St. Patrick's day is coming up and it is time to start brining your brisket. If you don't start soon, your beef will fail to deliver the special taste and texture that corned beef has. If you don't brine it at all, then you might be tempted to run to the store for some gelatinous sack of pink nitrite/nitrate goo or even worse (if that possible) to choose instead a cardboard box of microwave corned beef dinner, like at left. How much worse can pink nitrate goo get than to be in a microwave tray and nuked to death? You have options, use them.
First things first, choose either a whole brisket or just the point. I have (soon to be) eleven children so you can bet that I buy the whole brisket. If you are shopping for one, a grass-fed brisket will have slightly less fat but a far richer flavor and better nutrition for you. This means it should be cooked gently and not for hours and hours in a crock pot. Your brisket will be less pink and slightly more grey-brown because of the lack of nitrite/nitrate but the flavor will be amazing and you will be better off, so it is worth the trade off. I pretty much wing mine but HERE is one from Martha Stewart, just do not use pink curing salt because it is nitrate salts. Just use your regular quality salt, like Real Salt. Your brisket should brine for at least a week if not ten days. Flip in its brine daily. It is well worth the wait.
How do you properly prepare the brisket? I show you how HERE. Want some sprouted Irish soda bread to go along with it? I knew that you would, so the recipe for it is at the same post. Feel a little indulgent? Skip the prepared Irish cream and make your Irish coffees with good Irish whiskey and real cream, see below.
Real Food Irish Coffee,
for each serving...
4 ounces of strong black coffee or coffee substitute
1-2 ounces of Irish whiskey
2 tsp of sucanat
2 ounces of raw cream
Optional: top with whipped cream lightly sweetened with honey
In the bottom of a tall glass mug, place the sucanat and cover with the coffee or substitute and stir well until the sucanat is well combined. To this add the whiskey and then the cream. The whiskey will cool the coffee somewhat so not totally cooking the cream. I tend to favor less coffee and whiskey and more cream but to each his own.
Linking up to Real Food Wednesday!!