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I was convinced it would be rubbish and we’d be having egg and chips for dinner..

When my mother in law comes over from Eire to visit at Christmas she usually brings bacon ribs, corned beef, Galtee cheese and soda bread, this year she isn’t coming, she has decided to head off to warmer climes and mr 5 was distraught at the thought of no corned beef, so I decided to try my hand at corning my own, if you’re English you’ll probably be thinking of corned beef, the stuff out of tins, which I love, but this is proper corned beef or salt-cured beef.

So 10 days ago I bought a piece of beef brisket, (I wrote this before Christmas, so 10 days ago would’ve been Monday 10th Dec.)
I put it into a brining solution that consisted of rock salt, a little sugar, water and pickling spices, you can find various recipes all over the internet, I chose the method I used because it didn’t contain sodium nitrite, I decided wasn’t worth the effort to find, which meant it wouldn’t have quite the same colour or texture as commercial beef, but that’s the point with home cooking isn’t it.


Suffice to say, I was a little apprehensive about the whole thing.

Corned Beef

The day before, I removed the beef from the brine and stood it in cold water, I was beginning to get paranoid it would be too salty, it was looking a bit pale and insipid by now.

Things did not go according to plan, I wanted to put it in the oven for about 3 or 4 hours, but I didn’t get back from the hospital until 3.30pm so already I was running late, but I put it into a casserole with some fresh water anyway, in the vague hope it would be ok, the picture isn’t too good as I was in a hurry, turns out I didn’t hurry enough.

beef raw

I put it in the oven on 125°,  I was convinced it would be rubbish and we’d be having sausage, egg and chips for dinner..

Which it turns out we did, because it needed longer to cook and I didn’t fancy eating dinner at 8pm.

So I had a bit of a dilemma, I needed the oven to cook sausages. I decided to take the dish out of the oven and leave it on the top to cool over night, then I’d put it back in the oven for a couple of hours the next day: Health and safety would be apoplectic by now if this were commercial.. lol

Turns out, that was a very good idea indeed, it was perfect.

beef 3

I was really pleased with how it turned out actually, I think my Mother in law would’ve been really proud of me, I shall write and enclose photos when she gets home..

beef 1

beef 2

I served it with boiled red potatoes, braised cabbage and sweetcorn.

bloody marvellous

My only complaint, it could’ve been a little saltier, but that was easily rectified at the table..