Sunday, March 6, 2016

Corned Beast Recipe Death Pre-Match

Guess what!  St. Patrick's Day is only two weeks away! That means if you're going to corn your own beast for reuben-making this year, it's about time to get started.

It's definitely a tradition around here to corn venison ahead of St. Patty's Day, but we've done it a number of different ways over the years.  And, as much as we hate to admit it, the sad truth is that we don't do much meat corning outside of early March.  So, when we make a  batch and try to compare its flavor and texture to the previous batch, it's a tall order for our meager brains.

How can we resolve this dilemma?  No problem.  Like we did with our french toast, we'll have a tasty corned beast recipe death match and settle the score once and for all.

The three techniques we've used to corn our venison are a vinegar-based brine, a whey-based brine, and a dry rub.  Those are the three that will be cage fighting in our kitchen this year.  Here's the basic recipe:

0.5 lb venison roast

1 Tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
0.5 teaspoon ground black pepper
0.5 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
0.5 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
0.25 teaspoon ground allspice
0.25 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bay leaf, crushed
1 clove garlic, sliced

That's it for the dry rub.  For the whey recipe, we added 0.5 cups of whey from a 30 min mozzarella recipe (made with 2% milk).  For the vinegar recipe, we added 2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, plus water to bring the volume up to 0.5 cups.

Venison, seasonings, brines for corning
From left to right: dry rub, apple cider vinegar-based brine, whey-based brine.

We mixed all the solid ingredients together (except for the meat), then added the liquid (if any) to a plastic bag, then added the meat, too, and gave it a nice massage. We expelled all the air out of the bag, sealed it with a twisty-tie, and put it in a bowl as secondary containment (just in case the bag leaks!) in the fridge.  The recipes we've seen say to flip it once a day, but for us in the past, it's been more like every other day (at best).  It's always still came out pretty tasty.  In any case, at least all three runs will get the same treatment! 

Venison, seasonings, brines for corning, in bag, ready for fridge!
Don't forget to label the bags!

What's your favorite technique for corning meat?  Have you corned meat other than venison (or beef)?


  1. Oh long do we have to wait to find out the winner??