How to Make Homemade Corned Beef

Now is the time to start corning your own brisket at home for St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th. Why? The process takes 1-2 weeks of brining – or “corning.” Better order your brisket today at

The reason to corn your own beef is flavor. You can achieve tastes that aren’t available in the mass-produced versions.

– Michael Ruhlman, Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing

Our corned beef recipe is made without the use of chemical curing salts but is just as delicious. The distinctive pinkish-red color of corned beef comes from the nitrites in pink salt, so be aware that this natural version will not be so brightly colored. Serve it the traditional way, with cabbage and potatoes, or slice it for sandwiches, chop it for hash or casseroles. This tender and tasty beef offers so many possibilities!
Classic Corned Beef Brisket Recipe | D'Artagnan


  • Beef Brisket Flat, about 5lbs, trimmed if needed
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup coarse or kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, each broken in half
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 10 whole allspice
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 4 large bay leaves, torn in pieces
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 1″ square, chopped
  • 2 cups mirepoix; 1 large onion, 1 large carrot, 1 large stalk celery; all coarsely chopped


  1. Start preparation at least 1 week (up to 2 weeks) before you plan to serve the corned beef.
  2. Add water to a large pot over high heat. Add salt, sugar and all herbs and spices. Cook until the salt and sugar have fully dissolved.
  3. Carefully remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature then place in the refrigerator until brine has reached 45 degrees F.
  4. In a large pan (large enough to accommodate the entire brisket while fully submerged in brine but still fit in the refrigerator), place the brisket and brine. Cover tightly with plastic and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Turn brisket daily, stir brine and check to make sure meat stays fully submerged.
  5. When ready to cook, remove the brisket from brine and rinse well under cool running water. Discard brine. Place the brisket into a pot just large enough to hold the meat, add mirepoix and cover with water.
  6. Set over high flame and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and gently simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender.
  7. Remove from the pot and allow the meat to rest on a cutting board. Then thinly slice across the grain.
Corned Beef Sandwich
Corned beef sandwich, photo: Stu Spivack, Flickr 

Did you know? Corned beef has been eaten in Ireland since at least the 1600s. Under the name “salt beef” it was even exported from Cork to continental Europe, the West Indies, and Newfoundland. Back in Ireland, it was considered an epicurean dish to be eaten at Halloween, Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day, weddings and wakes. It was carried to the New World by the Irish immigrants of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Source: The Country Cooking of Ireland by Colman Andrews 

Top photo credit: Larry Hoffman on Flickr.

Since 1985, D’Artagnan has been at the forefront of the farm-to-table movement, producing superior tasting products by partnering with small ranches and farms. We are committed to free-range, natural production, sustainable and humane farming practices and no use of antibiotics or hormones. That’s why D’Artagnan products have been revered by America’s most renowned chefs for over 30 years. We offer the same high-quality products to home cooks at, along with recipes and guides to help you live the tasty life.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. low and slow says:

    Without pink salt the meat will be gray.

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