Mel’s Diner

Sharp Knives, Raw Meat and Fire


I’ve been counting on Google and their cached webpages to supply me with info and recipes from my old blog hoster (is that a word) Clearblogs and the original Mel’s Diner.  As I went back for this post, I was shocked to find it gone!!  It was just there a few weeks ago, I used it for the recipe for this post!  I don’t have that recipe written down!  Fortunately, Google had a cache of my last Clearblogs page and it’s posts and at the very bottom, the last post cached was my recipe!  Saved! 

And we are very lucky for that because it’s my corned beef recipe.  And by corned beef, I mean the recipe for the brine to corn the beef.  It’s a cobbled together recipe, partly from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie (again) and partly from iliketocook’s lovely and gracious Sara’s much despised recipe for Irish Spiced Beef.  I first made it two Thanksgiving’s ago and I liked it a lot, though I found it to be too clove-y.  This time, I cut the cloves and made the best corned beef I have ever had in my Irish roots, I-eat-a-lot-of-corned-beef life!



  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 cups (1 pound) Morton’s kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 ounce (5 teaspoons) Saltpeter
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground cloves (down from ½ tsp in the original recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp whole peppercorns, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp Mustards seed, ground
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace
  • 3 dried bay leaves

Combine everything in a pot and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar.  Once combined, remove from heat and cool down to room temperature.  Refrigerate the cooled mixture until well chilled.  Add a 4-5 pound beef brisket to chilled mixture, weigh it down with a plate and refrigerate 5 days.  I removed the beef and, because we weren’t eating it soon, I froze it. 


That was a week and a half ago.  Saturday, I defrosted it and I cooked it yesterday.  I put the brisket in an 8 quart stock pot and covered it with about a gallon of water.  I brought it up to a boil and simmered it for 5-10 minutes.  I drained the water to rinse away any excess brine and salt from the beef and added another gallon to 6 quarts of water and brought it to a boil again.  I simmered it for 3 ½ hours, adding carrots, cabbage and potatoes near the end to cook them.  I sliced it, served it with the veggies and……WOW!



You’re welcome.  Sounds a bit vain, but, c’mon, when your right, you’re right.


March 2, 2009 - Posted by | Best Of...., Main Dish, Recipe

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve always wanted to brine my own and then make the Irish boil. Now I have the recipe to give it a shot!

    Comment by breadchick | March 2, 2009 | Reply

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