I’ve been exploring Sous Vide cooking using my Immersion Circulator often with excellent results. Deli-type meats seem like a no brainer for this cooking method, in this case for corned beef. To prepare the beef, I used a good even piece of brisket (even thickness matters a lot for this method) and trimmed most of the fat off it. Then I brined it using Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie recipe. He used salt, sugar, Cure #1 (a tiny bit gives it the pink color and the cured flavor) and pickling spice (bay, cloves, allspice and black pepper among others).
After a few days, the now corned beef went in a Foodsaver bag along with some more pickling spice and a sliced onion. It cooked for about 8 hours at 170 F in the water bath and then I quickly chilled it in a bowl filled with water and ice. It then sat in the fridge for a few days until I was ready to serve it. My main concern here was salt content. I figured normally corned beef is boiled so some of it’s salt will leach out and the meat ends up well seasoned but not salty. In this case, the meat is vacuum pakced throughout and the salt has nowhere to go.
For service I reheated the beef in some hot water and removed it from the bag. I sliced and tasted a piece. Excellent flavor, definitly not too salty. On the other hand I think it should be a touch more tender. I’m thinking next time I’ll cook it around 175 for closer to 10 hours. For dinner I made sandwiches of course. Homemade marble rye, saurkraut and melted Swiss cheese.