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May 8, 2013 12:32 PM

Will we ever see pressed corned beef again?

When I brown bagged my school lunches back in the 60's, my ultimate lunch sandwich was pressed corned beef on Wonder Bread.

Obviously, since that time its disappeared from deli meat counters throughout the U.S. Guess it was part of the Argentinean Beef Import ban imposed by the federal government around 2001.

Any 'hounds know if the import ban is still in effect. Or if both governments are working toward a resolution?

Sure would like to begin buying the product again.

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  1. Forgive my ignorance, but here in the UK all we have ever really known is tinned corned beef, sometimes known as pemmican. Is that what you are referring to? I love it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Robin Joy

      Yes, the beef was delivered tinned to deli counters back in the day. Meat cutters removed the product from the can, wrapped it in celophane and sold it from the lunchmeat counters.

    2. I remember Pressed Ham from those days...sort of in an oval shape but not Pressed Corned Beef. And I don't see it anymore either.....but I didn't like it back then, my brothers did -- which is why my Mom would buy it. She knew better than to put it in my lunch.

      Today, most of the "Corned Beef" that you can buy in supermarket deli departments (just like the "Turkey" or "Roast Beef") is pressed or pre-formed meat product. Safeway Primo Taglio or Hormel come to mind. They aren't described as pressed but that's what they are.

      Genuine, real corned beef is irregularly shaped and typically has fat running through it....the best stuff is sold hot and is more expensive than the deli dept. stuff.

      1. I never really liked pressed or formed corned beef as much as the 'real' stuff my mom made or as I get in a NY deli. It's ok, but not my favorite. You can get it 'tinned' or 'canned' at the local stores usually. The stuff in packages in the packaged deli section is close, IMHO.

        1. Tinned corned beef is still available, I think. Just not so much call for it from deli counters now, as the regular cooked stuff and pastrami have crowded it out, along with all the other sausages and meats that we didn't have before. It's a shelf room issue, for one thing, and it's sort of fallen off the deli customers' radar. But that was one of my favorite sandwich meats, too.

          1. A while back I asked the owner of the butcher shop where I buy our meats, why he didn't stock the product. He told me that there were no domestic (meaning USA) suppliers. That all the product was imported from Argentina, thus subject to the import ban.

            True, or not, I have no idea.

            2 Replies
            1. re: RedTop

              Since when were Argentine beef imports banned? They've been a major supplier of canned beef for ages. Did some embargo happen when I wasn't looking?

              1. re: Will Owen

                Among other sources out there, is this very short explaination of what caused the original import ban in the US.


                Wikipedia has several references to the ban also, but I don't use it for attribution.