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Mar 10, 2010 06:31 AM

Selection of corned beef cuts - Help please!

Corned Beef Brisket Point Cut or Corned Beef Center Cut Flat ? What is the difference and what would you buy? They're the same price this St. Patty's Day.

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  1. The point cut is fattier and the flat cut is leaner; personally, I like the fattier cut for sandwiches because it has more flavor and the leaner cut for a corned beef dinner when you get flavor from other parts of the meal.

    1. Here is some info ...

      A full Brisket, is called a Packer. Thats the way a Butcher gets them. The Point is the big, thick round part. The flat is the the fairly uniform thickness, part that is flat. About 1" - 1 1/2" thick.

      The point has more fat, and looks very much like Bacon... with streaks of fat. The flat is less fatty, and is also preferred for its uniform thickness. "Center cut flat" simply means that a butcher cut a Packer Brisket in half and gave you the flat. It sounds fancier than just "flat".

      The attached photo shows the fatty streaked point on the left {home cured Pastrami} and the flat on the right {home cured corned beef}

      1. Wow - great info all! Thank you!

        1 Reply
        1. re: JerryMe

          The point cut is moister and much more delicious to me. If you cook the corned beef long and slow its still moist but not overly fatty, imo. Usually the point cut is cheaper.

        2. everyone:

          what would be better served at room temp on a buffet? the flat?

          what sauce would you serve alongside? what about a potato salad and dills?

          how would you cook it in a pressure cooker, please?

          4 Replies
          1. re: alkapal

            the flat seems right for room temperature service. maybe a grainy mustard/mayo combo for the sauce (perhaps a little hit of rice vinegar). i almost always prefer a creamy, mayo-ie, eggy potato salad. here, though, maybe some mayo restraint would be wise. perhaps a chunky red skin salad, more lightly dressed with fresh green herbs.

            1. re: alkapal

              Agree with the flat except my sauce would be mustard & horseradish. Potato salad and dills sound good. I have never cooked corned beef in a pressure cooker, my book has a recipe but since I only have a small cooker it is only for a 3# piece.

              1. re: alkapal

                I love a horseradishy type grainy mustard with mine. I did a boiled dinner last week as I was already craving - crockpot in the morning on low with cabbage wedges, halved potatoes, big chunked carrots - filled that craving.

                1. re: lexpatti

                  I try to cook the corned beef the night before -- a nice long slow simmer (2-3 hours). The meat then goes in a baking dish, covered with foil and then weighted down and allowed to chill in the fridge overnight. Save the broth and use to cook the veggies (carrots, onion, potato and cabbage wedges). The cold, pressed corned beef will have a finer grainer and be a lot easier to slice thinly. It can be served cold or warmed with the broth.

              2. We bought a small flat cut @$2.99 per lb. I'm steaming it right now for about 3-4 hours. Not simmering it. Will be eaten tomorrow. I don't see much on the internet about steaming it but that's what I'm trying. Never did it before.... Also got some good rye bread. Some Gold's horseradish.

                Will steam some carrots, cabbage, potatoes too but tomorrow

                1 Reply
                1. re: zzDan

                  Along with the carrot, cabbage and potatoes, do a diced rutabaga. New England Boiled Dinner. With good fresh horseradish.