Recipes / Beef /

Salt Beef


  • 1.5kg salt beef, unrolled
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, skins on, lightly bashed
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • a few sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves

Curing Mixture:

  • 1 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme, remove leaves from the stems
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp coarse salt


Step 1

Put the salt beef in a large, shallow dish.

To make the curing mixture, use a pestle and mortar to crush the garlic, cloves, star anise, juniper berries, peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme leaves until roughly ground.

Stir through the sugar, followed by the cure mix, ensuring it has been accurately measured in proportion to the weight of the meat – follow pack instructions for guidance.

Coat the salt beef with the brining mixture, thoroughly rubbing it into the meat and

any surrounding fat.

Step 2

Put the salt beef and any left-over brining mixture into a large freezer bag, zip-it closed (squeezing out as much air as possible), then put into an airtight container and store in the fridge. Leave to brine for 1 week, turning the salt beef daily to allow the meat to cure evenly.

You should notice some liquid in the bag after a day or two – this is a sign that the

brining process is working.

Step 3

The night before serving, remove the salt beef from the freezer bag, wipe off any of the

brine mixture and put it in a large pan.

Fill the pan with cold water, put on a lid and leave the salt beef to soak overnight.

Step 4

The next day, drain the water from the pot and refill with enough fresh water to cover

the salt beef by about 5cm.

Throw in the chopped onions, carrots, celery as well as the garlic, thyme, sage and bay leaves.

Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and gently simmer the brisket (salt beef) for 2 hours depending on the thickness.

Step 5

Take the pan off the heat and nestle a sheet of baking paper on top of the water to

keep the salt beef submerged and stop it drying out. Leave the salt beef to cool for 30 minutes,

then lift out onto a chopping board  and slice as per your preference.

*You can use the left-over broth as a soup base if you like.


Slice and use on bagels with mustard, pickles and cheese of your choice.

Any left-over salt beef will keep for a week in the fridge.  To heat, wrap in foil and reheat in the oven at 180ºC for 15 minutes or until piping hot

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