- 1 5-pound point brisket, trimmed
For the brine:
- 4 quarts water, divided
- 1/2 pound kosher salt
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons pink curing salt aka Prague powder (optional) – this gives the meat its characteristic pink color
- 1/4 cup store-bought pickling spice blend or make your own: 4 crumbled dry bay leaves, 8-10 juniper berries, 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns, 2 teaspoons cracked allspice berries, 1 tablespoon dry thyme, 1/2 tablespoon each mustard seed and coriander seed
- 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces)
- 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
- 4 large ribs celery with leafy tops, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 large onions, cut into quarters
- 1 cabbage, cut into wedges
- Rye and pumpernickel breads or marble rye breads and brown mustard, for serving
Pat the meat dry and pierce it all over on both sides with the tip of skewer or small sharp knife tip.
Bring 1 quart water to a boil and add the salt, sugar, pink salt and pickling spices. Stir to dissolve the salts and sugar into the liquid. Let cool (I put my pot outside to quick cool).
In a large, 2 gallon resealable plastic bag. combine the cooled brine base with remaining the 3 quarts water. Add the meat, then remove all the air and seal the bag. Place on a tray in the fridge and weigh the meat down under a second tray to keep it submerged. Refrigerate for 5 days, turning the meat once a day.
To cook, remove the meat from the brine and pat dry. Add to the Dutch oven with the chicken stock, then add enough water to cover the the meat by an inch. Add the carrots, celery and onion and bring to boil. Cover, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Add the cabbage and simmer for another 30-40 minutes.
Remove the vegetables to a warm platter, then slice the meat and top with the stock to keep moist. Serve with bread and mustard alongside.