Brisket is a cut of beef taken from the forequarter. It is normally pickled in brine, which is a combination of salt, saltpetre and water. The beef can be kept in brine for up to 10 days. This will help tenderize the cut. If buying brisket already salted, I suggest it is soaked in fresh water for 24–48 hours to release some of the salt flavour. This goes very well with mashed potatoes.