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Mar 15, 2011 09:41 AM

Which Corned Beef Should I Buy?

On Thursday, I'll be making corned beef & cabbage. I'm trying to decide which corned beef to get, from the following: Harris Ranch (sold at HOWS; cured with all the regular stuff); Wellshire (sold at Whole Foods; uncured); or Whole Foods' special, in-house prepared corned beef that I can only assume is uncured. I've had the Harris Ranch before & it was fine; I was hoping someone out there has tried either the Wellshire or the house-brined one from WF.

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  1. Skip the fancy-schmancy, way overpriced stuff at the above stores. The best I've found this year is the "Blarney Stone" brand Point Cut Briskit at Stater Bros.Is $1.19 per pound today, but I believe it will go down to less than a dollar when the weekly speciasl come out Wednesday.


    1 Reply
    1. re: ChefRoux

      Thanks for the suggestion, though I'd probably wind up spending the difference in gas getting there!

    2. Point cut is going for 99¢/lb Wednesday and Thursday at both Ralphs and Vons (Shannon and Safeway brand, respectively). If it's a decent amount of good meat you want, though, point cut is only kind of a bargain, being very fatty and tough relative to the flat cut, which will be going for $2.99 at Ralphs.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen

        Yeah, I probably want the flat cut. I want to get dinner for 3, plus enough left for sandwiches (homemade reubens!)

        1. re: Will Owen

          99¢/lb Special at Ralphs was sold out fast. Doesn't help but ask for a rain check good for 60 days.

          1. re: monku

            Today is St. Pat's Day and almost every market in the South Bay have sold out on the 99 cent point cuts which are on sale at both Ralph's and Vons. Rain checks are available at one per customer. Many customer complaints at all stores is what I've been hearing. Inventory was low this year.

            1. re: Clinton

              wow--that sucks--I went to S. Redondo Von's last night about 8:30 & it was slim pickings but they still had a few to pick from. I was able to grab one for the freezer. This is the first year that I have noticed that the sale is only for 2 days.

              1. re: sparkareno

                The problem might possibly be just in the south bay area? I just got back from Santa Maria and stocks were plentiful. Luckily I picked one up there at Vons but it was only limited to one per customer. Also, this is the first time I've ever noticed that Ralph's was limiting their corned beef to one per. Usually it's two per. I did get a rain check which is good for a later purchase when it's not on sale.

          2. re: Will Owen

            Point cut tougher than flat??? How are you cooking it.? For me, the point cut has _always_ been juicer, more tender, and more flavorful than flat-cut!!

            1. re: The Professor

              Boil it with spices, brown sugar and vinegar.

          3. Fresh & Easy has "Reuben" brand points @ .99 ea., limit 2. Cooked 2, and they were some of the best I've had. I usually rinse off the brine and use my own seasoning, not the package. These were not salty at all. I stock up this week of every year and freeze a bunch for the rest of the year. Caveat, I would never pay more for a flat cut, nor have I tried any fancy high falutin' specialty corned beefs. It's all about the deal!

            1. Point cut for me too--whatever cheap brand is selling for 99 cents. I cooked one last night & tasted it this morning--delish. Yeah--I had to trim off some extra fat but the marbling of fat throughout (that isn't there as much in flat cut) is what gives flavor & tenderness. It is easy to cut off some outside fat both before & after cooking. Also cooking long and slow. I need to get one for the freezer now--nice to have corned beef in July that only cost a few bucks. I tasted some expensive one at Trader Joe's yesterday--dry & very little flavor IMO. I cook mine in beer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sparkareno

                I find that the cheaper they are, the better they taste - more marbeling and looser texture.

              2. I'm another one who much prefers the point cut. Much more flavor.+

                5 Replies
                1. re: laliz

                  Maybe I will get a point cut, then... possibly, two, if they're really small. Seems to be the consensus pick for flavor.

                  1. re: Jack Flash

                    Adding to Sparkareno's post: If you go with the Point Cut, figure on 8 oz raw per 4 oz serving.
                    If you really want to live large, boil your Potatoes, Carrots and Cabbage in the Borth when the Brisket is done.

                    I'm cooking 150# for an event tomorrow. Instead of boiling, I use the oven-cooked recipe I got years ago from the Exec. Chef at Santa Anita Racetrack:

                    1. Place unrinsed Brisket on flat rack in shallow pan, fattiest side up.
                    2. Add enough water to bottom of pan to where it is just under the rack.
                    3. Mix equal parts Brown Sugar, Ketchup and Yellow Mustard until smooth.
                    4. Brush thick coating of mixture on top of Brisket.
                    5. Cover pan tightly with lid or Parchment Paper and Foil.
                    6. Roast in 325 degree oven for 3- 4 hours until tender
                    7. When ready, remove Brisket and keep in warm place until ready to slice.
                    8. Add drippings and 2 quarts of water to stock or soup pot.
                    9. Cook Vegetables in order: Potatoes, Carrots and quartered Cabbage until tender.
                    10. Slice Brisket and serve with Vegetables.

                    1. re: ChefRoux

                      I would use the oven bake/braise method when cooking CB's for sandwiches, cooled then sliced and reheated. For New England boiled dinner, I always use stovetop, adding carrots, turnips and potatoes after 3 hours(if tender), then cabbage 15 minutes after that, all done 15 minutes later. Some guests prefer dinner served as soup in a bowl, but I always save the broth for another soup if I can. I bought 14 corned beefs this year.

                      1. re: DWB

                        I intend to boil, adding carrots & potatoes to the pot, and later cabbage, until it's all cooked and yummy.

                      2. re: ChefRoux

                        I disregarded my own advice and got a 99¢ point cut, a Shannon brand from Fresh & Easy. It was several ounces shy of four pounds. After it was cooked (crockpot on Warm all night) and cooled I cut most of the exterior fat off and still had well over two pounds. CB&C is a meal Mrs. O generally tolerates rather than enjoys, but this morning she told me, "That corned beef last night was really good!" I did make a mustard gravy with the broth that I bathed the sliced meat with before I reheated it in the oven, which certainly helped perk things up.