Chris learned to brine and cure by reading AmazingRibs.com, especially this article "The Science of Curing Meats Safely." The article will school you on basics like killing botulism, nitrites vs. nitrates, and it even includes a handy calculator for setting up your curing solution.
Today, the meat was finally ready to be cooked. Chris followed this recipe, which calls for the cured meat to be simmered in water for 3-4 hours (the meat is so full of seasonings and salts from the week in the fridge, there's no need to add anything else). You throw the root veggies into the pot for the last hour, and then the cabbage for the last thirty minutes. Slice up the meat, then serve with veggies and some generous spoonfuls of the simmering liquid.