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MrsWW

Salt Beef

Apologies if this has been discussed before, I had a quick search and couldn't find anything.

I would like a simple recipe please.

1. What cut of beef do I use.
2. The recipe to turn a piece of beef into salt beef - to be served hot, thick cut in between thick slices of bread with mustard on it.

Thank you  
debbie

same as for curing a gammon Mrs WW - hot its salt beef, cold its corned beef
debbie

Oh ,sorry, personally I use brisket because I like the bit of fat but it works fantastic with venison
MrsWW

Any chance you could post me up an idiot's guide to what to do to get it from brisket to salt/corned beef?  Thank you  
Woodsmoke

Here you go  

6lb Brisket (you cna adjust the rest of the quantities to suit the weight of beef you intend to use)
10oz coarse salt
4 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
1 tbsp coriander seeds, crushed
10 juniper berries, crushed
1 tsp saltpetre (only there to preserve the colour of the beef, so don't worry if you can't find any. If you can hang on a few days I'll put some in with your mead & chorizo?)
1 bayleaf
˝ tbsp ground mace
˝ tbsp ground ginger
˝ tbsp cloves, crushed

Place the beef in a ceramic or plastic container (not metal), & rub half the salt well into the beef.
Cover the container with clingfilm and refrigerate for 12 hours, turning once. This is to give you an initial 'cure', the actual flavouring comes next.  
Remove the meat from the container, rinse and dry well.
Mix the rest of the ingredients together.
Rub the mixture into the beef, ensuring you get it into all the nooks & crannies.
Rinse out the container, & put the meat back in.
Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 10 days, turning the beef every day.
After 10 days, remove from the fridge & rinse.
Simmer gently for 3-3˝ hours or until tender (in unsalted water!)
If serving hot, add stock veg' for the half hour or so of cooking.
If serving cold, place the beef into a tight fitting container, cover with a plate (or similar), & weight it down. I have a couple of clean housebricks well-wrapped in clingfilm & tinfoil that I use for weighing down pressed meat, but anything heavy will do (couple of books, tupperware container full of water, boxes of cartridges, etc)  
Leave to cool, then stick it into the fridge overnight  
MrsWW

That sounds good Stu and yes, I'll hang on a few days.  Thanks  

Edited to say:  When I was working in London there was a most fantastic little place in Leadenhall Market where I used to get hot salt beef sandwiches for lunch quite often during the cooler months.  I'm really looking forward to recreating this  
midlandsman

Hi

The traditional cuts for salt-beef are brisket as already mentioned, or silverside.

If using saltpetre allow at least 10 days curing. 1 teaspoon of saltpetre is about 10 times too much (for current EU standards). I'd just use a small pinch - all that's needed is 0.4gm!

HTH
WhatCameFirst

Woodsmoke's recipe is the one that I use MrsWW.  I started mine last night for the bonfire when we always have a houseful, (in that village just up the road from you which has a better display than Lewes... not that we compete or anything).
MrsWW

Well that's a 6 lb chunk of brisket having it's first salting.  Will keep you all posted on how it turns out.

Thanks for the saltpetre Stu  
Woodsmoke

No worries. Hope it turns out well for you! Look forward to seeing how you get on  
midlandsman

I fully appreciate that it is your choice to cure meat as you wish. But given the concerns expressed by many about nitrates, to the extent that many people won't use them even though they offer protection against the nastiest of bacteria, I find it bizarre that you would want to put levels of around 1750mg/kg into your brisket when you only need around 100mg/kg and when the EU advised amount is below 150mg/kg maximum.

That's extreme by anyone's standards.
Woodsmoke

It is optional  

I've used this recipe for ages, & while it may not keep the Eurocrats entirely happy it works & it results in a good finished product. If I was a commercial enterprise I'd be forced to comply with whatever the EU decided they were going to dictate to us next, but as it is....................

In any case, the 10-day curing period should ensure that the nitrate (or at least the greater portion) will break down & then be further disseminated through cooking.

Anyone worried about it can easily leave it out though  
MrsWW

Woodsmoke wrote:
It is optional  

Anyone worried about it can easily leave it out though  


I'm not a Eurocrat, not doing it commercially and not worried so will be adding it with the other ingredients first thing in the morning when the beef has finished it's first cure  
midlandsman

I fully accept that anyone not operating commercially can do as they like. I've no doubt that the product will be excellent.

Your comments about the reduction of the cure over time would be correct if we were talking about nitrIte here, but NitrAte is a different kettle of fish! It needs to turn into nitrite before it can start curing, and this takes time, which is why it's often only used in products cured for a much longer time nowadays (salami, air dried meat etc). Even then there is no guarantee that it will convert fully to nitrite as that's dependent on bacteria in the meat, hence the worry over residual amounts.

As you say, the use of it, or not, is optional and doesn't radically affect the outcome, so the simple answer is that if you want to use it, just use less. That way you achieve what you set out to do and also cure safely.

I've got a wry smile on my face as I write this as I usually seem to spend half my time defending the use of cures; here I am saying to use less!

The juxtaposition between this thread and others on cured products here is quite interesting for a newcomer.
MrsWW

Well that's the joint rubbed and massaged with the rest of the ingredients and it's gone into the fridge to begin it's long cure.  I'll be turning it every day until it's done and I am SOOOOO looking forward to cooking this.

The smell in my kitchen as I was grinding up the various spices and berries was absolutely delicious.
gerryindevon

Woodsmoke wrote:
1 tsp saltpetre (only there to preserve the colour of the beef, so don't worry if you can't find any.:

Woodsmoke, when making raised pies I use some Geo Watkins' anchovy sauce to preserce the pinkish colour. Do you think that would work for this recipe? Thanks.
MrsWW

Well guys and gals, here it is after Day 10 of turning.  It'll be rinsed off and simmered with stock veg tomorrow evening.




Next question - this joint was rolled and tied when I got it but I untied it to ensure the cure got into every nook and cranny.  Do I need to re-roll and tie it after rinsing before simmering it in the stock?

I must say - every day when I've opened this tub to turn the meat the smell is absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to taste the finished product.  We'll be having hot salt beef for dinner tomorrow night and after that, as advised, I will be weighting it to cool for corned beef thereafter.

Thanks for all the advice received x  
Woodsmoke

That's looking good, Teri!  

As for re-rolling it? I guess it depends entirely on how you want to serve it..........if you roll it again you can carve it into 'rounds', & it might prove to be easier to weigh down for corned beef too?

Gerry? Sorry mate, I missed your last post   I guess if your anchovy sauce works for your pies it should work in this recipe too? I've never used it myself, but I can't see any reason why you shouldn't use it  
MrsWW

The hot bit will just be "torn" into shreds for eating tomorrow night.  The rest will be pressed for corned beef but if I don't/can't roll it, I guess I'll just shove it into a film lined loaf tin whilst still hot to weight it down so hopefully that'll give it a better shape for slicing when cold.

Thanks Stu (and Debbie) for your help/advice/persuasion to try this - I'm really proud of it  
midlandsman

Enjoy!
gerryindevon

Woodsmoke wrote:
Gerry? Sorry mate, I missed your last post   I guess if your anchovy sauce works for your pies it should work in this recipe too? I've never used it myself, but I can't see any reason why you shouldn't use it  

Thanks for reply, Woodsmoke.
Your beef looks amazingly good.
MrsWW

Well, it's started it's boiling session so will let you know later what the verdict is on taste - the kitchen is smelling delicious  
MrsWW

Another question - is it worth using the boiling liquor for anything?
Woodsmoke

When I'm not being shouted at for having too much stock, I reduce it right down to concentrate the flavour & put it in ice-cube bags.

You'll probably find it's too salty to use on its own but it makes a grat addition to casseroles, soups, stews, etc. I just chuck a couple of the frozen cubes in. It's easy to end up oversalting a dish though, so I tend to leave the seasoning until last

How's it turned out then?  
MrsWW

Should be tender in the next half hour or so!  I can't wait and keep lifting the lid to check for tenderness.
Woodsmoke

Go on.......................have a sneaky taste. You know you want to    
MrsWW

Woodsmoke wrote:
Go on.......................have a sneaky taste. You know you want to    


No, I won't and you can't make me so ner ner ner  
MrsWW

WOW - it's fantastic  

If you haven't tried this before then I highly recommend it.

We've had hot salt beef sandwiches served with mustard and pickled gherkins tonight - absolutely bdooly marvelous.

The rest of the beef is currently being pressed in a loaf tin with rather a lot of weight on it so we've got corned beef for sarnies for a few days.

The stock is cooling down so it can go into ice cube trays and then into the freezer for future use as per Woodsmoke's suggestion (thanks Stu).

I've also just polished off a plate of cook's perks - bits of the salt beef (still warm) with homemade spiced pickled marrow - OMG now that was delicious!

Go on guys and gals - give it a try.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Sorry for the lack of photos throughout the process - promise I'll try harder next time  
Woodsmoke

It really is something else, hey Teri?

Glad it worked for you!
MrsWW

Woodsmoke wrote:
It really is something else, hey Teri?

Glad it worked for you!


Yes it is and thank you for your advice and the extra ingredient I needed  
Woodsmoke

You're very welcome

Incidentally, have you tried that mead liqueor yet?
MrsWW

Woodsmoke wrote:
Incidentally, have you tried that mead liqueor yet?


Not yet - waiting for a night when I don't have to use my head or legs the next day  
MrsWW

Well, just had our first corned beef and English mustard sandwich . . . . . delicious it was too  

Was in Borough Market in London this morning and The Ginger Pig (purveyors of meat products) had their own homemade corned beef.  I asked for a taster (as you do) and to blow my own trumpet . . .  I think mine tastes better than theirs did  
debbie

 
Jonty

Jobs a good 'un - congratulations!!
MrsWW

Have to say, I am feeling rather smug about the success of it  

If it hadn't been for the advice and encouragement (and the extra ingredient from Stu) on here though, I doubt I would have done it so thanks again all  
midlandsman

Woodsmoke

This cure has just received praise from a very accomplished curer on the sausage making forum:

http://forum.sausagemaking.org/viewtopic.php?t=7231

Congratulations!  

He's changed the ingredients to percentages of the meat's weight, so that it can be used for any sized piece of meat. You may find it useful.

Whilst he's changed the cure to make it safer, you could always stick with saltpetre.  If you do, I would implore you to reduce the amount you use to a safe level. It won't affect the quality of the product.
Woodsmoke

I'm happy to stand corrected  

Less saltpetre it is then! That's the beauty of forums, isn't it? There's always something to learn...........

Thanks MM  
midlandsman

Your cure's on my to do list. I used to do salt-beef regularly but haven't made it for a couple of years. Thanks for reminding me of how great it is.
MrsWW

Used up some more of my corned beef last night.  Made my take on corned beef hash and if I say so myself it was blooming gorgeous.

Fried up a chopped onion and a chopped red pepper, boiled some potato cut into 1cm dice.  When boiled, chucked them and the diced beef into the pan too and fried until the potatoes were a bit crispy.  Then into a gratin dish with an indentation made in the middle and a raw egg dropped onto it.  Put in the oven until the egg was done but the yolk still soft - made a right handsome meal on a chilly Winter's night it did  
debbie

going to be doing this (or it might have to be venison) when i put my hams in to cure ready for christmas...yours is going to need to go in soon Terri!  Will be using the same brine for both...all I have to do now is be able to get to the abattoir to collect the pig...at the moment we can't get the land rover down the hill!
MrsWW

debbie wrote:
...yours is going to need to go in soon Terri!  


It's in the freezer at the moment as we are going to a vegetarian relative's place for Christmas Day so I am keeping the ham making for the next occasion where we entertain here at home.
MrsWW

Well, it's that time again. I have a chunk of beef and will be starting it on it's curing journey tomorrow.  I'm trying it with silverside this time.
MrsWW

I've got the beef vac packed in the fridge and giving it a turn and 'squidge' every day. Will be cooked on Thursday and am really looking forward to it.
WhatCameFirst

I did it with silverside last time.    Yum yum yum.

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