- The Brine:
- 4 c water (1 L)
- 90 g Salt (Table) (1/4 cup table salt, or 1/2 cup kosher salt)
- 55 g Sugar (Brown) (1/4 cup)
- 1 T saltpeter
- 1/2 cinnamon stick (broken into several pieces)
- 1/2 t mustard seeds
- 1/2 t black peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- 4 allspice berries
- 6 juniper berries
- 1 bay leaves (crumbled)
- 1/4 t ground ginger
- 227 mL ice (1/2 pound; or cold water)
- 1 Kg beef brisket (2 to 2.5 pounds, trimmed of fat)
- To Cook:
- 1/2 onion (quartered)
- 1 carrot (coarsely chopped)
- 1 celery (stalk, coarsely chopped)
- 2 pork stock cubes
- fresh thyme sprigs (6 to 8)
1. Place the water into a large 6 to 8 quart stockpot along with salt, sugar, saltpeter, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, juniper berries, bay leaves, and ginger. Cook over high heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the ice (or cold water). Stir until the ice has melted. If necessary, place the brine into the refrigerator until it reaches a temperature of 45F.
2. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a gallon-sized zip top bag and add the brine. Seal and place inside a container; place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Check daily to make sure the beef is completely submerged and stir the brine.
3. After 10 days, remove from the brine and rinse well under cool water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add the onion, carrot, celery, pork stock cubes, and thyme; cover with water by 1".
4. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the meat is fork tender. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain.
SJ Note 17 March 2010: This was good! Definitely a keeper. One kilogram of beef (half the original recipe) is a good amount for us to do at a time; it fits in a 2L container in the fridge, and it yields a decent amount for the two of us.
SJ Note 7 Mar 2011: Easier to make the brine the night before and refrigerate it overnight to get it down to temp.
SJ Note 14 Mar 2014: I had a lot going on in the kitchen today, and got confused, thinking this was the pork. As such, I added pork stock cubes - I'd have used beef if I'd been with it. Ho hum - between that and the thyme I had on hand and threw in, it came out tasty, so I've included it in the copy above. Yummy and perfect, once again! :-)