Gary Cooper

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Corned beef short rib (step 1)

Michael Ruhlman has a post on his blog with a recipe for making pastrami out of short ribs. Being a lover of that particular cut of meat I decided that one of my entries for the charcuterie brining challenge would be a section of short ribs turned into corned beef. My wife is somewhat iffy on long-smoked meats so corned beef is a lovely compromise.

First I had to locate an uncut section of ribs which was not easy.

With the meat in my possession it was time to make the brine. The recipe I'm working from is in the Ruhlman/Polcyn book; the only change I made was to use turbinado sugar in place of the granulated sugar. As the following pictures show, I set up my mise en place and got it in half the water as called for in the recipe. By adding half the water I can later put the same amount of ice by weight and cool the mixture down quickly.

(Clockwise from top; salt, turbinado, dark brown sugar, garlic, honey, pickling spices and pink salt.)

That was simmered until the salt and sugars were in solution. Then I weighed out a half gallon (64 oz.) of ice and added it to bring the volume up and cool down the mixture. I put the ribs into a large zipper bag and poured in the brine. Every day I will turn the zip bag to keep the spices moving.

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