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Oct 2, 2011 01:04 PM

Your help with a humungous corned beef roast

@ Costco last week I spotted a massive, perfectly symmetrical corned beef roast. A thing of beauty just shy of 6#. So now here it sits in my fridge with no one to feed it to (not really, it's just that I'm not up to entertaining due to knee surgery). So my questions are:

1) How long will it keep unopened in my fridge?
2) Can I freeze it whole in it's original packaging?
3) If I cook half can I successfully freeze the rest uncooked after opening?
4) Should I cook the entire beast & freeze what we don't eat?
5) Any unique recipes ideas for boiling, braising, or grill applications?


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  1. Do you mean corned beef, or plain whole brisket?

    4 Replies
    1. re: mcf

      mcf, it is a flat cut corned beef brisket.

      1. re: letsindulge

        Wow, a 6 lb flat cut already brined? I can' t imagine that there's anything wrong with freezing it in its package, or freezing half in the appropriate wrapping/packaging after cutting half off. I'd look at the sale date for a guide to how long you can keep in the fridge, depending upon how cold an area of it you store it in. The brine certainly helps. I don't think I'd cook it all before freezing, I'd freeze uncooked and prepare "fresh." The only way I've ever cooked corned beef is boiled with veggies and/or cabbage, so not much help there.

        1. re: mcf

          I know...that's why I longed for it! I envisioned perfect, consistent slices from this bad boy. Quite a deal @ $3.99 a pound too! I should probably try to salvage the excess brine to freeze with the portion I may freeze. I would imagine that once opened that the shelf life would diminish quicker then if unopened. I don't have a vacumn sealer so I'd probably wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place in a zip lock baggie, then wrap in heavy duty foil?

          1. re: letsindulge

            I just use freezer bags with the air squeezed out as best I can, folding over any excess, squeezing air from the bottom. I know folks who seal them up except for a tiny opening, put in a straw and suck the remaining air out. I've never had freezer burn, I don't keep things forever.

    2. Not to split hairs, but a 6-lb corned beef is average, not "humongous."

      7 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        Really, a 6 lb flat cut is? Not doubting you, just haven't come across them commonly. When I buy a whole brisket, it often weighs 6-8 lbs. But I have to special order it because the ones stocked in the meat cases are much smaller.

        1. re: ferret

          I've not seen any this large before. That's why I was moved to buy it. In the past I've had to do 2 smaller roasts for our St. Patty's Day meal for 6.

          1. re: letsindulge

            I keep stumbling over your calling them "roasts." That's why I asked my first question. I've never heard of anyone roasting brisket, just braising or smoking. I think of roasts as thicker, not flat and fibery. Do you actually roast them, is that it?

            1. re: mcf

              I'm mistaken calling them roasts when they're actually brisket. I have oven-roasted brisket, but not corned beef.

              1. re: letsindulge

                It's a roast in the sense of pot roast. As to size, I bought a full flat cut brisket (not corned) last week for Rosh Hashanah and it was just under seven pounds - and that's after it was trimmed almost completely of fat! That thing was easily 18" - 20" long, I had to cut it in half to fit it into a pot.

                1. re: BobB

                  Yeah, I was certainly impressed by my 6#er but gosh you've get me beat by a full pound! So how are you going to prepare yours and how many people do you expect to feed?

                  1. re: letsindulge

                    Well, mine is not corned, remember. I braised it with onions, garlic, dried apricots and prunes. Tasty.

                    It fed a table of seven on Wednesday and another table of five on Friday, and the rest (now portioned and frozen) is still enough for at least two or three dinners for my wife and myself.

                    The only reason I got one so big is I really wanted to do a brisket and that was the only one in the store when I got there.

        2. I once had a neighbor who gave me this recipe for Fake Pastrami. It is absolutely delicious and makes quite possibly the best sandwiches I have ever eaten. Simmer the corned beef in a pot of water with a couple of tablespoons of mixed pickling spice. After 2-3 hours fish it out, wash it off, and put it in a baking pan. Stud it with cloves. Mix brown sugar with a little mustard and smear this all over the meat. Bake it at 350 until it glazes. Remove from oven. Once in a while, spoon the drippy stuff over the top. Use this to make sandwiches on rye bread with mustard. The humongousity of the meat will become irrelevant: this product will disappear.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Querencia

            This is my usual way for doing corned beef brisket sans the pickling spice, and cloves. The mustard, and brown sugar is delicious but I'm open to variety.

          2. As has been pointed out above, it's not a roast in any sense other than a pot roast, which isn't really a roast either, which was throwing me off as well. If this really is a corned beef brisket, here are some more answers, which largely echo what's already been written:

            1. If it's still in the original thick cryovac, it'll easily keep for a month or more, refrigerated. That brine solution is a heck of a preservative; vitually nothing can grow in it.

            2. Yes, you can chuck the whole thing in the freezer and it'll keep at least a year.

            3. Yes, no problem, if you re-wrap well.

            4. You can do that too, no problem.

            5. You can make a nice approximation of real pastrami if you like. Soak the whole beast in fresh water, without cutting it if you can find a bucket big enough, refrigerated for two or three days, changing the water every day. Dry and rub with cracked pepper and chopped garlic and sit on a rack on a sheet pan for 24 hours, refrigerated. Hot-smoke for four hours at about 220F over your choice of wood. I like Hickory but traditional is oak. Cool in fridge for 24 hours. Steam for 2-4 hours or until tender. Slice. It won't be as good as the point cut, but it'll be decent.

            Six pounds is about half a brisket. Whole packer briskets are 11-12 lbs when I get them.

            2 Replies
            1. re: acgold7

              It could be a well trimmed flat. This is what they sell at the grocery store and list it as a whole brisket in my area. I have to go to GFS or Wally World to find a full packer brisket.

              1. re: scubadoo97

                thank you i am learning how to use the email It is not frozen.It was marked -use by 5/19/13.I am cooking it today.It has been refrigerated and not open.But there are so many chemical in the bag. thank i am trying

                I did call a butcher who said -try it because of the chemical and it has not been opened and i am going to cook it 8 hours. tj

            2. thank for the replies.It was not frozen,but kept in refrigerator until I put it in the crock pot today .i am cooking it for 7 hours.It was marked 5/19/13 I am cooking it on 6/15/13 three people have written But I do not know how to reply to their individual response I ddi leave my email address