Brisket of beef cured, either dry or wet, in salts with a small admixture of spices, commonly bay and juniper. Common sodium chloride salt is used, traditionally with potassium nitrate (one of the ingredients of gunpowder) which helps to keep the meat pink rather than turning an unbecoming grey.
This is the English 'Corned Beef' of the era before South American tinned Bully Beef (qv), so called because the salt crystals are deemed to look like corn. It differs from pastrami only in that it is not coated in such strong spices.
Original Receipt in Hammond 1819;
To salt beef.
The kernels of all meat should be carefully extracted. Particular attention is requisite in salting meat. It should be well sprinkled, and six hours afterwards hung up to drain; after which, rub it well with salt, and lay it in a salting tub with a cover td fit close; remember to turn it every day. The brine will serve very well again by being boiled and scummed, as long as any scum will arise.
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