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Corned Beef From Scratch


5 lb beef brisket
2 lb coarse salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 bay leaves
1 tsp saltpeter
1 spring fresh thyme
1 oz pickling spice, tied in

3 large onions, one spiked with
   cloves, the others sliced or
1 ts black peppercorns
1 lb carrots, medium, chopped
2 medium white turnips, chopped
5 ea cloves
1 lb leeks, chopped
1 ea celery stalk, chopped

Corning your beef:

Place sugar, salt, and saltpeter in a large saucepan along with pickling spices tied in cheesecloth.

Add the bay leaves, thyme, and 4 1/2 quarts of water.

Heat gently until the sugar and salt have completely dissolved.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour into a bowl and allow to cool.

Add the meat to the bowl, making sure that the salt solution covers it.

Cover with a clean dish-towel and let it soak in a cold place for 2 weeks, turning the beef occasionally.

To Cook:

Remove the beef from the brine, wash it under cold water, and put it into a large saucepan with the clove spiked onion.

Add the peppercorns and celery to the pan, then cover with cold water and bring slowly to a boil.

Skim, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.

Add the vegetables to the pan, bring it back to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Strain the liquid and use as a sauce over the beef and vegetables.

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