Home-made corned beef is so tasty, you’ll wonder why you never made it yourself before. Useful as an ingredient in a number of dishes, this corned beef is easy to make and delicious!
The highlights were the food, buying poee bread from Mapusa market, and bebinca and doce and pinac from Simonia’s and other eateries; enjoying fresh crab curry sitting around the kitchen table, the Goan sausages and eggs for lunch, or eating corned beef sandwiches with butter and brun pav for breakfast. Just Yum! (PS. Since someone asked, brun pav is a crusty Indian bread with a brown or golden shell and a soft and fluffy interior.)
But really, the corned beef from Costa’s was a highlight. We used to come back home loaded with cans of Costas corned beef and other Goan sweets and wine. And it was always a bittersweet day when we opened the last can of corned beef spread. They just made it so different day.
Thankfully, there came the day when we decided to make our own corned beef pate.
Did you know corned beef is also called salt beef or bully beef? And it tastes as good as traditional corned tongue.
And although cow beef was banned in Maharashtra in May 2017, corned beef is not fully out of reach. It’s just simpler to make my own corned beef pate using buffalo beef or ox beef. And sis says it tastes better than the Goan corned beef too!
(PS. I have to specify again here. We use beef from the male buffalo or ox, not from the cow. Yes, you can get fined or jailed for your food preference in parts of India like Mumbai, or fined for buying the tins in Goa and trying to get it across the border into Maharastra.)
What Ingredients Do You Need to Make Corned Beef? (East Indian and Goan Style Spread)
Minced beef (buffalo/ox), saltpetre or curing salt, sugar and salt, water, bay leaves or anise flowers, and pepper powder. If you prefer, you can use veal too. We use either veal or beef at different times. The recipe stays the same.
How to make Corned Beef pate? (East Indian And Goan Style)
Okies, this is not the type of corned beef you get in the UK or the US. We don’t do briskets here. We make a corned beef that’s almost like a pate or spread. It’s perfect for sandwiches! And you won’t find one East Indian or Goan who doesn’t love it.
I’ve modified the recipe to make it more spicy, or rather more peppery. Methinks it tastes better! The aunt loves it too! The family, well they have it for breakfast over the next few days and suddenly it’s all over.
Anyways, here’s how to make corned beef spread East Indian style. 🙂
First, you need to wash the minced beef. Okay, if you’re reading from the US or Europe or Australia, you don’t need to wash it because you’ve got good butchers. But here in India, we really really really need to wash the beef. Just take a visit to an Indian butcher shop one day, and you’ll see why.
On a side note, it’s up to you if you want to leave the blood in the beef. Enhances the flavor.
Once done, mix the minced beef with saltpetre (I usually do this by hand so it’s thoroughly mixed) and then refrigerate it for 4 to 5 hours.
Once the beef’s in the fridge, make the brining liquid. In a steel vessel, add the sugar, salt, pepper powder, and bay leaves to 2 litres of water and bring it to a boil. Allow the mixture to cool and later add in the minced beef and mix thoroughly.
Refrigerate the beef mixture and stir it once a day for 5 days. (If you live in a cooler climate, there’s no need to refrigerate. You can leave it outside as long as it’s covered and you stir daily.)
After 5 days, boil the beef mixture in the same solution on a medium flame for about 45 minutes. You will notice that the beef tends to separate into lumps. Drain the water solution and what you have left is the corned veal or beef.
Once all the water is removed, add a few tablespoons of butter to it and grind the beef with a hand blender for a smoother texture. Or just mix it with a spoon if you prefer the rougher texture like the Costas corned beef.
You can then shape the corned beef into logs and wrap it in cling film or saran wrap any other wrapping you prefer. Store in air-tight containers in the refrigerator or freezer depending on when you want to make use of it. Or Sprinkle with fresh sprigs of coriander and serve.
On a side note, if you want to dry cure beef or pork or any other meat, follow Aaron Kay on Instagram. He has some amazing dry cure recipes that I hope I get to experiment with one day.
What’s Perfect About This Corned Beef Recipe?
- Homemade corned beef spread is quite easy to make, although it takes 5 to 7 days. And here in India, it’s a lot cheaper than the store-bought version!
- You can use it to make a number of different dishes. Our preferred method is on buttered bread for breakfast!
- Or add in sandwiches with lettuce or salad leaves for lunch!
- As a snack, serve with some crackers and chutney.
- It tastes delicious on its own too! But we better not eat too much!
Cooking Tips And Tricks
- We use either veal or beef at different times. The recipe stays the same.
- You can replace the bay leaves with anise flowers for a different flavor.
- I’ve used pepper as my main flavor, but you can try other spices. Just increase or decrease the quantities as needed.
- When you remove the beef vessel from the fridge on the last day, allow it to thaw a while, before boiling it.
FAQ’s About Homemade Corned Beef Pate
You can store corned beef in an airtight container for 3 – 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 3 to 6 months in the freezer.
If you can’t find salt petre, use an approved curing salt or prague powder. Some of the popular varieties are TenderQuick, Instaquick, Hoosier Hill Prague Powder, Misty Gully Curing Salts, Smoke Dust Juniper and Pepper Cure in the UK, and a lot more.
Corned beef is beef that has been cured in salt peter and salt brine for a number of days. In earlier times, dry curing was used. But wet curing using a brine is also a good method for curing beef. It makes the beef more tender and flavorful. Of course, we also add spices for added flavour.
The term ‘corned’ apparently caught on in the 17th century in the UK because of the large size of the salt pellets that were used to dry cure the beef. The salt was as big as corn kernels, and the process soon started to be called corning.
Corning was also called curing, and it specifically meant dry curing. But the term has now expanded to include wet curing or brining too. Salting is another term often used.
Yes, depending on the dish you are preparing, you can heat or fry the corned beef in a frying pan. Add a few spoons of butter or olive oil for that heavenly smell.
Technically, you don’t. The beef should be fit for consumption straight off. But we haven’t experimented with uncooked corned beef yet. For now, we prefer boiling or cooking it so that it’s safer. But if we ever finalize a recipe for uncooked corned beef, we’ll have it up on the site asap.
Other Recipes You Might Like
- Raw Mango Salad
- Boiled Egg Salad
- Indian Pickled Onions Recipe – Sirke Wala Pyaaz
- East Indian Mango Pickle Recipe
- Indian Purple Yam Snack (Konfal Or Kand)
- Turmeric Rice
- Indian Butter Beans Curry (Mota Vaal Curry)
- Mustard Chicken with wine
- Honeyballs, the East Indian semolina dessert
- Red Pumpkin Halwa (Kaddu Ka Halwa)
You can print off the list of ingredients and instructions to follow for making this recipe via the recipe card below (for home use only).
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Homemade Corned Beef | Like Costa’s | East Indian Version
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- 750 g Beef Or Veal, Minced
- 1 tbsp Salt Petre Or 0.5 tsp Curing Salt
- 2 l Water
- 75 g Salt
- 75 g Sugar
- 4 tsp Pepper Powder Adjust to taste
- 3 Bay Leaves or 4 Anise flowers
- 3 tbsp Butter
- Wash the minced beef or veal (If you're in India. If you're elsewhere just skip to step 2.)
- Add salt petre or curing salt to it and mix well. (We mix the salt petre with hands to make sure it covers all the minced meat.) Put this in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 hours.
- In a vessel, add water, salt, sugar, pepper powder and bay leaves and allow to boil. This will be your brining solution.
- When cool, add the minced beef to it and mix thoroughly.
- Refrigerate and stir once a day for 5 days. (If you're in a cooler climate, no need to refrigerate.)
- After 5 days, boil the mixture on medium flame for 45 mins and strain the liquid.
- Add 3 tbsp butter and grind with a hand blender for a smoother texture.
- Wrap in clingfilm and shape the corned beef into a log. Or just spoon it into an iartight container and store.
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- You can replace the bay leaves with anise flowers for a different flavor.
- I’ve used pepper as my main flavor, but you can try other spices.
- Allow the beef mixture to thaw for a bit when you remove it from the fridge on the last day, before boiling it.