How to Make a Brine Roast Beef

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Brining serves several purposes: The salt and sugar first pull water from the meat, then return it via a process called osmosis and diffusion; flavorful brines perform the same function but impart subtle notes of the aromatic ingredients contained within the mixture. The ratio for all brines is the same -- two quarts of water to 12 ounces of salt -- but the flavoring elements are a matter of personal preference. Common aromatics that complement the flavor of beef include cumin, star anise, turmeric and cardamom. Keep in mind that the flavoring in the brine will concentrate when the roast cooks.

Things You'll Need

  • Standard brine:
  • 2 qt. cold water
  • 12 oz. kosher salt
  • 1/2 lb. dark brown sugar
  • Flavorful Brine:
  • 1/2 lb. turbinado sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 18 black peppercorns
  • 12 cardamom pods
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 2 tbsp. dried cumin
  • 1 tbsp. dried turmeric
  • 1 tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 5 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. lavender flower
  • 1/2 tbsp. Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves

Standard Brine -- Four-Pound Roast

  • Pour 2 qt. water in a nonreactive container. Add 12 oz. kosher salt and 1/2 lb. dark brown sugar and mix well.

  • Submerge the roast in the brine mixture. If necessary, place 1 lb. bagged ice over it to maintain its submersion.

  • Brine the roast for a minimum of 12 hours, but not more than 24 hours.

  • Remove the roast from the brine and dry with paper towels.

  • Cook the brined roast by smoking, grilling or roasting.

Flavorful Brine -- Four-Pound Roast

  • Pour 2 qt. water in a nonreactive container. Add 12 oz. kosher salt, 1/2 lb. turbinado sugar, 4 whole cloves, 18 black peppercorns, 12 cardamom pods, 3 star anise pods, 2 tbsp. dried cumin, 1 tbsp. dried turmeric, 1 tbsp. dried rosemary, 1 tbsp. dried thyme leaves, 5 crushed garlic cloves 1/2 tsp. lavender flower, 1/2 tbsp. Mexican oregano and 2 bay leaves and mix well.

  • Place the roast in the brine mixture, and, if necessary, submerge with 1 lb. bagged ice.

  • Brine the roast for at least 12 hours, but do not exceed 24 hours -- protein degrades rapidly when exposed to brining after 24 hours.

  • Remove the roast from the brine and pat dry with paper towels.

  • Cook the roast by smoking, grilling or roasting.

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References

  • Photo Credit Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images
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