A Girl & Her Guinness…& her Brined Beef Brisket #Charcutepalooza

Just in time for St Patty’s Day – the March Charcutepalooza challenge was to tackle brining. For the Apprentice level (which I am) it was to brine a whole chicken or pork chops. Well, I tossed a turkey in a brine overnight this year so consider that brining challenge vaulted.

So for this month I chose to channel the ancestors and take on the Charcutiere Challenge and brine, then corn, a piece of beef.

Bring it on, brisket!

Of course after 5 days of delicious brining (& waiting) then three hours of boiling meat (& waiting) I had to celebrate in the proper attire with the proper frosty brew (tried to capture the Guinness waterfall but the iPhone doesn’t really do it justice)

The brisket emerging from the briney goodness late this afternoon was a bit scary looking – a tad grey. 
Love how Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn describe making corned beef “…an extraordinary transformation of a cheap cut of meat…to cause the metamorphosis from brisket to delicious corned beef is a different pleasure altogether.”
And while I wish I could remember seeing my Grandma Ceil and Grandpa John Flynn whipping up corned beef & cabbage while growing up, I do remember the smell, taste and memories of biting into the Irish Soda Bread lovingly made from a recipe passed down from my Great-Grandma Anna Rowland (County Mayo). So simple, yet so delicious. Especially fresh out of the oven and slathered with sweet cream butter.
While I usually tout my half-Italian roots when I wax on about my foodie heritage, it’s this time of year that I remember to appreciate the warmth and memories of the Irish foodie half.
Here’s to a fabulous celebration of hope and family on this Saint Patrick’s Day.

Here’s to you and yours,
And to mine and ours,
And if mine and ours ever come
Across you and yours,
I hope you and yours will do
As much for mine and ours,
As mine and ours have done
For you and yours!



  1. Dave Yasuda says:

    Jess, thanks for documenting this "extraordinary transformation!" How was the final product? Seems that everything you do yourself tastes better, but I’m curious to know how your finely honed taste buds found the "home brine."Wonderful how we are tied to our families and ethnicity by food. There are a lot of great Japanese food traditions in my heritage, but sadly none of them include corned beef and Guinness.Slainte!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Dave! Yes, the final product was miles ahead of processed corned beef I’ve bought in the past. The trouble I’m having with the art of charcuterie (& of cheese making which I’m also trying to tackle) is that I am an immediate gratification/impatient cook. So – the waiting on brining and curing for a week is tough!!! Hoping I learn to be more patient & enjoy the process more ;-)

  3. Your feast looks great. And the soda bread looks like a real winner. I’m saving that recipe!

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