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Brine for corned meat  RSS feed

 
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I was talking about brine in another thread and thought I'd put a really rough 'recipe' here.
This works well for beef, mutton or fish.
Look at your meat.
How much liquid do you think it need to be submerged ?
Too much brine is always better
If you're making a huge amount, you'll need to make a couple of extremely salty batches and dilute them.
My 'recipe' is for an undiluted brine.
I don't really measure, but it's around

1-1 1/2 cup uniodised salt to 1 gallon water
It tastes better with 1/4-1/2c sugar, but it's fine without
several bay leaves
whole pepper corns
allspice
yellow mustard seed
Taste-it should be uncomfortably salty, but not unpleasant

Heat the brine slowly-if it boils over it'll make a terrible mess!
Let it cool to room temp, then tip into the storage vessel, add the meat
The meat must be submerged. a heavy plate and a boiled brick is great for a bucket,
a barrel will need something more substantial.
 
steward
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I so want to try this Leila!

If this is undiluted brine, how much might you dilute? I know that with brines for fermented veggies, I can dilute by adding up to 1/4 to 1/3rd more of the water measure, so it's less salty. Would it be similar for meat?

Thanks, too, for your replies about brining following your post in the what's for dinner thread.

Your "corned beef hash with Brussels sprouts, parsley and sauerkraut" sounds delicious! Yum.
 
Leila Rich
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Thanks Jocelyn!

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:If this is undiluted brine, how much might you dilute?


This brine 'recipe' doesn't get diluted.
The brine should be really salty.
Unlike ferments, you're not adding enough salt to make it an unfiendly environment for most things-
you don't want any bacteria to survive, or the meat will rot.
That's why I only leave the meat in brine for a limited time, or it gets too salty for me.
I test it by cutting off, rinsing and eating a small piece.
Not for everyone, and remember the outside's much saltier;
another reason to keep the meat fairly small.
 
Leila Rich
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I just made a batch, so here's some pictures.

Each smallish 'silverside' roast is cut in half.
I made a brine ages ago-I evaporated off the water till it was practically a 'saturated salt solution' (ie there's so much salt in the water it won't dissolve anymore)
I have minimal storage and I can always add water when I need it...

I added coriander, pepper corns, whole cloves, bay leaves and allspice.

Topped up the brine with plain water till the meat's covered.
Checked it was waaay more salty than I'd want to eat right now
(my tests are pretty basic..)

Pressed a plate down so the meat's submerged
I leave brine the meat for 5-10 days if I'm freezing it, otherwise it can stay in brine for ages if it's soaked for a day or so to remove salt.
 
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