Last weekend, I started brining my first corned beef – my first adventure in home-cured meats. Only since I haven’t had it since I was a kid, and since it was a chance to get a hunk of meat from Chestnut farms for just a dollar, I brined a tongue tip, and not a brisket.
I had in my mind a menu of corned beef slices, pickles, and celeriac salad as a fine new year’s day meal – though I’m not entirely sure whether there’s some tradition where preserved meat is a New Year’s thing, it seemed right. (As it happened, the 5 days of brining, plus getting it into the crockpot a bit late where it needed to simmer 3 or 4 hours until past dinnertime, and to cool before slicing anyway, made it a fine January 2nd meal instead…)
Meat cured with sodium nitrite really does turn pink! I’ll spare you the less-appetizing photos of the whole thing and its spotted bumpy skin. (The spots are blacker on the inside of the skin than the outside – who knew?)