A Real Paleo Corned Beef and Cabbage recipe

Cave girl Melissa says NO to nitrates!

If you are trying to make a Paleo corned beef dish and you buy your corned beef, you are already in trouble. Every commercial corned beef I’ve seen contains potassium nitrate, more commonly known as saltpeter.

When I was in the Army it was thought that they put saltpeter in our eggs to reduce our sex drive. From my observations, if they did, it didn’t work. One thing I do know for sure though is that they used saltpeter to make gun powder.

Yep, mix saltpeter, charcoal and sulphur together and you have gunpowder. Another good use for it is in tree stump removal (it dissolves tree stumps). Also, it is widely used today in making insecticides…… and, of course, in making corned beef.

 So, if you aren’t going to use your corned beef to make gunpowder, remove stumps or kill bugs you have to make it yourself.

Here is what you need:

7 cups water

2 Tablespoons black peppercorns

2 Tablespoons pickling spice

1 Tablespoon crushed juniper berries

1 Tablespoon coriander seeds (I like to toast mine in a skillet and crack them with the side of a knife, but it’s optional)

8 bay leaves

6 sprigs of thyme

4 cloves of crushed garlic

3/4 cup Kosher salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 0r 3 ice cubes

A 3 to 5 pound beef brisket

A head of cabbage quartered

Here is what you do:

Put 1 cup of water and the next 8 ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl and let stand for another 5 minutes.

Now add the other 6 cups of water, salt and sugar. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Put the brisket in a 2 gallon zip lock plastic bag and pour in the brine solution, add the ice cubes, seal it up and put it in the fridge.

Leave it in the refrigerator for 3 days, turning it over about twice a day.

Preparing the meal:

Remove the brisket and discard the old brine. It’s not a bad idea to pat the meat down with a paper towel to remove the excess brine solution.

Well, now your beef brisket is a corned beef!

 Put it in a large enough pot and cover with water. Some people like to add some more spices to the water at this time, but that’s up to you. It turns out good either way. Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for another 3 hours.

Remove the corned beef and let set on the counter to rest. Add the cabbage and simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender.

Because this corned beef lacks the potassium nitrate, it’s not going to be bright pink. I usually put mustard on mine or you could serve it by candle light. One thing it doesn’t lack though is flavor and nutrition.

26 Comments Add Yours ↓

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  7. Kat #

    Doesn’t the sugar make it non-paleo?

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      Good point. I think you could probably substitute honey.

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