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New England-Style Pickled Beef

Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro
Yield 12 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces beef, 3 potato wedges, 1 onion half, and about 1/2 cup carrot and cabbage)
Soaking meat in a salt solution is exactly how old-fashioned corned beef is made. The three-day brining period is a great technique for keeping the brisket moist. Beef brisket or boneless pork shoulder are excellent in this boiled dinner. Garnish with chopped parsley.


  • 7 cups water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 8 bay leaves
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1 (4 1/2-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
  • 1 1/2 cups (2-inch-thick) slices carrot
  • 1 (2-pound) head green cabbage, cored and quartered
  • 9 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 6 small onions, peeled and halved

Nutrition Information

  • calories 256
  • caloriesfromfat 34 %
  • fat 9.8 g
  • satfat 3.5 g
  • monofat 4.4 g
  • polyfat 0.4 g
  • protein 29.9 g
  • carbohydrate 11.2 g
  • fiber 2.6 g
  • cholesterol 88 mg
  • iron 3.2 mg
  • sodium 508 mg
  • calcium 42 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine 1 cup water, peppercorns, and the next 6 ingredients (peppercorns through garlic) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour into a large bowl; cool to room temperature. Add remaining 6 cups water, salt, and sugar, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour salt mixture into a 2-gallon zip-top plastic bag. Add ice and brisket; seal. Refrigerate 3 days, turning bag occasionally. Remove brisket from bag, and discard brine. Pat brisket dry with paper towels.

  2. Place brisket in a large stockpot; cover with water. Bring to a boil; skim foam from surface. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until brisket is tender. Remove brisket from pan; keep warm. Reserve cooking liquid. Add carrots, cabbage, potatoes, and onions to reserved cooking liquid; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender.