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Where to buy a great corned beef, bottom round?

turtl_girl Apr 6, 2011 09:25 AM

Hi all, I'd like to buy a corned beef to smoke and make pastrami with. I used to buy them from Dittmer's in Mountain View, but they're closed from a fire.

Is there anywhere in the city that sells a good one?

  1. wolfe Apr 6, 2011 12:09 PM

    Try Robert's Corned Meat on Bryant.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wolfe
      turtl_girl Apr 6, 2011 03:00 PM

      Excellent -- thanks! I bought one and am smoking it this weekend, will post on the results.

    2. Civil Bear Apr 6, 2011 03:19 PM

      Ha, great corned beaf is from the brisket! Robert's is tough to beat.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Civil Bear
        turtl_girl Apr 11, 2011 04:26 PM

        Picked up an enormous and beautiful 10 lb bottom round corned beef from Robert's and smoked it for 10 hrs. It made an absolutely beautiful pastrami.

        To Civil Bear -- for this kind of treatment, I prefer the bottom round because it's not so fatty as brisket.

        1. re: turtl_girl
          wolfe Apr 11, 2011 04:32 PM

          Ah but the secret taste enhancer is the fat.

          1. re: turtl_girl
            Spinal Tap Apr 11, 2011 08:34 PM

            How did you do it? Did you have to soak the corned beef? If so, how long per pound?


            1. re: Spinal Tap
              Zeldog Apr 13, 2011 06:20 PM

              Spinal Tap, all you need to do to uncooked corned beef to make it into pastrami is coat it with a coarse grind of ground black pepper and coriander seed and hot smoke it until you reach the desired internal temperature. Opinions vary as to the correct smoking and final internal temperature, so I'll avoid turning this thread into a debate about that.

              As for fattiness, I find commercial (supermarket) brisket has a decent fat cap but minimal marbling, so the end product can be a bit too dry. The best corned beef or pastrami I've made used tri-tip, trimmed of visible connective tissue, but with a good bit of the external fat left on. But if you want to avoid fat, bottom round should be a good choice.

            2. re: turtl_girl
              Civil Bear Apr 12, 2011 09:17 AM

              Interesting. For long cooks in the smoker I would think the more fat and connective tissue the better. That is why briskets, pork shoulders, and spareribs are are so good prepared that way.

              1. re: Civil Bear
                turtl_girl Apr 13, 2011 12:20 PM

                Bought a 9 or 10 pound cut (it was huge!) and smoked it for 8 hours. It hadn't quite reached temperature at this point, so it was finished off in the oven for another hour. The smoky flavor was just right at that point.

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