I have an Irish Celebration at my home every year around St. Patrick’s Day, and I put my Mehu-Liisa steam juicer from Finland to good use. Of course, I serve corned beef with potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and horseradish fresh from my garden. The juicer is an ideal way to cook a corned brisket. The long, steady, low heat of steam breaks down the connective tissue and yields a succulent, tender feast. For the brining, I used Michael Ruhlman’s recipe for homemade corned beef.
After a week in the brine, I cut my 8 lb brisket in half – 4 lbs for corned beef, 4 lbs for pastrami. A 4 lb piece of brisket is just about the largest that can fit in the Mehu-Liisa steamer basket.
It is typical to boil a corned beef thus allowing the excess salt from the brine to dissipate in the broth. Since I wouldn’t be boiling my brisket, I soaked it for an hour in ice water to remove the excess salt. Then, I wrapped my brisket in heavy duty aluminum foil, placed the outer ring of a spring form pan with a round wire rack on top of it into the steamer basket of the juicer, and set my wrapped brisket inside.
I steamed the meat (steady boil, not furious) for 3 hours, checking the water level in the water pan every 30 minutes to avoid boiling dry. The result was absolutely mouth watering. (This was a thick cut of brisket so the grey areas show where the cure didn’t penetrate even after a week in the brine. Not a problem since the meat is cooked.)
I toasted my success with a short half and half (Guinness floated on lager beer) and joined my friends and neighbors at the feast to celebrate our Irish heritage. What a wonderful way to welcome spring!
Let me know if you have any questions. And, as always, I welcome your comments, tips, and recipes. Have a wonderful spring!