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How to make the BEST corned beef

My family is a clan of corned beef connoisseurs.  They seriously love it.  So much so that I have perfected what we deem as the BEST corned beef brisket in the whole wide world, they like it so much, I even made it for Thanksgiving one year.  Nothing is quite like a salt-brined brisket with just a touch of sweetness.  This is sure to become one of your favorites as well.  

The history of corned beef

Corned beef is most popular around St. Patrick’s Day.  Thought to have begun by the Irish, the origins can be traced back to the old English world.  In the 17th century, the most prevalent meat preservation was to salt and cure meat.  Made with large rock salt, or “corns” of salt, that is how corned beef got its name.  

Irish immigrants who moved to the United States in the 19th century brought the recipe with them, and corned beef became a popular dish in the US.  Corned beef is a salt-cured beef product. It is made from brisket, round, or silverside cuts of beef, which are brined in a seasoned salt solution and then cooked. It is typically served with cabbage or new potatoes. Irish Americans today continue to celebrate the popularity of corned beef brisket. 

In recent years, corned beef transitioned from less desirable cuts of beef like the neck to the point cut of the brisket.  A brisket is cut into two pieces, the flat cut, and the point cut.  The point cut of the brisket contains a fat cap on the top of the brisket that is ideal for broiling.  That layer of fat is what helps to keep the brisket juicy and full of flavor.  

What do I need?

  • Heartland Beef Co. Brisket
  • Large Dutch Oven
  • Pink Curing Salt
  • Pickling Spices
  • Brown Sugar
  • Dark Beer

The corning process

It is best to use a large pot, ideally a large dutch oven to brine my point-cut brisket for 5-7 days.  Use some pink salt, brown sugar, several cups of water, and pickling spices for the curing process.   Using the large dutch oven, bring the ingredients to a boil on high heat.  Allow the mixture to cool and add in your point-cut brisket.  Once cooled, place in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, flipping at least once in that week.  The pink curing salt will give the beef that wonderful pink color of a salt-brined brisket.  

The corned beef brisket will be ready for cooking in 5-7 days.  I say this because it is a crucial step in the salt-curing process.  The point-cut brisket needs to be pink throughout.  I like to add a heavy beer to my mixture as the liquid to cook in.  

The BEST Corned Beef

Prep Time 7 days
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 5
Calories 5 kcal


  • 1 Pressure Cooker


  • 1 Heartland Beef Co. Prime Angus Brisket
  • 8 cups Water
  • 2 cups Kosher Salt
  • 4 oz Pink Salt
  • 4 tbsp Pickling Spice
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Dark Beer


  • Using a cast iron dutch oven, bring 8 cups of water to a boil.
  • Once water has come to a boil, add in salt, pink salt, pickiling spice, and brown sugar.
  • Stir until the salts and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Add your brisket to the mixture and let sit for 5-7 days. At least once during the week, flip the brisket.
  • Once you are ready to cook, reserve one cup of the salt and sugar mixutre and add a can of dark beer to a pressure cooker.
  • Add brisket to the pressure cooker, seal and cloase lid.
  • Cook on high pressure for one hour and allow pressure cooker to naturally release.
  • Once finished, remove from the pressure cooker and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with new potatoes, cabbage, and irish soda bread!
Keyword Prime Angus Beef

There are different ways to cook your corned beef brisket.  My personal favorite is in a pressure cooker, like an instant pot, using high pressure allowing for a natural release.  You can also use a slow cooker and leave it on all day, coming home to the smell of sweet pickling spices.  And finally, you can roast that corned beef brisket in the oven right in that large dutch oven 

Enjoy your corned beef brisket on St. Patrick’s day with some new potatoes and Irish soda bread!  In this house, you are lucky if there is ever any leftover corned beef brisket!  It truly is one of our top meals!   

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