Mushroom Corned Beef
3 to 5 pound beef (or venison, bison or?) roast
1/2 to 1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup brown sugar
3 to 6 cups water (to cover meat--amount depends on size of roast, and size of brining container)
1/4 to 1/2 cup juice off of fresh sauerkraut or kim chee, if available
1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar
If you are paranoid about botulism, you may add sodium nitrate--a Tablespoon or 2. The combination of salt, vinegar, (sauerkraut juice) and refrigeration all minimize the chance of botulism. Also the cooking of the meat would destroy the toxin.
4 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons dried, crushed Boletus edulis (do not use this mushroom if you are adding sodium nitrate to the brine, as it can break it down and may render it ineffective.)
6 or 8 turkey tail mushrooms
2 tablespoons pickling spice, or the following blend:
(Not all ingredients are necessary; adjustments may be made for your personal taste)
1 tsp. peppercorns
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon or 1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp. dill seed
1/2 tsp. mustard seed or prepared mustard
1 tsp. coriander seed
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1 leaf California bay, or 2 leaves European bay
1 tsp. thyme
2 slices fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. cumin seed
6 juniper berries of a 2" piece of cypress or fir needles
1/2 tsp. grated orange, lemon or grapefruit rind
1/2 tsp red pepper or a pinch of cayenne
Bring the mushrooms to a boil in 3 cups of water. Cover and simmer for a half hour, replenishing the water as it evaporates. Add the rest of the spices and simmer another 15 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Add the garlic and the minimal amounts of remaining brine ingredients (don't add more water unless it is needed). Chill.
Find a non-corrosive container (glass, ceramic, stainless steel) in which the roast will fit for brining. It should be slightly larger than the roast, so that the brine can get to the sides, but not too much larger, so you don't have to use too much brine. Put the roast into the container and pour the brine over it. Push the meat down into the brine. If the brine does not cover the meat, combine more water with more salt, sugar, vinegar, etc., and add it until the meat is covered. Cover the container, and put it in the refrigerator. Brine the meat for 5 to 10 days, depending on the size of the roast. Turn the meat every day or two, to make sure that it brines evenly.
When cooking the corned beef, you may want to use some of the brine in the cooking water, but not too much, or it can be too salty. You can strain the spices out of the brine, and add them to the cooking water, if you wish. As with a pot roast, boil for 4 to 6 hours, adding vegetables toward the end of the cooking.