Making your own corned beef may take some time but I believe if you love corned beef you may find it well worth your time to do so. First, it is cheaper and more important doing your own allows you to fine tune the taste to your preference. Each time you make a batch you can fine tune flavors, brining times, cooking times and temperatures along with cooking methods. For example I elected to sous vide my beef at 135 degrees for 48 hours but I might have used a pressure cooker or a covered roasting pan with water. When it was finished I could of smoked it to make pastrami. You are at the helm and call the shots.
3-5 pound trimmed brisket
3 1/2 gallons water
2 cups salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. pink curing salt
4 Tbsp. pickling spice
4 minced garlic cloves
1 small onion sliced
ice to make up 1/2 gallon
1. Trim the brisket of any extra fat and any silver skin.
2. in a large pot heat the water to a boil then add the salt, sugar, 1/2 (2 Tbsp.) of the pickling spice and other brine elements. When the salt and sugar have dissolved take off the heat and add ice. Allow to cool.
3. In a 2 gallon zip lock bag add the cooled brine, the sliced onion and the beef and seal removing as much air as possible. Place the bag in a container and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days. Turn the bag over each day. After the brining time remove the beef and rinse under cold running water to wash away the spices.
4. To cook you have a couple of options -
a. add the meat to a pot and cover with water. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp. pickling spice and heat to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cook 3 hours or until tender.
b. if you are lucky enough to have an immersion circulator rub the brisket with the remaining 2 Tbsp. pickling spice and seal in a food safe bag. Sous vide at 135 degrees for 48 hours then drain and wash off the pickling spice.