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Corned Beef -- good brands, does it make a difference?

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Hi All,

I'm planning a St. Patty's day dinner this Sunday, and was wondering if anyone had a particular recommendation as to a superior corned beef brand to purchase? All the supermarkets have specials this time of year, and in the past I typically just pick up what's on special at Vons. I know that Gelsons, Whole Foods etc. have what appear to be more "gourmet" brands of corned beef. Does it make a difference in the final outcome or will any old brand do? Thanks!

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  1. corned beef round has a whole lot less fat than the flat cut or point cut

    3 Replies
    1. re: MzMaggie

      But more expensive!!

      1. re: joseaway

        if you like, you can buy the KOBE corned beef for $5.85 per pound. sure its 5 times mmore that ralphs but worth it.... for the record i brought down 25 punds from niman ranch and its was the best ever

        1. re: foodie

          Where did you buy the KOBE corned beef?

    2. A good corned beef should have good sheath of fat on the top and good marbling. Most of the liquid fat will render out with the long, slow cooking process. The sheath of fat and marbling will allow the cut to self baste and insure the best flavor and moistness.

      Price is not really a point with corned beef since it's a tough, inexpensive cut. The 7 dollar a pound product is no better than the 39 cents a pound holiday special.

      6 Replies
      1. re: 2chez mike

        That isn't true. While some fat is good, most of the cheap cuts are about 30% fat, so you end up paying a lot more per pound.

        1. re: MzMaggie

          What you say about the cheaper corned beef being fattier is certainly true. But a good deal of the flavor is in the fat. My family used to buy a brand of corned beef that had a name something like "Corby's." They sold it at the popular priced supermarkets like Von's. Now I buy whatever is available at Gelson's which is not that, but also not as wonderfully tasty as that was.

          1. re: juny1cat

            I have to say brand does matter. I just had "kobe" corned beef, and it was like silk in your mouth... price was $5.95 per pound.

            1. re: juny1cat

              The cheaper brands not only have more fat to peel off, but they are tough. Cooking won't change that! The more expensive brands are luscious and tender.

              1. re: JR

                Now considering your bold statement, would you also conclude the same for baby back ribs *vs* spare ribs??

                1. re: JR

                  Untrue. The cheapest, toughest corned beefs are rendered melt in you mouth, silk tender through the long, slow cooking process described by Just Larry above(I use the same method). This method also concentrates the flavor in the meat. The extra fat in these cheap, tough cuts self-bastes the meat and much of it melts away during the process.

          2. This year I bought the cheap sale Corned Beef at Ralph's for $.60 a pound. The package said to put it in a pot on a rack with 1" of liquid below it and cook it in the oven for 3 1/2 hours at 350. It was the best corned beef I have ever made. I usually boil it for hours and it falls apart and is not really flavorful. This was great. I cooked the cabbage and carrots in the liquid at the last minute.