I love corned beef…well, corned beef hash really. It is very difficult to find nitrate-free corned beef hash, and if you’re lucky to find a pre-brined, nitrate-free corned beef it usually has other additives. So, this year, I finally decided to brine my own corned beef. This spice mix for Homemade Corned Beef Brine is great. Brining your own corned beef is super easy, it just takes time. But honestly, if you brine for 7 instead of 10 days this yield a less salty corned beef which is preferred by many.
Choosing the right cut of brisket is an important first step. When you choose your own meat you can be sure to find a piece that is local, grass fed and just the right size. A 4-5 pound piece is perfect for a family of four, but you may want to do 2 large pieces so you have leftovers for things like corned beef hash! Here is a picture from Eat Like No One Else that will help you choose the flat cut (leaner part) of the brisket NOT the point cut (fattier cut).
The next step is deciding how long you will brine. The general rule is 2 days per pound of beef. But like I mentioned before, 7-10 days is just fine. This gives you just enough time to brine your corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day.
Which brings me to the question…Why do we eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day anyways? Well, there isn’t a really straight forward answer, and corned beef isn’t even considered a national dish of Ireland. Corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day originates as part of Irish-American culture, when corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish-American immigrants in the late 19th century. Corned beef and cabbage is the Irish-American variant of the traditional Irish dish of bacon and cabbage.
Boiled beef (even when brined for a week) isn’t really that appealing to me, and neither is boiled cabbage. So this year, after we brine our flat cut brisket for about 7 days, I am going to braise it instead of boil it. I’m really excited and think it will be delicious! We’re going to serve braised corned beef, Paleo Colcannon, and Paleo Irish Soda Bread. For dessert- Healthy, Sugar Free Paleo Shamrock Shakes, yum! I will bring you recipes to make this delicious St. Patrick’s Day feast, so you can be sure to have an easy, fun St. Patty’s Day Party of your own this coming March 17 or any time you feel like changing it up and bringing in “The Luck of the Irish.”