Corned Beef

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Corned Beef

The perfect corned beef recipe with a picture and simple step-by-step instructions.


  • 1700 ml Water
  • 300 ml Dark beer


  • 150 g Brown sugar
  • 120 g Sea-Salt
  • 180 g Nitrite curing salt
  • 1 tsp Coriander grains
  • 1 tsp Juniper berries
  • 1 tsp Black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp Mustard seeds white
  • 1 tbsp Mustard seeds black
  • 6 Pc. Cloves
  • 6 Pc. Cardamom (green) capsules
  • 2 Pc. Cinnamon bark
  • 4 Pc. Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 0,5 tsp Ground allspice
  • 2 tsp Ground chilli
  • 1 Pc. Lovage branch
  • 1 Pc. Ginger the size of a thumb
  • 1 tsp Mace


  • 2 kg Boiled beef


  • 1 bunch Soup vegetables
  • Boil water

Prepare meat

  1. The piece of meat in the pictures weighed just under 2 kg. I chose boiled beef. Usually a piece of this kind has a small fat rim on one side. You can leave it, but you should poke a few holes with a knife because brine takes longer to penetrate fat.

Prepare the brine

  1. Weigh the two types of salt and sugar separately and set aside first. Roast the firm, dry and not yet ground spices in the dry pan until they smell fragrant. Then just break it open in the mortar and roughly mortar. Roughly cut the ginger. Select a vessel with a lid of a suitable size to insert. The meat should be completely covered with brine.


  1. Rub part of the sea salt over the meat. Mix the rest of the sea salt, the nitrite curing salt and the sugar in approx. 700ml water with the whisk until it has dissolved. Add the spices and stir. Add the meat. Now you can estimate what water fits in so that the meat is completely covered. I calculated 150 ml of dark beer per liter of water. Please don’t forget that now, it should also fit in. Put a plate on top of the meat so that it stays submerged – this is very important.

Curing process

  1. The meat was in my fridge for five days. About half the time, I turned the piece of meat once. The brine smells amazingly aromatic.


  1. After 5 days I took the piece of meat out of the brine. The brine is emptied through a sieve and the spices are collected in it. Put them in a linen bag (for me it was a tea infuser). Fill a suitably sized pot with fresh water and add brine. You should achieve a ratio of 60% and 40% brine. The meat should also be submerged in the pot. With me, it took almost all of the brine, which corresponds to about 4 liters of cooking liquid.
  2. Bring the cooking liquid with the meat and the linen bag (tea egg) to the boil. Reduce the heat, but it should still be boiling. For the first few minutes, use the skimmer to fish off any egg white floating above. If no more protein comes up, add the soup vegetables, roughly chopped, and bring to the boil again and then reduce the heat so much that the cooking liquid only simmers. In total, I let the meat simmer for 4 hours.
  3. Then remove the meat from the cooking liquid and cut it open. You can enjoy it like this, e.g. as a sandwich on rye bread (with coleslaw or pickled cucumber), coarsely chopped with potatoes in the pan (corned beef hash) or add to a stew.

Further use

  1. Salt is considered harmful, but again, the amount makes the poison. Nitrite curing salt is especially harmful to health when grilling the meat. The cooking liquid was too good to throw away. You can boil down the cooking liquid in glasses, but you have to keep in mind that it is quite salty. A use as a stock, which is mixed with water at least 50:50 when used, is however conceivable. You can use it as a base for a risotto. I put some of the meat in the glasses. This turns into stews, which I dilute with more water until the taste is right.


  1. When there were no refrigerators, curing was one of the ways to preserve meat. This is where corned beef – which means nothing else than cured beef – has its origin. The court came to the USA with Irish emigrants. One of the people here probably had the idea of ​​tearing up the meat after it was cooked and then packing the gelled mass (aspic) in canned food – most of us know it like that. “German” corned beef is also available as cold cuts.
corned beef

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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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