A week ago, I wanted to know what methods work for cooking corned beef. I got lots of great responses. The most intriguing was Applehome's method for making pastrami. It sounded like the very thing I was looking for, even though it would take a few weeks to complete the process.
Then I found out at the last minute that my little dinner party had suddenly become a bigger dinner party. I didn't have the time to turn the corned beef into pastrami. So, I grilled it. The flavor was quite delicious. It looked better, and had more flavor, than the boil-with-cabbage method. The only drawback was that the meat could have been more tender. However, it was still delicious.
Here is what I did. First, I corned a 4-pound flat cut of brisket in a plastic zip-loc bag with salt and spices (pepper, bay leaf, allspice, coriander). It sat in the fridge for 7 days.
Then, I patted it dry and rubbed it with more spices (English prime rib rub from Penzey's and some chili powder), and set it on the grill at about 275 degrees, along with a foil tray of wood chips that had been soaked in water for an hour. After two hours, I wrapped the meat in aluminum foil and put it, fat side up, on a 300 degree grill for 4 or 5 hours. It exuded almost two cups of liquid, which stayed trapped inside the foil. (This is the cooking method for grilled brisket from Cook's Illustrated Best Recipes.)
I let it rest before carving into thin slices. It tasted great. But, I really wanted a falling-apart texture, which this did not have.
I hope to try Applehome's method next time I'm in the mood for brisket. Maybe then I'll get the texture I'm seeking.
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