A good rule of thumb for this corned beef recipe is to cook about 45 minutes per pound of meat. Serve with boiled red skin potatoes, green cabbage, and carrots (just cook 40 minutes in the brine).
- 5 dried chiles de árbol
- 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 10 cardamom pods
- 8 dried bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
- 2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon allspice berries
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
Brine and Brisket
- 1 14.9-ounce can Guinness draught
- ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- 5 teaspoons pink curing salt
- 2½ cups kosher salt, plus more
- 1 5–6 pound untrimmed flat-cut beef brisket
Toast chiles, ginger, cinnamon stick, cardamom, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, allspice berries, juniper berries, and cloves in a large dry skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until spices start to jump in pan and are fragrant, 3–5 minutes (don’t let them burn). Transfer to a mortar and pestle and coarsely crush about 1 minute (or crush with a knife).
Brine and Brisket
Whisk Guinness, brown sugar, curing salt, 2½ cups kosher salt, and 1 gallon water in a large pot or container (at least 8 quarts) until sugar and salts are dissolved. Scoop out ½ cup pickling spice and set aside in a small bowl or jar (you won’t need it again until it’s time to cook the corned beef). Add remaining spice mixture and brisket to brine and weigh down with a plate to keep it submerged (it’s okay if brisket needs to be crammed into the container, just don’t fold it; you can also cut it in half if you can’t find a large enough container).
Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and chill, flipping meat once a day, 5–6 days.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly under cold water; discard brine. Add brisket to simmering water along with reserved ½ cup spice mixture and cook, covered, until corned beef is fork-tender and easily shreds with the grain, 4–4½ hours.
Slice corned beef against the grain and serve.
Do Ahead: Corned beef can be cooked 1 week ahead; cover with plastic and chill.