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Beef Brisket with Corned Beef Seasonings
(Uncured, Low-Sodium Homemade Corned Beef)

Serves 6 to 8

I love corned beef. However, cured corned beef is very high in sodium and has preservatives that are best avoided. Even the uncured and lower-sodium varieties are high in sodium because they are preserved in a salt brine. You can brine your own beef in the traditional manner, but you still need a lot of salt to prevent spoilage. So, as I have done with other foods, such as sauerkraut, sausage and the homemade hot dogs in the similar and related recipes, I decided to create a healthier recipe using all of the traditional seasonings. Because there is no brining process, the meat is not technically 'corned' and, therefore, the resulting texture is not quite the same, but the flavor is just like regular corned beef. If you are on a low-sodium diet or, like me, you just prefer to use less salt, give this a try.


Place the brisket in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the beer, water to cover, brown sugar and salt, stirring to combine. Place all the seeds, berries and bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with a piece of cooking twine. (If using any ground spices, just stir them into the liquid.) Add the cheesecloth. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until the meat is fork tender, about 2-1/2 hours. Remove from the pot and thinly slice across the grain. Serve as is with some of the juices and your favorite mustard or horseradish sauce. This also makes wonderful sandwiches.

Notes: If you want to add vegetables, such as carrots, potatoes, parsnips and/or cabbage, add them after the meat is tender and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until tender. Use this method to make a traditional corned beef and cabbage dish.