Saint Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, and we’ve had tons of customers coming into the shop for brisket to make corned beef. This delicious spiced and cured meat becomes super tender and flavorful, utterly cravable and appropriately celebratory. Corned beef became a traditional way for Irish Americans to enjoy the holiday and the increased accessibility of affordable meat in the United States.
The use of saltpeter helps to preserve the meat and gives it the characteristic pink color. You can easily leave this out, particularly if you’re going to cook the meat right after brining it. Some people add a couple of beets to the brine solely for their rich pink hue in lieu of adding saltpeter. Saltpeter is toxic in concentrated amounts – hence the pink coloring that is added to it, ensuring that no one mistakes it for regular table salt. In the amount called for to cure meat, it’s fine to consume – the choice is up to you.
Free Range Bison, Raised The Way Nature Intended
Our bison live free range on 20,000 beautiful acres here in New Mexico, or roam freely on our carefully selected partner ranches. They are pasture raised and never administered any amount of hormones, steroids or antibiotics. These are powerful, strong animals that live essentially wild with minimal handling. There were once 60 million bison roaming North America, and we hope to see their numbers increase back to even 1 million during our lifetime. By increasing the demand for ethically sourced bison meat, we can help to bolster their population. The more people that want to purchase this nourishing and nutrient dense meat, the more farmers will be encouraged to raise bison. This directly helps to increase the number of herds which assists in providing genetic diversity for the population.
- 2 cups sea salt
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons saltpeter (optional)
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 tablespoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 10 whole cloves
- 10 whole allspice berries (dried)
- 14 whole juniper berries
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 2 pounds of ice
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 1 bison brisket, 5-7 pounds
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- Toast the spices. Mix together the allspice, juniper, mustard and coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, black peppercorns and cloves. Add them to a small, dry cast iron skillet over medium heat. Toast them carefully, keeping an eye on them the entire time – they can burn very quickly if left unattended. You’ll know they’re done toasting when they become aromatic (your kitchen will smell incredible).
- Remove the toasted spices from the heat and add them to a mortar and pestle (you can also use a spice grinder). If you don’t have either of these, you can always lay a large knife over top and crush them that way. Put the crushed spices in a small dish and crumble the bay leaves in with them. Stir in the ginger powder and set aside.
- Now, make the brine. Add the gallon of filtered water to a large stock pot. Stir in the sea salt and saltpeter, if using. Add three tablespoons of the spice mix into the pot. Break the cinnamon stick into a few pieces and add it in, along with the coconut sugar (or brown sugar). Bring the pot to a boil, stirring to combine until the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Remove the pot from the heat and set it aside to cool. Once it cools to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.
- Place the brisket in a large roasting pan. Pour the brine over top so that the meat is completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 5 days, making sure to flip the brisket over each day.
Don’t Hesitate To Reach Out To Our Awesome Team
At Beck & Bulow, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We’re always here to help if you have any questions regarding your meat, want help making selections, or are just looking for some cooking tips. Every time you call our office, you’ll be directly connected with one of our team members right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we’re based. And if you’re a New Mexico local, be sure to check out our butcher shop!
Every cut of meat and seafood is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering at the peak of freshness. We work exclusively with master butchers who make every cut with care and precision. All orders are hand packed at our Santa Fe warehouse, shipped in a reusable cooler with dry ice and delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out our selections of pasture raised bison, beef, elk, lamb, wild boar, poultry, seafood and more.