Homemade, Spiced, Slow Cooked Corned Beef

pennybenjaminMain Meals, NourishLeave a Comment

Corned Beef

What to do when you’ve got some spare, beautiful organic, pastured, organic beef brisket available? Well one thing you can do, is a home made, spiced corned beef!

One question I know you’ll ask, is “why isn’t it pink? All other corned beef I’ve had is pink…”. Most corned beef is pink due to the use of nitrate salts which are preservatives added to the curing brine. These aren’t required, at all, from a hygiene perspective, but help with the aesthetics of the corned beef. I’ve not used these chemicals in this recipe, therefore it’s not bright pink in colour, but a more natural brown after cooking.

Also, just to clarify – corned beef is actually beef that’s been salted (cured in brine). You typically then slow cook before eating.

corned beef

If you like this recipe, you might also like to use the brisket for my beef burgundy!

Recipe Type: GF, DF, Paleo

Serves 8
Time  7 days


Pickling Spice Mix

  • 1 T whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1 T whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 T coriander seeds
  • 1 T cumin seeds
  • 1/2 T nigella seeds
  • 1 T chilli flakes
  • 1 T whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 T whole cloves
  • 9 whole cardamom pods
  • 6 large bay leaves, crumbled


  • 3 L water
  • 2 C Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 3 Tbsp pickling spices
  • 1/2 C rapadura sugar

To cook the brisket:

  • 2kg beef brisket, trimmed
  • 2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 T pickling spices
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • water to cover the brisket


Prepare Spice Mix:

  1. Toast all the Spice Mix ingredients (except bay leaves and cinnamon) in a small frying pan on medium heat until fragrant. Note that it is pretty easy to burn spices; you want enough heat to release their flavors, not so much that they get burned.
  2. Remove from heat use a mortar and pestle or blitz in a mini food processor to crush the spices a little. Mix through the bay leaves

Prepare the Brine and Cure the meat:

  1. Heat water, spices,  salt and sugar in a pot until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and chill.
  2. Place the (raw) brisket in a large, flat container or pan, and cover with the brine. Ensure the brine covers the meat, you may need to weigh the meat down with a plate or so.  Alternatively you can use a large freezer bag (placed in a container so if it leaks it doesn’t leak all over your fridge).
  3. Place in the fridge and chill for 5-7 days, flipping the meat each day to ensure all sides are brined equally.

corned beef

Cook your corned beef!

  1. Remove the brisket from the brine and rinse under cold water to remove excess salt.
  2. Place in a slow cooker with the apple cider vinegar, spices, cinnamon stick and water to cover (by at least 2cm).
  3. Place lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
  4. Once cooked, remove meat from slow cooker and place on a cutting board and allow to cool slightly before slicing (you can use the leftover liquid to boil vegetables, cook rice or quinoa).
  5. Serve with your favourite cooked veggies & mashed potato (in winter) or cold with salad, pickles and seeded mustard (in summer)!

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