Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby DPG » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:55 pm

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... -a-brisket

Dear All,

Having stumbled across the recipe at the link above, I was all read to run out and get the requisite ingredients, but a quick internet search (including a few past thread on this forum) has suggested that brining meat is perhaps not quite as simple as the link makes it sound. Also, there seem to be wildly different recipes in various places in terms of the amount of either saltpetre or Prague Powder №1 that is used.

I would dearly love to brine some salt beef (I work outside the UK at the moment and brisket has only just started to be sold here, so want to take maximum advantage), so was wondering whether anyone here (and there seems to be some extremely knowledgeable members here) has tried the recipe above and can comment on whether it's any good from a taste perspective (knowing me, I'd tweak the spices and aromatics anyway), but more importantly, whether that brine recipe, concentration of salt and Prague Powder is safe and effective in terms of it getting the meat cured but not killing me when I eat it later.

Many thanks in advance for any light you can shed!

D.
DPG
Registered Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: Moscow

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby DPG » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:43 pm

A further question also springs to mind:

Assuming that the brine in the recipe above (or elsewhere) is suitable and works the required magic, I guess it would be convenient to brine several pieces of brisket at the same time (obviously using different batches of brine for each to keep the required concentration levels), so that some salt beef could be frozen for convenient (i.e. hours rather than weeks) preparation at a later date.

When is the best stage to do the freezing, though?

-After the x days in the brine (and still in the brine)?
-After the brining but having been drained and rinsed?
-After complete cooking?

Thanks!
DPG
Registered Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: Moscow

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby kil2k » Fri Mar 04, 2016 1:52 pm

To 4l of water add 400g salt, 150g sugar, 30g Prague Powder #1 (optional)


The method looks sound, but it does look like a lot of Cure #1, sugar and salt for 2.5Kg vac packed brisket. I haven't tried a brine cure yet, so someone more knowledgeable will have to confirm. 4ltrs water seems rather excessive too. It certainly doesn't look like each piece of meat is swimming in 2ltrs brine in the pictures.

I laughed when the article said that brisket wasn't as fashionable as pork belly, and considerably cheaper... IF you can find any of either at the butchers, it's usually £10/Kg!!! :roll:
User avatar
kil2k
Registered Member
 
Posts: 162
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 8:37 pm
Location: Surrey

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby wheels » Fri Mar 04, 2016 2:33 pm

I was surprised when I 'crunched' the numbers that the Cure #1 (Prague powder) is only marginally high by EU standards, and fine by US ones. It may be a little salty as projected salt could be as much as 4%. If it wasn't for the large volume of water it would be a lot higher. The salt issue aside, I'd be happy to eat it made to this recipe.

However, if in doubt, Oddley's conversion of an Irish spiced beef recipe is also very good:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7231

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12183
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby NCPaul » Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:00 pm

Two other options would be to dry cure a brisket flat or to injection cure. Both of these would take up less real estate in the fridge but are a bit different than a brine cure.
Fashionably late will be stylishly hungry.
NCPaul
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2308
Joined: Thu Oct 01, 2009 12:58 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby DPG » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:05 am

Many thanks for the replies, guys.

I think I'm now confident enough to try this, given it seems to be within the realms of safe levels.

Only thing I need to do now is find someone flying back here from the UK so they can bring me some Prague Powder.

Will check out the injection method and irish corn beef recipes you linked to, as well.

Re the cost of brisket, I seem to be lucky here (I think because the locals have no idea what to do with it and therefore don't buy it) that it only costs about £3/KG at current exchange rates. Alas pork belly is as rare as hen's teeth here though, so it all balances out.

Hope that in the near future I'll be able to post pics of a successful brining!

Thanks again.
DPG
Registered Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: Moscow

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby wheels » Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:44 pm

What nitrite salts are available where you are? If you know the % nitrite etc (usually stated on pack), we can easily adapt the recipe for you.

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12183
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby DPG » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:47 am

wheels wrote:What nitrite salts are available where you are? If you know the % nitrite etc (usually stated on pack), we can easily adapt the recipe for you.


Unfortunately none (or at least none that my Russian vocab stretches to finding). I'm going to get a friend to bring over some Prague Powder No 1, either from this site's shop or from Amazon, and just use that, as per the originally linked recipe.
DPG
Registered Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: Moscow

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby wheels » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:47 pm

No probs, but if you do get stuck, just shout.

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12183
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby dazman » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:25 pm

Hi I came across this recipe as well and have my 2.5 kg brisket in a large plastic clip container in the fridge at the moment. I flat brined it and did not roll it, all the meat is covered and waited down with a plastic bottle and I have turned it every day.
I have just realised that I might have made a few mistakes with the way I have done things and would like to know if what I have done / not done is detrimental and if anything can be done now to remedy. If not I would like to start again now rather than waiting it out for 10 days only to get an inedible piece of meat.

firstly In error I used only 250grm of pure sea salt instead of 400g for some reason I thought the pack I bought was 400; I had confused it with the pack I was contemplating buying. Question should I dissolve a further 150grams in as little water as possible, cool it and add it to the brine now?

Secondly I used sodium nitrate as apposed to Prague powder #1 - I have read that Prague powder #1 has sodium nitrite as apposed to nitrate. Question will this have any significant impact.

after boiling the brine, i put it in an ice bath till it was just about cool I would say colder than luke warm but definitely not refrigerator cold I have read that you should ensure that the brine is cold before pouring over. Question will this effect the meat.

lastly I did not trim much fat off the cut as I was led to believe a fatty bit of brisket is the best for salt beef but have read that excess fat can prevent curing.

Thank you for all your help
dazman
Newly Registered
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:11 pm

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby wheels » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:19 pm

The salt doesn't worry me - I thought that the salt in this recipe was too high anyway. However, If you used Sodium Nitrate as a direct replacement for cure #1, you will have used far too much. Cure #1 is only 6.25% Nitrite whereas sodium nitrate is 100% nitrate. You will have used 15 times too much nitrate. Not good.

I'd start again.

HTH

Phil
User avatar
wheels
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 12183
Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2006 4:29 pm
Location: Leicestershire, UK

Re: Salt Beef Recipe (Guardian Newspaper)

Postby DPG » Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:32 am

Nice to see someone else in the same boat I was with the recipe.

I've successfully made this salt beef twice now and both times it has come out far better than expected (and to rave reviews from friends invited over to eat it with me).

The only thing I would say is that the first time I made it, when following the Guardian recipe to the letter, I found the result slightly lacking in the flavour of the aromatics used, so when making it the second time, I added extra cloves of garlic, a couple of dried ghost naga chillis, and extra bay, cloves, juniper to the brine, and the result was far more pleasing, at least from the perspective of my tastebuds.

Can't wait to make it again, even if it does take up the entire lower shelf of my fridge for ten days while it brines in its plastic tub. I rolled and tied it, and weighed it down with the lid of a small ceramic pot.

Good luck with yours!
DPG
Registered Member
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:43 pm
Location: Moscow


Return to Brine cured meats

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest