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Jan 17, 2007 07:52 PM

gray corned beef in Boston?

I just moved up here a few months ago from the South, where grey corned beef was basically impossible to find any time of year (and the best place to buy the regular kind was at Costco). I'm guessing that it shows up various places around Boston by oh, say, mid-March--but do I have to wait until the run-up to St. Patrick's Day, or is there anywhere to get it year-round? I'm talking uncooked, just corned without the nasty stuff that keeps it pink, so I can boil it up at home. I'm terrible at planning ahead, so I'd love to find somewhere that carries this without my having to special order it. Any ideas?


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  1. Johnny's Foodmaster usually has its own available much of the year, but even more during the winter like now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      I will have to see if Johnny's also carries the corned spare ribs. My mom used to make them with a "boiled dinner", and I loved them. I think she may have gotten them from the Mplewood Meat Market- I will have to ask her.

      1. re: macca

        Just got some of the corned spare ribs- along with the gray corned beef- at Johnnies in Melrose.Looking forward to dinner tomorrow ( a day late)

    2. McKinnon's in Davis Square seems to have it pretty regularly, and sometimes cuts other than brisket.

      7 Replies
      1. re: itaunas

        What about gray kielbasa? I like that style better than the reddish colored kind. Same places?

        1. re: Joanie

          McKinnon's only carries packaged Kielbasa -- mostly from Hillshire Farms. By gray do you mean fresh, unsmoked kielbasa? Maybe Karl's? I did have a tasty kielbasa from some smaller maker from the Stop & Shop in Arlington which seemed less processed overall (lighter in color, mix of beef and pork, less nitrates). I have been tasting all sorts in preparation for making a batch, so would love to hear other suggestions.

          1. re: itaunas

            Fresh kielbasa is normally available from both Shaw's and S&S at Christmas and Easter. I stock up then. Both are little more finely ground than I'd like, but they have a reasonable texture and balance of flavors.

            1. re: itaunas

              Have you checked out the storefront advertising sausage casings, on Main St. just south of Medford Sq.? Keep meaning to stop in.

            2. re: Joanie

              About the fresh kielbasa (calling it gray sounds so unappetizing!) - there is a little Russian/Eastern European grocery on Washington Street - between the corner with Comm Ave in Brighton and the Whole Foods - near the Brighton/Brookline border - that sells it. And I would wholeheartedly trust them before I trusted anything purchased at Shaw's. I already had one bad raw sausage experience there (some Italian sweet sausage that was gristle-y and far too chewy to be edible.
              So when I make my Polish Easter soup, that will be where I get my fresh Kielbaszy!

              1. re: Joanie

                all the marketbaskets in my area (merrimack valley) carry the fresh (gray) kielbasa.

            3. I'd recommend getting a brisket from John Dewar (good) or Market Basket (cheap) and brining it in the fridge for a week.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Luther

                Yes, I've done that before... but like I said, I usually can't seem to plan that far in advance! I'm lucky when I think of it in time to get something from the market and boil it for a few hours.

              2. Most Roche Bros. Supermarkets carry it, as does the Morrisey Blvd. (Dorchester) Stop & Shop

                1. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm glad to hear it won't be too hard to find. I think McKinnon's is closest to me, so I'll get out there this weekend and let you all know what I find.