the boy insists that when it comes to cooking, i tend to bite off more than i can chew. however, when i announced my decision to participate in this month's charcutepalooza, i didn't get any of the usual eye rolling. he wholeheartedly endorsed the venture . . . until i announced that i would also be making homemade sauerkraut to accompany the corned beef.
"but you don't even like sauerkraut!" he protested. that, i assured him, was not the point. i wanted to have a "traditional" corned beef experience.
so, i bought a head of cabbage and 3 pounds of beef brisket at my local farmer's market and set up my 'kraut to ferment in the coolest darkest part of my incredibly tiny studio apartment. sauerkraut takes about two weeks to ferment and this particular sauerkraut was going to be fermenting (i.e. growing bacteria) six inches from my sleeping head. the boy declared that he would not be sleeping over while the 'kraut did its business.
y'all. i made it eight days (sleeping at the foot of my bed, mind you). on day nine, i came home from work and the full smell of the 'kraut hit me. i couldn't take it anymore, the boy was right, i DON'T LIKE sauerkraut! why was i doing this? out the 'kraut went.
but what about the beef you ask? it was lovely. i brined it according to the directions set out in the charcutepalooza bible: charcuterie: the craft of salting, smoking and curing by michael ruhlman and brian polcyn (ruhlman also has a nice how to cure your own corned beef tutorial on his website). after cooking the brined brisket in a broth of water, stout beer, carrots and onions, i cooled, sliced, and enjoyed it on a slice of dense multi-grain bread topped with a whole grain mustard made by brooklyn cured. yum-o.