[Sca-cooks] pickled brisket

Susan Lin susanrlin at gmail.com
Wed Feb 25 08:16:46 PST 2009

I'm in Colorado - we have a connection for buffalo - we have a friend who
owns a restaurant.

the buffalo brisket comes out very tender and with less fat but still tastes

In our family it is likely that there is more garlic than anything else in
our corned "beef".

I have not had a chance to get the actual recipe (which I only use as a
guideline anyway) but it goes something like this:

make a brine using water, salt and pickling spices (mustard seed, black
pepper, bay leaf, coriander, clove, whatever else you want to throw in) I
will often make my own from stuff around the house.  My mother tended to us
LOTS of salt, I've cut that out some but it still comes out rather salty.

let the brine cool.

In the mean time - take lots of cloves of garlic and make pockets in the
meat and put them in - all over - can't have too much garlic if you ask me.

Place the brisket in your favorite pickling vessel (these days I use an
extra large zipbag) and pour the cooled brine over.  Get out as much air as
possible and seal the bag or place a clean stone on top of the meat to keep
it submerged if you're not using a bag.  My father made my mother a pickling
stone from a piece of soapstone.

Keep in a cool place (our garage fridge works) for at least 3 weeks.  If you
have it in a zip bag the whole thing should be in some other vessel to
contain anything that leaks out (trust me on this!  The salty brine
sometimes breaks the bag's sealed edges).  If you're using a pickling stone
you should turn the meat at least once a week.  This is how my mother did
it.  She used an old enameled bucket and a stone because her garagerator
worked well in the fall and winter.

This recipe will not make a nice pink piece of meat because I left out the
sodium nitrite (not nitrate!!!!!) - that's what is used to preserve the meat
and keep it pink.  We have some now but it's not easy to get unless you know
someone with a compounding pharmacy or someone in the drug business.  My
mother used to be able to get it at the pharmacy but these days they look at
you as if you're nuts!  Besides, if you're going for a more "natural"
process you're not going to use it anyway.
So, after 3 weeks you remove the meat from the brine and rinse it
thoroughly.  I cook mine in the crockpot or a big roaster.  Put the brisket
into the crockpot (sometimes I have to cut it if it's too big) and fill the
pot with fresh water.  I cook it on low for 8-10 hours - or until tender.
You do not need to add anything else - it's got plenty of flavor by now.

Because we are usually doing 15+ pounds I then take it out, refrigerate it
until cooled, slice it and freeze it (we have a food saver so I can put it
in bags to get all the air out - it keeps really well that way)  Then when
it's time to eat we just defrost put the slices on a plate and zap in the
microwave for a minute or two or I suppose you could steam it to warm it
up.  If you're going to eat it right away still let it cool a little before
slicing or it'll just shred.

If you want me to be more specific about amounts for the brine let me know
and I'll dig out the "recipe" my mother wrote down for me.  caveat: my
mother is a "dump and stir" cook so nothing is ever done the same way twice.

Warning - if you start with 15# of brisket your yield will be about 7.5
pounds.  Expect to lose about 50% to brining and cooking.  Sad but true.


On Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 12:32 AM, Stefan li Rous <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
> wrote:

> Shoshanna replied to me with:
> <<< I'm not sure about the periodness of it -- it's based on my mother's
> recipe.  When I'm not on a handheld and at home I'll get it for you.
> We use buffalo now -- very yummy! >>>
> Where are you?  I've noticed that buffalo (American Bison) is now showing
> up in my local grocery store, but they usually have only one or two packages
> on the shelf. But then lamb isn't much more available and both are fairly
> expensive.
> I was, of course, mostly looking for another period pickled meat recipe,
> but even if yours isn't period a number of us would still like to see it I'm
> sure.
> Thanks,
>  Stefan
> --------
> THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
>   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas
> StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
> **** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****
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