5 teaspoons pink curing salt (a.k.a “Prague Powder Number 1", see note below)
4 Tbsp pickling spices
1 stick cinnamon, broken in half
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 4-5lb grass-fed beef brisket
Mix together the nine spices for your allspice mix
In a large pot, pour in 1 gallon of water, kosher salt, pink curing salt, 4Tbs of your allspice mix (store the rest in a baggie for later), cinnamon stick, and raw sugar. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve salt and sugar, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate until well chilled
Trim excess fat off of your beef brisket. Place the brisket in a large, flat container or pan, and cover with the brine. The brine should cover the meat. The meat may float in which case you may want to weigh it down with a plate. Alternatively you can use a 2-gallon freezer bag (placed in a container so if it leaks it doesn’t leak all over your refrigerator), place the brisket in the freezer bag and about 2 quarts of brine, squeezing out the air from the bag before sealing. Place in the refrigerator and chill from 5-7 days. Every day flip the brisket over, so that all sides get brined equally.
At the end of the cure, remove the brisket from the brine and rinse off the brine with cold water. Place the brisket in a large pot that just fits around the brisket and cover with at least one inch of water. If you want your brisket less salty, add another inch of water to the pot. Add a tablespoon of the pickling spices to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a very low simmer (barely bubbling), and cook 3-4 hours, until the corned beef is fork tender. (At this point you can store in the fridge for up to a week.) Remove the meat to a cutting board, slice and enjoy!
Pink curing salt is optional, but without it your corned beef will be grey in color instead of its characteristic pink. Some people are wary of curing salt as it contains sodium nitrite. I say live a little and enjoy in moderation! It can be a little difficult to find, so call your local spice shop, or click here to order online from Milwaukee Spice House.