Healthy Corned Beef

Corned beef is easy to make…just give yourself plenty of lead time (at least 3 – 5 days) before you want to cook your corned beef.

I used Alton Brown’s recipe for inspiration, but–for a healthy option–substituted the saltpeter for beet juice, thanks to a tip from the Wellness Momma blog. That way, the corned beef will still have that traditional, pinkish hue.

One more note: corned beef calls for use of the brisket, but don’t be afraid to use other economy roasts. For example, this year I’m corning London Broils in addition to the brisket. In the future, I’m going to try a rump or round roast.


  • Gallon zip lock bag(s)
  • Large pot
  • Crock pot or roasting pan
  • Large bowl, pan, or other container (used in the refrigerator to hold the ziplock bag containing the the meat that’s brining for 3 – 10 days; it’s there to protect your refrigerator in case of any leakage in the bag during the brining process)


  • beef brisket, 3 – 5 pounds (click here to shop a quarter cow now!)
  • water, 2 quarts
  • salt, 1 C.
  • brown or cane sugar, 1/2 C.
  • cinnamon stick (broken in pieces), 1
  • mustard seeds, 1 t.
  • black peppercorns, 1 t.
  • cloves (whole), 8
  • juniper berries or coriander (whole), 1/2 t.
  • bay leaves (crumbled), 2
  • ginger (ground), 1/2 t.
  • beet juice, 1/4 C.
  • onion (quartered), 1
  • carrot (coarsely chopped), 1
  • celery stalk (coarsely chopped), 1


  • Make brine
    • In a large pot warm, combine the following ingredients over a medium heat, stirring, until the salt is dissolved: water, salt, brown or cane sugar, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, juniper berries or coriander, bay leaves, and ginger
    • Chill brine (NOTE: it’s important to chill brine before brining it into contact with meat)
    • Add beat juice to brine
  • Brine beef
    • Place beef in gallon zip lock bag
    • Pour brine into bag
    • Seal bag and place in the refrigerator in a large bowl, pan, or other container
    • Brine for 3 – 10 days
  • Cook
    • Cook slowly in a crock pot or roasting pan with chopped carrots, celery, and onions
    • Click here for cooking instructions


  • Serve with potatoes and cabbage (optional)


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