Breakfast leftovers

Keith Bryant
 With St. Patrick’s Day over what do you do with the left-over corned beef? Well if you live with Sharon you must make corned beef hash. 
 When I make corned beef a couple of times a year I have to make enough so that we have a little left for hash. 
 If you have ever eaten the stuff that comes in a can it is way too salty and the potatoes are mush. 
 With the recent events there is a ton of corned beef for sale right now and it is getting cheaper.
 Making corned beef is not hard, but just like anything else in life it takes time and patience. 
 I was able to find an eye of the round, but brisket works as well as any type of slow roasting beef portion. 
 If you have spent anytime researching corned beef you know there are two types. The red brisket is the traditional flavor old time New Englanders will recognize. It’s cured in a seasoned brine for two weeks plus before being prepared for sale. These briskets contain nitrates and nitrites (as preservatives) and have much saltier flavor. 
 Gray corned beef is cured in a saltwater brine for two weeks plus. This brine contains no preservatives, so the grey corned beef is a great option for those who are looking to avoid nitrates and nitrites. Because the brine isn’t seasoned, the grey corned beef can also be seasoned to your tastes.
 This week I will give you the red recipe to try. You can find pink salt online or maybe ask over at Gilmores.
Red corned beef
Pickling spices:
1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds (brown or yellow)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
2 teaspoons whole cloves
9 whole cardamom pods
6 large bay leaves, crumbled
2 teaspoons ground ginger
½ stick cinnamon
1-gallon (3.8 liters) water
300 g Kosher salt (2 cups of Diamond Crystal brand Kosher salt OR 1 cup 3½ tablespoons of Morton’s Kosher salt)
5 teaspoons pink curing
salt or prague powder
3 tablespoons pickling spices
½ cup (90 g) brown sugar
1 5-pound beef brisket
1 tablespoon pickling spices
 1 - Toast and crush spices: You can either use store-bought pickling spices or you can make your own. 
 To make your own, toast the allspice berries, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom pods in a small frying pan on medium heat until fragrant.
 Remove from heat and place in a small bowl. Use a mortar and pestle to crush the spices a little (or the back of a spoon or the side of a knife on a flat surface). Add to a small bowl and stir in the crumbled bay leaves and ground ginger.
 2 - Make curing brine: Add about 3 tbsp. of the spice mix (reserve the rest for cooking the corned beef after it has cured), plus the half stick of cinnamon, to a gallon of water in a large pot, along with the Kosher salt, pink salt (if using), and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate until well chilled.
 3 - Brine the brisket for 5-7 days: Place the brisket in a large, flat container or pan, and cover with the brine. The brine should cover the meat. The meat may float in which case you may want to weigh it down with a plate.
 Alternatively you can use a 2-gallon freezer bag (placed in a container so if it leaks it doesn’t leak all over your refrigerator), place the brisket in the freezer bag and about 2 quarts of brine, squeezing out the air from the bag before sealing.
 Place in the refrigerator and chill from 5-7 days. Every day flip the brisket over, so that all sides get brined equally.
 4 - Cook the corned beef: At the end of the cure, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse off the brine with cold water. Place the brisket in a large pot that just fits around the brisket and cover with at least one inch of water. If you want your brisket less salty, add another inch of water to the pot.
 Add a tablespoon of the pickling spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer (barely bubbling), and cook 3-4 hours, until the corned beef is fork tender. (At this point you can store in the fridge for up to a week.)
 5 - Cut across the grain: Remove the meat to a cutting board. (You can use the spiced cooking liquid to cook vegetables for boiled dinner or corned beef and cabbage.) Notice the visible lines on the meat; this is the “grain” of the meat, or the direction of the muscle fibers.  


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