I adapted this from an old edition of The Joy of Cooking, primarily by reducing the amount of salt required. We took home-corned beef to a friend's combined birthday/St. Patrick's Day celebration for several years. Combine 16 cups hot water 1 cup kosher salt 1/4 cup sugar 2 Tablespoons mixed whole spice
Stir until the salt dissolves. Cool completely.
Place a five pound top round in the brine, and add a few cloves of peeled garlic if you like. Weight the meat with a heavy plate or other object that won't be harmed by the salt.
Put in a cold garage, porch or refrigerator for three weeks. Turn once a week.
To cook, wash off the surface. Cover with fresh water and cook about four hours. Slice thin across the grain. It slices best when it has cooled.
This corned beef will not be pink like that from a deli, because it has no sodium nitrite (saltpeter). You may add saltpeter to the brine if you like, about 3 teaspoons. It serves no purpose other than to preserve a pink color and damage the arteries, so we like a good brown corned beef instead.