Recipe by Ben Hillis
* Ingredients currently available at the Saratoga Farmers’ Market
• 3 quarts water
• 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into several pieces
• 2 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds
• 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
• 12 whole cloves
• 12 whole allspice berries
• 20 whole juniper berries
• 3 bay leaves, bruised
• 3/4 tablespoon ground ginger
• 1/2 tablespoon celery seed
• 1 – 4lbs trimmed beef brisket*
• 3 small onions, quartered*
• 4 large carrots, roughly chopped*
• 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped*
• 3lbs potatoes, cubed*
• 2 heads of cabbage, quartered*
1. Place the water into your largest stockpot, at least 3 quarts. Add the salt, sugar, and all of the spices.
2. Bring the brine to a boil. Then simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved and your kitchen smells delicious. Refrigerator brine overnight.
3. Once it has cooled, place the brisket in a 2-gallon Ziplock bag and add brine. Seal bag and place the bag inside of another container as to prevent possible leakage. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 10 days. Each day make sure the brisket is covered by the brine.
4. On the 10th day, remove the brisket and rinse well under cold water. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the brisket and vegetables. Fill the pot so that the contents are well covered. Heat on high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until the corn beef is perfectly tender.
5. Add the vegetables approximately 45 mins before desired finish. If you prefer more tender vegetables, add them at the very beginning of the cooking process.
* I like to purée some of the the veggies and add it to the cooking liquid. Typically, before the cooking liquid is boiled, purée the celery, 1 carrot, a half of an onion, and half of a head of cabbage in a blender and add it to the boil for a deeper flavor. If you cannot fit all of the purée items in your blender, you may need to do it in more than one batch.
6. Remove the corned beef from the pot and allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes. Thinly slice the meat across the grain and serve with the vegetables. Enjoy!