Corned Beef

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  • 2 pounds coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon saltpeter
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 ounce pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth
  • 1 (5 pound) beef brisket


  • 3 large onions, one spiked with cloves, the others sliced or quartered
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 pound medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium white turnips, chopped
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 pound leeks, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped


  1. Corning: Put salt, sugar and saltpeter into a large saucepan with pickling spices tied in cheesecloth. Add bay leaves, thyme and 4 1/2 quarts water. Heat gently until sugar and salt have dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour into bowl and cool.
  2. Add the meat to the bowl, making sure that salt solution covers it. Cover with clean dish-towel and leave to soak in cold place for 2 weeks. Turn the meat occasionally.
  3. Cooking: Remove the meat from the brine and wash under cold water. Put into a large saucepan with the clove-spiked onion. Add the celery and peppercorns to the pan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil slowly. Skim, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. Add vegetables to the pan, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the liquid and use as a sauce over the meat and vegetables.