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Author Notes: This brined and boiled beef is similar to Boiling Bacon and goes well with the same accompaniments, but of course, it’s beef, not pork. The beef has to be started 17 days before you want to eat it. Once it’s cooked, you can store it refrigerated in its cooking liquid for up to 3 days and reheat it by simmering it in water until it’s warm all the way through, about 20 minutes. —Cathal Armstrong
Brine & Rub
- 2 quarts water
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pink curing salt, such as sel rose or Insta Cure #1
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons prepared pickling spice
- 2 quarts ice water
- 5 pounds beef brisket, with the deckle intact
- 3 large fresh bay leaves, torn into small pieces
- 9 colves garlic, crushed
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard seed
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 2 cups warm parsley sauce for serving
- Brine the meat: In a saucepan over high heat, heat the water, kosher salt, curing salt, brown sugar, and pickling spice, stirring until the salt is dissolved.
- Add the ice water.
- Place the beef in a 2-gallon ziptop bag. Place the bag in a stockpot and pour the brine into it, over the meat.
- Seal the bag, squeezing as much air out of it as possible so the meat remains completely submerged. Refrigerate the beef in the bag for 10 days.
- Rinse the beef: Remove the beef from the brine; discard the brine.
- Season the beef with the rub: Combine all of the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
- Spread the rub over the beef with your hands, covering all surfaces, and place the beef in a 2-gallon zip-top bag; seal the bag, squeezing out as much of the air as possible.
- Place the bag on a baking dish and refrigerate for a week, turning the bag over once a day. This is known as dry brining—you will notice each day that more liquid leaches from the beef.
- Cook the beef: On the day you wish to serve the beef, place it in a large pot with all of the accumulated juices in the bag.
- Add water as needed to cover the meat and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Lower the heat to medium, cover the pot, and let the beef simmer for 3 hours, until fork tender but not falling apart.
- Present the dish: Spoon the warm parsley sauce into a small bowl. Drain the beef and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it rest for 15 minutes and then slice it 1/2 inch thick, cutting lengthwise, against the grain. Arrange the meat on a serving platter or individual plates; serve with the sauce on the side,
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, warmed
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter until it bubbles.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly, until the mixture is blond in color.
- Whisking continually, slowly add the milk.
- Bring the sauce to a boil and cook until it thickens, about 3 minutes, whisking continually to keep lumps from forming.
- Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley, whisking to incorporate.
- Season with more salt and pepper if you wish. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- (To reheat, heat 1/2 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in the sauce in batches, warming each one through before adding the next.) Reprinted with permission from My Irish Table by Cathal Armstrong and David Hagedorn, copyright (c) 2014.Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2014 by Scott Suchman Front cover photograph (c) 2014 by Sang An