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Apr 26, 2012 11:50 AM

Jewish corned beef, deli style

Does anyone have a really good recipe for Jewish style corned beef? I mean the kind you get in a great NY delicatessen.

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  1. I make it often, NY deli style, and coincidentally, I made one last night.
    No recipe really...the real deli secret is to _not_ boil or simmer it, but rather, to _steam_ it.
    You can look at other boards for methods of brining your own meat (it's really pretty simple if you've planned takes about a week or three), but the method of cooking works just as well with a good commercial brand of corned beef like Freireich's or Nathan's (especially if you opt for the "point" cut rather than the "flat" cut.

    I use an old Magalite chicken fryer (a 5" deep pan with a close fitting lid) into which I've placed a steamer rack. I put the hunk of corned beef on the rack. The meat NEVER touches the water. You can use a large stockpot just as well. If you have access to an Asian grocery store, they sell raised racks of various sizes that fit inside just about any pot.

    Basically, it's as simple as bringing the liquid to a boil, turning it down once it boils, and putting the lid on the water will continue to slowly boil under the rack to create a steambath.
    You'll want to steam it for anywhere from 2-3 hours.
    The result is going to be the tenderest (but not falling apart) corned beef you've ever made.

    So it's the steambath (as opposed to the usual way of immersing and boiling or simmering the meat) that is essential to get the deli style result. Also, for best results, use POINT CUT corned brisket rather than FIRST CUT (flat).
    If you want real deli style, lean corned beef is, quite simply, a big fail.

    Ever since I first started doing it this way a number of years ago, I have never again abused a piece corned beef by boiling it to death.

    8 Replies
    1. re: The Professor

      Where would you find the point cut? They don't sell it in local supermarkets or my Costco. Plus you have to warn people it is Super fatty. Do you trim the fat from the top before steaming?

      1. re: Jerseygirl111

        My local Pathmark has been selling Reddi Gourmet Point Cuts for the past couple of weeks. Right after Easter/Passover, they were $1.99/lb. This past week they were further reduced down to $1.49/b. The average piece weighs 4-5 pounds.. and they are are not too fatty in my opinion.

        1. re: fourunder

          I've usedt hat brand on occasion as well. I agree that while the point cuts have more fat, I don't find them excessively so.

          Most of he supermarkets around here (central NJ) always seem to cary both thin cut and point (thick) cut, with various brand names. As I mentioned, all work well but I definitely like Frierich's (sp) the best.

          The after St.Pat's sales are great...I always buy several and keep them in the freezer. I also never make them for St. Pat's Day, opting instead for something more traditionally Irish (or close to it)...that day it's usually a cured (and sometimes smoked) pork butt, given the same steambath treatment with the same sides of cabbage and spuds.

          1. re: The Professor

            I watched ATK last week, can't recall if it was a repeat, anyway, Christopher showed the two cuts of brisket, the flat cut which is the cut you find EVERYWHERE in the supermarkets as corned beef, and the other cut, the point. The point cut had a HUGE amount of fat (and I am not fat adverse). Yesterday in Shop Rite I bought a huge corned beef on sale, 6.5 lbs, but it is still a flat cut. It is not too fatty, I don't find the flat cut fatty, but the point cut on tv had alot of fat.

            The best corned beef I ever had came from Costco, but the one in Brick doesn't always have them. I checked this past Saturday and they said they don't order them after St. Pat's but I know I have bought them there other times. Is it possible it was a point cut? Maybe because it was the biggest I have ever seen and was not the same shape as all the ones I have purchased previously.

            1. re: Jerseygirl111

              With regards to the fat issue.....Separated flats or points will still have outside fat layers that may or may not be visible, due to the solid label covering one side on retail packaging. Wholesale packaging is clear on both sides of the cryovac package. Retail packages of larger corned beef, including the point section will have more fat on the outer layers, and also between the flat and point, connecting the two pieces...however, when separated, one side is usually trimmed of fat quite well.

              Below are three of the remaining Corned Beef Point Cuts I purchased mentioned above. You can clearly see there is not any excessive outer layer fat.

              1. re: fourunder

                Well, in the pictures you posted I don't see an excessive amount of fat at all. I would like to see what is under the solid label though. You got these at the Pathmark, you say? Might have to venture into Toms River...ugh! Lol.

                Interestingly enough, I looked at the Corned Beef I just bought and the package itself says " Round" even though the Shop Rite label says Flat Cut. I have never had one of these before, but it is shaped like a rump roast...

                1. re: Jerseygirl111

                  If it says Round then you don't have Brisket at all, so neither Flat nor Point. Many commercial deli sliced corned beef and pastramis aren't really brisket either, instead preferring round because it is larger and cheaper.

                  I think Boar's Head uses the Round. But it can't be all that Jewish-style, because the Round can't be Kosher. In any event, the flavor and texture is pretty different.

                  1. re: acgold7

                    Well, you are absolutely correct! I made this corned beef this past Saturday and it was crap! It was definitely a round roast that they corned. While the color was uniform throughout, it hardly tasted like a traditional corned beef. It was more corned beef like...there was a hint of the flavor but it didn't hold. And there was no fat so it was dry. Quite a disappointment. The only good thing I can say is that it sliced like a dream- we made ruebens out of it so luckily the lack of flavor wasn't as prominent as it could have been. Sadly, it did not even make good hash the next morning, again lack of fat. I will never make that mistake again!