Best Corned Beef Recipe
Cut up a ¼ of beef. For each hundred weight take ½ a peck of coarse salt, a ¼ of a pound of saltpetre, the same weight of saleratus and a quart of molasses, or two pounds of coarse brown sugar. Mace, cloves and all-spice can be added for spiced beef.
Strew some of the salt in the bottom of a pickle tub or barrel, then put in a layer of beef meat, strew this with salt, then add another layer of meat, and salt and meat alternately, until all is used. Allow it to remain one night. Dissolve the saleratus and saltpetre in a bit of warm water, and put it to the molasses or sugar; then put it over the meat, add water enough to cover the meat, lay a board on it to keep it under the brine. The meat is fit for use after ten days. This recipe is for winter beef. Rather more salt can be used in warm weather.
Towards spring take the brine from the meat, make it boiling hot, skim it clear, and when it is cooled, return it to the meat.
Beef tongues and smoking pieces are fine pickled in this brine. Beef liver put in this brine for ten days, and then wiped dry and smoked, is delicious. Cut it in slices, and fry or broil it. The brisket of beef, after being corned, can be smoked, and is very good for boiling.
Lean pieces of beef, cut properly from the hind-quarter, are the proper pieces for being smoked. There can be some fine pieces cut from the fore-quarter.
After the beef has been in brine ten days or more, wipe it dry, and hang it in a chimney where wood is burned, or make a smothered fire of sawdust or chips, and keep it smoking for ten days; then rub fine black pepper over every part to keep the flies from it, and hang it in a dry, dark, cool place. After a week it is fit for use. A strong, coarse brown paper, folded around the beef, and fastened with paste, keeps it lovely.
Tongues are smoked in the same way. Hang them by a string put through the root end. Spiced brine for smoked beef or tongues will be generally liked.