Last fall I picked up some local grass-fed beef and was so excited to get the brisket cut. I tucked it away in the freezer to wait for that special holiday in March. I pulled it out to thaw and the kids and I got it set up for some home curing to have corned beef on Saint Patrick's Day this week. I found the recipe on Nourished Kitchen back in South Dakota when we had access to wonderful grass-fed beef there. I've noticed that some of my favorite recipes on this website have disappeared, so I thought I'd copy it here.
2 to 3 lb grass-fed beef brisket or other cut of grass-fed beef
1/2 cup sea salt
1/2 cup pickling spices (mustard seed, bay leafs, all spice berries, cloves, coriander, peppercorns etc.)
2 cups fresh whey
2 cups celery juice (I had celery seeds, so I added some of those, too)
- Rinse the beef brisket and pat it dry.
- Stir ½ cup unrefined sea salt with ½ cup pickling spice together and vigorously rub it into the beef. Roll the brisket together and tightly tie with cotton cooking twine, then tightly wrap the brisket in cotton cheesecloth.
- Set the beef in a lidded bowl or crock, and pour two cups fresh whey as well as two cups fresh celery juice over the beef to cover. If the mixture of fresh whey and celery juice does not completely submerge the meat, add enough filtered water to cover.
- Weigh down the beef with a clean ceramic plate or other weight, cover your pot or bowl securely.
- You may cure it in the refrigerator for a minimum of five days or upwards of ten days, or, try the method outlined by Sally Fallon in her landmark cookbook Nourishing Traditions which encourages curing corned beef at room temperature for two days or so.
- As the beef sits in brine, it’s important to turn the meat each day so that it cures evenly.
- Once the curing process is complete, approximately a week in the fridge, rinse the beef from the brine.
- You can then serve home-cured corned beef as you would any corned beef. I cook it in the crock pot with carrots, potatoes, and onions for 8 hours. I add cabbage at the end for about 1.5 hours