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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / Corned Beef Question - please help me !
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    Corned Beef Question - please help me !

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    Patti O'Furniture
    Fri Mar 13, 2009 3:39 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I think I posted this in the wrong area - so I copied it over here.

    I've had hit or miss luck with making corned beef - can you give me a few pointers ?

    The worst was the time we had gray meat instead of pink. Once I had great looking pink meat - but it shrank to nothing ......

    Should I buy a flat or a point cut ? Is there different kinds of corned beef - is that how I got a gray one ?

    I'd like to be able to slice it - not have it in shreds - does this happen when I use a crockpot ?

    Thanks
    Rit
    Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:39 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I prefer the flat. The point usually is the best price, but you get allot more waste to it and in the long run I feel less meat.
    As far as being grey, sometimes when cooked the outside might have the grey look but the inside should be nice and pink. Makes me wonder if you got a bad piece of meat.
    There are many different methods to cook it but my favorite is to simmer it on top of the stove with all the seasonings, onion, garlic, etc. I simmer mine until fork tender. It usually takes longer than the package directions.
    I remove if from the broth and let it rest quite awhile. About 20 or more minutes. Make sure when you go to slice it you are cutting across the grain. If you go to cut it and it starts to all fall apart, let it rest some more. Usually I have a few of the pieces shread but for the most part it usually slices nice. Don't be afaid that your meat will be not hot. I like to put my slices in a glass pan and laddle a little broth on top which makes it juicy and warms it up. Thats when I foil the top and keep it in warm oven while I cook the veggies.
    If you go on line and type in corned beef cuts, there are some sites that talk about it that might help.
    Hope this helped some.....
    Chef TotalFark
    Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:00 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Another tack to consider is buying a corned beef round-instead of using the brisket, it uses the bottom round as the cut. It's not quite as juicy-because there's less fat and marbling-but you get very even slices.
    Chef #1204884
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:12 am
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    Hi. I saw your question about the grey corned beef vs. the pink and i saw that someone responded saying it should always be pink/red and that if it was grey it must have been bad... just FYI and for your piece of mind there ARE two different kinds of corned beef. the kind that most people are apparently used to and the kind you see in deli sandwiches is indeed a red/pink corned beef. But i grew up in south boston in a very irish family and it was a staple of our family's diet to have grey corned beef and cabbage. The reason the red is red is due to saltpeter- it keeps the meat red; the grey doesn't have saltpeter added and therefore the brine turns the meat grey. Since moving to the west coast i have actually found it is harder to find the grey variety but it is by far what i prefer. rest assured there are two kinds and that the grey corned beef is not 'bad' it's just different. good luck and i hope that helps.

    http://www.paisleysky.net/foodnerd/archives/000156.html
    Patti O'Furniture
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:17 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Thanks for the info about the grey - I live 40 miles south of Boston - but grew up in the South. Maybe I did get a gray corned beef ! The ones I bought this year look red.
    :)Shirl(:
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:38 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Just a thought too, I just fixed this recipe Best Corned Beef and Cabbage Ever!!! and it was delicious. probably the best i've ever fixed. the only problem and it was not the recipe it was mine, is that it was very salty. i did not rinse the brisket (that is what it said on the label) and in the future i would rinse it very well to see if the salt could be diminished. icon_smile.gif
    Rit
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:43 am
    Food.com Groupie
    [quote="Chef #1204884"]Hi. I saw your question about the grey corned beef vs. the pink and i saw that someone responded saying it should always be pink/red and that if it was grey it must have been bad... just FYI and for your piece of mind there ARE two different kinds of corned beef. the kind that most people are apparently used to and the kind you see in deli sandwiches is indeed a red/pink corned beef. But i grew up in south boston in a very irish family and it was a staple of our family's diet to have grey corned beef and cabbage. The reason the red is red is due to saltpeter- it keeps the meat red; the grey doesn't have saltpeter added and therefore the brine turns the meat grey. Since moving to the west coast i have actually found it is harder to find the grey variety but it is by far what i prefer. rest assured there are two kinds and that the grey corned beef is not 'bad' it's just different. good luck and i hope that helps.

    http://www.paisleysky.net/foodnerd/archives/000156.html[/quote]

    Well blow me over, I did not know anything about grey corned beef! icon_surprised.gif How interesting. I have only seen the red. How does it differ in taste? I have not seen it in the stores in our area(Denver) but I have only went to the chain stores, maybe a private butcher would carry them. Then again I guess I can't miss what I never have had.
    Thanks for the information. icon_smile.gif
    Chef #1204884
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:40 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    yeah i moved to denver not long ago and i've not been able to find the grey in the big supermarkets... i was actually going to go on a hunt today becuase i know my brother won't settle for the red at dinner tomorrow... some people say there is no difference in taste but i really am not crazy about the red. I believe there are more spices/seasonings added to the brine (more than the saltpeter) depending on the brand you get and i swear the saltpeter changes the taste of the meat. If you do get a grey and are used to the red you may find it too salty- be sure to switch out your water you're cooking in at least once becuase the grey is loaded with salt- in fact thats all there is in it generally- beef, water and salt. anyways glad i could be of help and i hope everyone has a great st paddy's day!!!
    Rit
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 6:02 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    I will probably stick to the red this time as that is what I know and don't have the time to search before tomorrow. I am however going to do some research and see if I can find someplace that isnt really far from me (Arvada) and see if they carry it. I know a couple meat markets and would be interesting to see if they carry it and if not if they can order it. Do they just call it grey corned beef or does it have a special name, and do you get it in the different cuts, points, flats, etc.? I would be game to try it at least once!
    Happy wearin' of the green icon_biggrin.gif
    :)Shirl(:
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 7:02 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    in my research found this web site http://www.haverhillbeef.com/RPkilliansgreycornedbeef.html
    it has a recipe and apparently you can order it online.

    whoops in reading you can order online but have to pick up at the store.
    Chef #1204884
    Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:31 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I did a lot of research today and found that there is basically no where in denver that carries it lol. I'm sure somewhere out there someone has some but i couldn't find it. Whole foods carries one that while it isn't labeled as grey, it does not have any nitrates (apparently thats what makes red red). I bought that for tomorrow and will post how it goes, the butcher at whole foods assured me that was his favorite kind and while he wouldn't call it grey he said its not the red either. I did find a company based in denver called "Custom Corned Beef"... and yes they specialize in corned beef. I called and they can make you the grey but they need a weeks notice. I think they specialize in larger orders but the gentleman i spoke with said he could do an order for an individual. If anyone does find a shop that carries the grey normally i would appreciate you passing along the name and location.

    About the name- it is just called grey corned beef- it is the exact same as the red with the sole difference being that nitrates (sodium nitrate, saltpeter aka potasium nitrate, etc...) are added to the brine to maintain the meat's red color. All the same cuts are available with the same rules as to points being fatty, etc still apply.

    I have seen a few recipes that call for baking or crockpots- my mother always threw it on the stove in a x-large stock pot and changed the water once or twice. the grey is very salty so boiling it in a large volume of water helps disperse some of the salt. I've never had it prepared any other way so i'm not sure how it would be.

    anyways, again if anyone knows somewhere in the denver area, or the fort collins or castle rock area, that carries the grey i'd love to know!!!
    Joefatmamma
    Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:17 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    I find it where I live (just outside of Boston) as 'grey', and it is the flat only. Not sure if you can get the point, but in theory you should be able to as mentioned above. Everywhere that I have had it around here, however, has been the leaner flat. Going to get another plate now!
    Tessikins
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:18 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    Don't know about 'grey' versus 'red' and I am a novice in corned beef, but I have found that the crockpot on low with lotsa potatoes and even carrots to absorb some of the salt suits my laziness quite well. I just have to learn just when to add the veggies so that they aren't mush when I take the meat out icon_redface.gif . I have found also that hash made with the real stuff, not the canned is just to die for icon_razz.gif . You all have been very educational in this.
    theanna
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:16 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I have been cooking corned beef for over 40 years now, and this was the first year I have ever had a failure. I bought a 3 pound 11 ounce flat cut Murphy's & David's corned beef. When I took it out of the pakage, there was a large blob of fat undeneath it, not even attached to the roast. By the time I trimmed it up and weighed it, it was down to 2 pounds and 12 ounces. I still left plenty of fat on the bottom for flavor, but I felt shafted because all that fat was buried on the bottom and not visible. I soaked it for a couple of hours to get rid of some of the salt. My end result shrunk down so much that I did good to feed 4 people and it was way too salty. Thank God for side dishes and dessert or I would have been in trouble.
    jimani
    Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:26 am
    Food.com Groupie
    This is what I do to keep corned beef from shredding when you slice it and to give you nice slices. I cook it the day before. Take it out of the broth and put it in a dish. Cover it with foil and put another dish on top slightly smaller than the dish the meat is in. Weigh it down with some cans from your pantry. Refrigerate overnight. Next day, voila! The meat is nice and compact. No longer stringy and slices beautifully. At this point heat the liquid it was cooked in and add a couple of ladles to the sliced corned beef. Set in a 200 degree oven to warn while making the rest of you meal. It works every time and makes the meat so much more attractive.
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