How to Make Corned Beef Spread At Home

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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!

All those childhood memories of holidaying in Goa are the best. Swimming at the beaches or river inlets in the afternoons, spending lazy days playing board games, or drinking beer.

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.) It’s like the tougher version of a ladi pav.

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 of course 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. So there, it’s specified.)

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 version of 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. Or my modified style, rather. 😉

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.

Fine minced beef.
Ground Beef
Add saltpetre to the minced beef.
Add saltpetre

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.

Place 75 grams sugar and salt in a plate.
75 grams sugar and salt
Warm water with bay leaf and keep it to cool.
Leave the water to cool
Mix the beef with the water solution and leave aside.
Mix the beef with the water solution and leave aside

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.

Boil the water and beef.
Boil the mixture
Once the water boils, mixture will get separated in lumps.
It starts to separate into lumps
Corned veal placed in a vessel.
This is what corned veal looks like
Add pepper to the corned veal.
You can see the pepper dots in it

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.

Add in 3 tbsp of butter to mix.
Add in 3 tbsp of butter

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.

Make a log of the Corned Beef mixture.
Form into a log and wrap with clingfilm
Corned Beef roll should be stored in an airtight container.
Store in an airtight container
Spicy corned beef is ready.
Cut the corned beef roll into diced slices.
Doesn’t it look yum?
Corned beef mince sliced.
Looking closer at the corned beef mince

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 or in buttered pav 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.

FAQs About Homemade Corned Beef Pate

How long can I store 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.

What if I can’t find salt petre near me?

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.

What is Corned beef?

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.

Why is it called Corned beef?

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.

What are the other terms for 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.

Can Corned beef be heated in a frying pan?

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.

Do I have to boil the corned beef?

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.

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Corned beef mince sliced.

Homemade Corned Beef | Like Costa’s | East Indian Version

Home-made corned beef is so tasty, and easy to make at home! This recipe is similar to the Costas beef that's popular in India, but modified to make it more peppery and spicy.
5 out of 5 Stars by 2 readers!

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Prep Time 5 d
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 5 d 45 mins
Course Side Dish, Starters or Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Servings 10 Servings
Calories 252 kcal
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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 teaspoon 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.

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Storage Container

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 252kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 1997mg | Potassium: 215mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 111IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

Disclaimer: Nutrition Information per serving is estimated by a third party software based on the ingredients used, and is for informational purposes only. It will vary from product to product, based on methods of preparation, origin and freshness of ingredients. Please consult the package labels of the ingredients you use, or chat with your dietician for specific details.

Image of Minced beef and make it into corned beef roll.
Corned beef roll stored in an airtight container.
Image of Minced beef and ready spicy corned beef roll.

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