By Rivka Friedman, adapted from Michael Ruhlman
Unlike chicken, which becomes quite salty from the kashering process, kosher meat does not retain much of the salt from soaking. To become corned beef, a brisket must soak in brine for five days; compare that to the soaking process, which is just a few hours, and you'll see why the soaking process doesn't much affect the taste of the meat. All this is to say, any corned beef recipe will work for kosher brisket.
1 (2.5‐lb) second‐cut brisket
¾ cup kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
2 teaspoons pink salt (sodium nitrite), optional
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1. In a large pot, combine half a gallon of water, salt, sugar, pink salt (if using), garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the pickling spice mix. Bring to a simmer, letting salt and sugar dissolve. Cool liquid completely, then transfer to a storage container. Add brisket, weighing meat down with a plate if necessary to keep it submerged, and brine for 5 days.
2. After 5 days, remove brisket from brine and rinse thoroughly. Transfer to a large pot, add the remaining tablespoon of spices and enough water to cover the brisket, and bring to a slow simmer. Partially cover the pot, and cook brisket in the spiced water for about 2 ½ hours. If water boils down to the point where the brisket is no longer covered, add enough water to cover the meat.
3. When brisket is fork‐tender, remove it from the cooking water. If you're planning to serve the corned beef with vegetables, reserve the cooking water and use it to cook the vegetables.
4. Once corned beef has cooled for about 10 minutes, use a sharp knife to slice against the grain into slices. Either serve immediately, or wrap tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.