Making a traditional corned beef with round instead of brisket is a fine choice. You won't lose the tenderness or taste and you will enjoy a slightly leaner meal as the round has less fat than brisket. The name "corned" comes from how beef was preserved, using large pieces of salt (thought to look like corn kernels). Salting was how meat was kept from spoiling before iced refrigeration. People generally only make this meal for St. Patrick's Day, which is a shame because it's relatively inexpensive, easy to prepare and delicious.
Things You'll Need
Large roasting pan
4- to 5-lb. corned beef round
3 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped in large pieces
6 peeled carrots, large diced
2 tbsp. peppercorns
2 tbsp. kosher salt
4 tsp. pickling spice
2 qts. of water
1 1/2 cup kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of peppercorns
1 1/2 tbsp. pickling spices
6 bay leaves
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. This meat does best with a slow, moist cooking method, but you don't want to cook it at a lower temperature than 325.
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Rub the corned beef round with the salt, peppercorns and bay leaves.
Add the potatoes and carrots. You can use other root vegetables, such as turnips, parsnips and onions, if you like.
Fill the roasting pan with water until it just covers the corned beef. Cover the pan and put into the preheated oven. It will take about an hour to cook per pound of meat. The roast is done when it essentially falls apart when you pull on it gently with a fork.
Purchase a 4- to 5-lb. beef round from the supermarket. You can ask the butcher to trim as much fat off as he can, or do this step yourself at home. Don't take all of it off because you'll want some for flavor; the rule of thumb is to leave about 1/4 inch of fat on the round.
Rub the beef well with the salt.
Heat the 2 qts. of water, sugar and salt until all ingredients have been dissolved.
Put the beef into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Pour the salt water on top and add the other spices.
Weight the beef down so it is completely submerged under the water; you can put a plate with a heavy jar on top of it.
Put the covered container into the refrigerator for 48 to 60 hours.
After at least 48 hours, you can remove the beef, rinse very well and prepare to cook, using the above steps.
There are numerous recipes for corning beef, with some recipes calling to cure the beef for 48 hours, others for no less than 10 days. The longer the beef cures, the more flavor it will absorb from the spices.