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Half N Half Saint Patricks Day Corned Beef. Now with the final report!

Discussion in 'Sous Vide Cooking' started by dirtsailor2003, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    My wife and I spent the weekend down at the Oregon Coast. We had a great time. Weather was crap but we had a few nice breaks and we had some excellent beach strolling. 

    One day we visited an Irish pub. We both had several half and half beers and lunch. Honestly can say I had one of the best bought burgers I've ever had. 

    While drinking those beers and eating that fantastic burger, my wife the one who remembers everything, reminded me that I was making corned beef for Saint Patrick's day. Not just any corned beef, homemade cured corn beef.

    Oh crap! What day is it? When are we getting home? Phew just enough time to make it work! 

    Fast forward to today. After work I stopped at Cash and Carry. It's our restaurant supply. Brisket $2.60/#, Angus Brisket $2.64/#. I splurged and got the Angus, better be good! 

    I decided in another thread that I'd separate the flat and point and cure them two different ways. 

    The point I am going to cure in Pop's brine.


    The flat I am going to cure by dry brine curing, using Martins "Digging Dog Farms" cure calculator


    I have used both these methods for corned beef, pastrami, bacon, etc. I have not done a side by side comparison of the two methods for corned beef. 

    Please note the final product will not be smoked so no pastrami. This is plain old corned beef. 

    Most will be dismayed at the amount of fat I trimmed off this brisket. I like my corned beef lean not fatty. 

    Here's the flat all trimmed:

    Here's the point:

    Okay lets talk cure! I was going to make my own pickling spice but I was out of four of the spices needed so I bought premade, which has everything I was going to use anyways and was $20 less than buying all the bulk id need to make my own.

    *Not pictured white sugar. It I is in a container that doesn't represent what it is.

    Both methods use Salt, sugar, and Cure #1. Pop's also uses brown sugar.

    Pops' Method


    I decided that 1 gallon wasn't going to be enough brine so I mixed up 2 full gallons.

    I started by putting 1 gallon of water into a pot on the stove. I added all of the dry ingredients per Pop's recipe x2, except the cure, into the pot. I didn't have cheese cloth to put the pickling spice into so I modified one of my homemade muslin sausage bags and added 1 cup of pickling spice to it.

    2/3 cups salt

    2 cups granulated sugar

    2 cups brown sugar

    2 heaping tablespoons cure #1 (do not add to hot liquid)

    I brought this to allow boil over medium-high heat, then reduced to a low simmer and let that roll for 30 minutes. Turned the heat off and allowed the brine to steep and cool slowly.

    Once cooled Down This gets added to the brine bucket with another gallon of cold water. If you are in a hurry you can also use ice in place of water. I wasn't so I just used cold tap water.

    Here's the temp of the brine after adding the cold water:

    Once the temp dropped to 50 degrees I added the 2 tablespoons of cure mixed and added the point. You could inject at this stage, but I felt that the thickness didn't warrant the effort.

    Dry Brine Method using Martin's "Digging Farm Universal Cure Calculator".


    Flat weighed in @

    Per the Calculator here's what we nee for the rub:

    Mix all that up. Rub half on one side of the flat. Rub the other side with the other half of the mix.

    I ground up the pickling spice for the aromatic rub. I applied this by eye to every surface of the flat.

    FYI if anyone is looking for a great grinder this guy is the bomb!

    Vacuum sealed and ready to cure. I will flip and massage this once day until it is time to cook.

    About the Cook

    Sous vide it is. Probably around 36 hours and a temp around 133-140. Still reading and will continue to read until I have to cook.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2017
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Greatly detailed post. I am curious to see if the spice mix on the Dry Cured meat will penetrate as well or better than the Brine Cured cut...JJ
  3. browneyesvictim

    browneyesvictim Master of the Pit ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looking good so far! Im in.
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Thanks JJ.

    Even though it doesn't look like it I was pretty heavy handed with the aromatics. The last time I did this they seemed to. That flat was steamed

    I plan on dropping the bag right into the sous vide as is. So the spices will be in there for the entire cook too. We shall see.
  5. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    This should be a good one!

  6. tropics

    tropics Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Even thou I don't do sous vide,I have to see this.Probably could use one for my project LOL

  7. gary s

    gary s SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Great Pics and Info, Let me grab a cup and get in the waiting line [​IMG]

  8. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm gonna like this one!
  9. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    This will be a first corned beef Sous Vide for me. Usually finish by steaming.
  10. [​IMG]         [​IMG]I am waiting too!  [​IMG]

    [​IMG]  It ain't done yet????[​IMG]
  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Watching paint dry is just about as much fun!
  12. When I get tired of paint watching, I go outside watch grass grow, then back to soap operas. Repeat!
    Gotta get a better schedule now I'm retired.
  13. xray

    xray Master of the Pit

    Watching this too.

    Case, are you SVing this with your top round?
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    These need to cure so they will go into the SV 30-36 hours before the 17th.

    Or so that's my plan so far. All of the recipes I've looked at recommend 30-36 hours for corned beef.
  15. I did pastrami last weekend that I dry brined then smoked for 6hrs to 155 IT after the cure then sous vide ot 155 for 24 hrs and it was good but too dry. I think the temp you've picked to do your cook is a good decision and look forward to seeing the results.
  16. gnatboy911

    gnatboy911 Meat Mopper

     Dirt, did you happen to find this website during your research?  It is a very extensive test on making corned beef using sous vide.....


  17. Nice
  18. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

  19. bdskelly

    bdskelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Outstanding post as usual Case. I'll be putting a flat into the soup this weekend myself. Thanks for the inspiration. B
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Thanks BD! I'll keep my eyes peeled for your thread!