"Corn"-It-Yourself Corned Beef, Salt-Rub Method

This method of making corned beef is less cumbersome than dealing with brine, but it results in meat that's much saltier. If salt is a concern, you can remove some of it by rinsing the meat and then submerging it in cold water for an hour before you add it to the slow cooker. There's also an optional cooking step to this recipe that will help.

INGREDIENTS | YIELDS 1 (about 3-pound) corned beef brisket

  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 1 (3-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  1. Add the salt, cracked black pepper, thyme, allspice, paprika, and crumbled bay leaves to a bowl or sandwich bag; mix well.

  2. Use a fork to prick the beef brisket on both sides. Rub half of the salt mixture into each side of the meat. Seal in a large zip-closure bag, forcing out as much air as possible. Place that bag inside of another bag. Place in the refrigerator and put a weight (such as a gallon of milk) on top. Refrigerate for 5–7 days, turning once a day. At the end of the 5–7 days, remove the meat from the food storage bag and rinse it well under cool water.

  3. Add the brisket to the slow cooker along with the onion, carrot, and celery. Add enough water to cover the meat. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours, or until the meat is fork tender.

  4. Optional Step: To remove more of the salt from the meat, remove it from the slow cooker and discard the cooking liquid and cooked vegetables. Place the cooked brisket back in the slow cooker and cover completely with fresh water. Cover and cook on low for 1 to 2 hours.

  5. Remove the meat from the slow cooker to a cutting board; cover and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. Thinly slice the brisket across the grain.

Pastrami Instead

To make pastrami, after you've rinsed the brine or salt cure from the meat, cook the cured brisket according to the pastrami recipe instructions.

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