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How Do I Make ... ?
Corned Beef
Corned beef is virtually impossible to find on the Chinese mainland, although 'Catering packs' are sold in 'Food City', Guangzhou. This meat can be bought in cans from Hong Kong, where you will also find Chinese made brands which taste disgusting! (We think they actually add 'corn' to the meat?). Any Expats wishing to eat corned beef regularly will probably be interested in the simple recipes below:
American Corned Beef (Salt Beef)
British Corned Beef (Bully Beef)

The term corned beef refers to two entirely different products:
• American Corned Beef refers to a joint of beef (Usually Brisket) that is pickled in a brine solution. This is then eaten, canned, or smoked to make pastrami. British call this version 'Salt Beef'.
• British corned beef is known as 'Bully Beef', and whilst being made with a similar technique, it is ground beef and has gelatine (Aspic) added. It is usually sold in distinctive quadrate tin cans first invented by Arthur Libby in 1875.

The word 'corned' refers to the 'corning' process, and comes from the British word 'corn' meaning a small grain (In this case salt). This basically means the meat is marinated or pickled in brine.

Meat Cuts
Usa and British cuts of meat are also different, although this is not a big factor concerning corned beef. We include pictures below for your reference - please click to enlarge:
American Beef Cuts British Beef Cuts
Image: American Beef Cuts Image: British Beef Cuts

Let's begin with the American style corned beef, as Bully Beef is basically an extension of this recipe:

Recipe Source:
Image: Marye Audet from Fort Worth, USA Marye Audet, Fort Worth, USA  
Baking Delights: Corned Beef & Baking Delights: How it turned out  
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Quick Tips:

1. Choose a well marbled joint of meat, and ensure there is a enough fat remaining. The fat is essential in preventing the meat drying out and becoming tough.
2. When corning (Pickling) use ceramic vessels; as metal ones can react with the salt. Aluminium pans are a definite no-no!
3. One of the key steps is getting the salt balance right. The longer the corning, the more tender but saltier the meat.
4. Decide if you want to use saltpetre [Potassium nitrite (E249)]. This preserves the meat and keeps a rosy red colour. If not used the meat will be gray in colour, but healthier if less visually appealing.
5. Once you have the basics sorted experiment with herbs, spices, chillies, plus salt and fat content.
Let's get started:- Marye's American Style Corned Beef
Ingredients: Image: Marye's American style Corned Beef. The bowl is used to keep the meat in the brine solution. Click for Marye's website
Image courtesy Marye Audet
• 4-8 lbs brisket, fat trimmed to 1/4 inch or so
• 1/4 cup kosher salt (Sea or Rock Salt)
• 1 tablespoon pickling spices
• 1 tsp peppercorns
(I used a mixture of red, black, white, green, pink)
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
• 2 cups kosher salt
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 16 cups water

Special Equipment Needed for corned beef:

Large ceramic pot, with ceramic weight such as a bowl to place on top whilst corning to keep the meat down.
• Refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. Ensure things like Creme Brulee and delicate sweets are not put in at the time of corning - or they may come out tasting of corned beef!

Method - Part 1  
Mary has produced a brilliant picture walkthrough, which you can find on the website below:
Baking Delights: Corned Beef & Baking Delights: How it turned out

Part one refers to the corning process only, as given in the first link above. This is followed many days later by a very slow simmer for several hours. This and the eating results are given in link 2 above.

Both articles also include blog style comments and Marye's answers to common questions. There is also a section referring to Saltpetre (Saltpeter), and it's two forms: Potassium Nitrite (E249) and Sodium Nitrite (E250), the latter being a known carcinogenic! Do not use Sodium Nitrite!
1. Rub the meat with 1/4 cup salt, place in a large glass or ceramic pan or basin.
2. Sprinkle with the pickling spice, peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic.
3. Bring remaining salt and sugar to a boil in the 16 cups of water, stir until dissolved.
4. Pour over meat.
5. Weigh meat down under the brine and leave for 3 to 5 days.

Marye actually left hers corning for 7-days, and it turned out fine and delicious.
Image: Cooked corned beef.
Image courtesy Marye Audet
Method - Part 2
6. Rinse the corned beef well.
7. Place it in a large stock pot.
8. Add 2 teaspoons more pickling spice, some more peppercorns, two bay leaves, and three peeled cloves of garlic.
9. Covered it with water, covered the pan and simmered for about 4-5 hours.
British Corned Beef (Bully Beef)
Try as we may, we have not yet found a recipe that is suitable for making this staple British and Commonwealth dish. All we know for certain is that it was first put into quadroid cans by Arthur Libby in 1875, and that it is not difficult to make.

Bully Beef is made when the above recipe by Marye finishes. All you need to do is grind the meat into a course paté, put it into a suitable container, and add aspic (a form of gelatine) to seal the meat. We suggest you then shrink-wrap it, and store it in the freezer.

We are open to any suggestions, and especially those compatible with life in China.
Additional Information:
An excellent guide to British and American style corned beef. No recipes, but tells you a lot about the meat and it's history.

Our stalwart for dedicated information:
General information here

Cuts of meats here
This information is as supplied by ourselves, and ably supported by our friends and various internet portals.
In addition we personally wish to thank Marye Audet for sharing with us all her excellent skills and recipe.
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