I have a very nostalgic relationship with traditional corned beef. Pretty sure it’s because my Nana and I used to cook it every St. Paddy’s day and I would always wonder why we didn’t eat it on any other day of the year! I cook a corned beef every few months, when I see them at the store. The problem is, the traditional brisket can be really fatty, so I wanted to try “corning” my own cut of meat.
I chose a tri-tip and a pork tenderloin. I also cooked a store-bought corned beef alongside to see how they all compared. I think my favorite was the pork loin, but the tri-tip was really good as well. The brisket was good, but again, a lot fattier. The process is really easy, it’s the wait time that’s hard!
What you’ll need:
Cut of meat, your choice
1 jar of pickling spices
1 gallon of water
2 cups salt
6 teaspoons pink curing salt
½ cup brown sugar
To make the brine:
Toast the pickling spices in a skillet over medium heat until fragrant. Crush them with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon.
Put everything except the meat in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let it cool. Chill well in the refrigerator.
Meanwhile, prepare you meat. I used a tri-tip as well as a pork loin. Trim the meat well and place in a large Ziploc bag.
When the brine is chilled, fill the bag and seal. Store in the fridge for 5-7 days, turning occasionally to be sure all surfaces are covered in the bring.
To cook the corned meat:
Pour the brine out of the bag over a colander and save the pickling spices.
Put the meat in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add the pickling spices and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat until the meat is very tender.
Depending on what cut of meat you use, this could be 24 hours. I found the pork loin was tender in about 2 hours, while the tri-tip took closer to 4.
Serve with copious amounts of spicy brown mustard and veggies. If you’re cooking potatoes, you can do them in the pot with the meat. Just throw them in 30 minutes before it’s done.