Is there an ideal internal temperature for corned beef?
I've got a 3-lb. piece of corned beef simmering right now and according to the directions on the label, it should simmer for 3.5 hours total after first bringing it to a low boil staring with cold water (which I've done). The label directions look generic, not taking poundage into consideration. I was just wondering if anyone knows what internal temperature the meat should reach to render it tender and juicy, not overcooked or rubbery.
Any advice would help!
Is it corned beef brisket or round? If round, then you don't have much collagen to break down (which is why I don't like corned round) and you don't cook it as much, because it becomes rubbery. With brisket, you actually need to cook it past rubbery to get the collagen to break down and make the texture tender. Like over 195F.
I don't know about temperature - I've never used a thermometer on what amounts to pot roast. I'm fairly sure it has too cook for a while at that max temp - you're breaking down collagen, not just cooking the muscle to some particular degree of doneness - so it's not just a question of reaching a particular temperature and then stopping..
After a coupla' few hours, check it every half hour or so with a fork, that's the easiest and only sure way to get it just where you want it. (Just stab it, and take it out of the oven when the fork goes through with fairly minimal effort.) Even half an hour over isn't going to turn a pot roast to mush, and it'll only turn to shoe leather if you let the liquid get too low, so don't get too worked up over it. ;)