Salt beef is meat that has been cured or preserved in salt. In the UK, salt beef refers to a form of beef cured in brine and then boiled. It’s usually served thickly sliced in sandwiches, or broken up and mixed with mashed potatoes and fried into a hash. The saltiness of the beef is a good match for strong, sour gherkins. Salt beef is commonly associated with Jewish cuisine.
Once cooked, store salt beef in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Cuts such as beef brisket or silverside are preferable for making salt beef, as they hold up better during the long brining and boiling process, which breaks down the connective tissue to give a melt-in-the-mouth texture. Raw beef is initially brined for up to a week or more, so it’s important that the brine mixture has enough salt to prevent the growth of bacteria and other detrimental micro-organisms. Make sure the beef is well submerged in the brine (use a deep, non-reactive container). It might help to use a weight to prevent the beef from floating and becoming exposed to the air. Turn the beef over in the mixture every once in a while to ensure the brine mixture penetrates the beef evenly.
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