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Old 12-13-2004, 04:39 PM   #1
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Has anyone made Corned Beef before?

If so I was wondering how it came out? I read the instructions on how to do this and it seems pretty simple, but I was wondering if there is a big difference in taste. Basically, is it worth my time? I also read that it will turn out a greyish color if I don't use saltpeter, but that is suppose to be better for you because you won't have carcinogens in the beef.

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Old 12-13-2004, 10:37 PM   #2
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I made it once. It came out fine. I chose a recipe that seemed good. The flavor was a little different from what I was used to. I haven't given it a high priority to try again so I could adjust the spices to improve the flavor.

It really takes minimum effort:

Prepare the brine
Put in the brisket
Wait
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Old 12-14-2004, 01:53 AM   #3
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I've done it as well. My flavor was a little bit off as well. I used a recipe with garlic, which, if I did it again, I'd omit. I don't think there's garlic in commercial corned beef brine. Pastrami, perhaps.

I too was trying to avoid nitrates, so I skipped the saltpeter. The color was an unappetizing grey, but I don't the lack of saltpeter made much of a difference in flavor.

Nitrates, btw, aren't carcinogens, it's the nitrosamines that are formed when nitrates are exposed to high heats. The operative word here being high. If you boil your corn beef, it shouldn't pose any danger from the nitrosamines.
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Old 12-14-2004, 09:23 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, if I decide to give it a try I'll let you know how it turned out. It seems like you will probably need to do it a few times to get the seasonings just right.
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Old 12-14-2004, 04:05 PM   #5
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I made corned beef for the first time a while back. I agree that it certainly wasn't difficult. The hardest part was remembering to turn it over each day while it was brining. I also didn't use the saltpeter and the grey colour was very off-putting for me, so much so that I didn't taste it. Mr. BB said it tasted fine, though.

Don't think I'll bother again.
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Old 12-15-2004, 05:18 PM   #6
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To improve the color after brining, barbecue the meat with smoke, slow and long. The smoke and heat will make it look better, and also enhance the flavor.

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Old 12-16-2004, 10:36 PM   #7
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As a kid growing up in the Boston area, all we ever ate was grey corned beef. It was the most prevalent type around here. Later, the red corned beef came into favor - for the color, I assume. As a result, I am not turned off by the color difference.
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Old 12-17-2004, 11:17 AM   #8
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I've been lurking here for a while and this question caught my eye the day it was posted. I decided to join today so I could add my thoughts. Like Andy M., I grew up eating the grey corned beef. I grew up a little further upstate from Boston. I can't buy it anymore as we've moved away. I've tried the red corned beef and didn't like it. Guess like anything, it's a matter of what you're used to. I really missed the corned beef from home, so I searched for a recipe. First one I tried turned out to be the red type with the pickling spices and salt peter. I searched again and found more recipes. Next one was the grey kind and closer to what I knew. I experimented, combining recipes, until I finally came up with something close. It's very easy and I don't even have to turn it. I just put it all in a pan, refrigerate, and forget it for two weeks. A little bit of home.
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Old 12-17-2004, 11:33 AM   #9
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Thanks for all your posts. At first I was a little turned off by the idea of the corned beef being grey, but after reading all of you input I'm going to give it a try.
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