Salt (Corned) Beef

In 2008, I wrote:

In this country, we are used to corned beef out of a tin. The corned beef I am making is more like an unsmoked version of Pastrami. It gets its name from the ‘corn’, grains of coarse salts that are used to cure it. Traditionally made with brisket it can also be made with other cuts – in this case, a piece of topside weighing about 3lb.

The cure used is:

Water 1500gm
Salt 180gm
Light Brown or Demerara Sugar 180gm
Cure 1 (Prague Powder 1) 48gm
Juniper Berries 10
Cloves 2
Black Peppercorns 6
Parsley Stalks 2
Thyme Sprigs 2
Bay Leaves 1
Coriander Seeds 6

Crush spices roughly and boil in water with sugar and salt. Cool and add cure. Pump with 10% of the meat’s weight of cure and immerse in the remaining cure for 5-6 days.

I put this in to cure on New Year’s Day. The meat weighed 1480gm, so was injected with 148gm of cure. Today, I have washed the meat in cold water and put it in a casserole with a chopped onion, carrot and a celery stick, along with about ½ pint of boiling water. I cooked it in the oven for 2½ hours at 160°C.

Added 2021: This recipe produces a very mildly spiced corned beef which I like for sandwiches. I like to slice it thinly and use 4 or 5 slices rather than one thick slice. It makes a nice, if somewhat untraditional, Reuben sandwich. I’ve recently posted a recipe for a dry-cured salt beef that has more spice and should be better for eating as a hot meal.

5 thoughts on “Salt (Corned) Beef”

  1. Thanks for the recipe and calculators but the following is I suspect a mistype (Cure 1 (Prague Powder 1) 48gm) should this be 4.8gm?

    1. No, 48gm is correct. This is an injection cure where brine amounting to10% of the weight of the meat is injected into the meat. The brine weighs 1908gm and contains 48gm of cure #1. That’s 2.51gm Cure #1 per 100gm of brine. We will inject 100g brine into each kg of meat and that will give 2.51gm cure #1 in each kg of meat. That’s 151 parts per million (mg/kg) – exactly what we want.
      I hope that this clarifies it.

      1. Thanks for the reply it all makes sense now 🙂 Bacon and ham today as Macro had pork loin in at £3.79 KG. I may try the hot smoked loin recipe. Thank you for the recipes/calculators they turn out some impressive products.

  2. Is there a formula for the amount of ingredients to use in relation to the weight of the piece of meat, or is it a one size fits all that’s covered by the 10% injection? Many thanks.

    1. Hi
      As the amount injected is a percentage of the meat’s weight this takes care of itself automatically.
      I hope this helps.

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