Do try this at home (but not in space): Corned Beef for St. Patrick’s Day

Mmm..._corned_beef_on_rye_with_a_side_of_kraut_(7711551990)With St. Patrick’s Day just two weeks away, it seemed like a perfect time to remind you to go pick up a big brisket, to make from scratch some authentic Corned Beef.

Where’s the (Corned) Beef? Bacon was originally the meat o’ choice for the holiday dinner. Irish immigrants in New York City switched to the more economical option of corned beef, an idea they picked up from their Jewish neighbors. March 17 is officially Corned Beef and Cabbage Day. In 2009, roughly 26.1 billion pounds of beef and 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage were produced in the United States.

“Corn” has nothing to do with it, though. The “corned” in corned beef refers to the grain-like corns of rock salt used in the brining and curing of the brisket. This recipe for tv chef Alton Brown’s Corned Beef Brisket has a marvelous make-it-yourself flavorful brine mixture* that cures the meat in the refrigerator over the course of a week or more.