2 pounds coarse salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon saltpeter
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 ounce pickling spice, tied in cheesecloth
1 (5 pound) beef brisket
3 large onions, one spiked with cloves,
the others sliced or quartered
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 pound medium carrots, chopped
2 medium white turnips, chopped
1 pound leeks, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
Corning the beef: Put salt, sugar and saltpeter into a large saucepan with pickling spices tied in cheesecloth. Add bay leaves, thyme and 4 1/2 quarts water. Heat gently until sugar and salt have dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour into bowl and cool.
Add the meat to the bowl, making sure that salt solution covers it. Cover with clean dish-towel and leave to soak in cold place 2 weeks. Turn the meat occasionally.
To Cook: Remove the meat from the brine and wash under cold water. Put into a large saucepan with the clove-spiked onion. Add the celery and peppercorns to the pan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil slowly. Skim, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
Add vegetables to the pan, bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain the liquid and use as a sauce over the meat and vegetables.