Corned Beef


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about



Appears in

New York Cult Recipes

New York Cult Recipes

By Marc Grossman

Published 2013

  • About

Making a good corned beef brisket like the one in the famous Katz sandwiches is easy, but it does take time.


Corning Spices

  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, toasted and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons mixed peppercorns, toasted and crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom pods, bruised
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
  • 2 blades of mace

Corning Liquid

  • 1.5 litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) distilled water
  • 115 g (4 oz) coarse non-iodised salt
  • 1 teaspoon potassium nitrate (saltpetre)
  • 2 garlic cloves


  • 750 g (1 lb 10 oz) beef brisket


The Corning Spices

Combine all the spices together. Set aside half for the cooking liquid; the other half will be used for cooking the meat.

The Corning Liquid

In a large pot, bring all the corning liquid ingredients and the half portion of the corning spices to the boil. Once the salt has completely dissolved, turn off the heat and allow the liquid to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it. This can be done the day before.

The Corning

Inside a large ziplock bag, submerge the meat in the corning liquid. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag. Check that the meat is completely submerged and place the bag in a dish in the refrigerator for 5 days to 3 weeks, turning it once or twice a day to ensure that the meat marinates evenly.


Rinse the meat off and place it in a flameproof casserole dish or soup pot. Add the other half of the corning spices and add water until the meat is at least 3 cm (1¼ inches) under the surface of the liquid. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 3–4 hours until the meat is very tender. You can serve the corned beef immediately, but for sandwiches it is usually best to wrap and refrigerate it first before slicing.