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Corning Beef Without Brisket?

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I love corned beef, with the pickling spices and all. But the price of brisket seems high to me these days, and sometimes it's not even convenient to find. Anybody have success with corning (if that's the right term) a different, cheaper cut of beef? A slice of chuck for instance? May be a silly question.

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  1. You can brine any piece of meat other than Brisket. Other cuts you will find in your delicatessen department are:

    Top or Bottom Round
    Eye Round.

    1. A few years ago I bought the cheapest beef roast on sale. I can't remember the cut, but it was just fatty and full of connective tissue and stuff. No way would I have roasted it. But I wanted to experiment. I corned it and boiled it and it was the best corned beef I have ever made or had.

      Traditionally corned/salt beef was made from all but the best cuts of the beef.

      1. I am following this thread, as we are corning our first brisket as I type, and was wondering about corning venison....

        1 Reply
        1. I corn chuck and round all the time.

          You need to cure it longer if its thick.

          And a long cook will be needed to tenderize it since its lean. I do it sous vide for 48hrs. Comes out great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sal_acid

            Makes perfect sense...We drove past a Amish dairy farm yesterday, and they were skinning a cow/bull...not sure but it was huge compared to deer, I bet they corn some of that...if only for variety. We never see the Amish in the Amish butcher we use....

          2. In Britain corned beef is made from a cut called "silverside" which is probably top or bottom round. Much better than brisket in my opinion.

            1 Reply
            1. re: drgreg

              Well, thank you to all you folks. I shall give it a whirl !

            2. If you're in the U.S., pre-corned beef is about to go on sale. In my area, they are usually anywhere from $3.99 to 5.99/lb regular price. Around St. Paddy's day, they get reduced to $1.99-$2.99. I've stocked up and frozen them successfully. Do you like the flat or the point?

              3 Replies
              1. re: seamunky

                I hate the flat, love the point. I like the post St. Paddy's Day sales when you can get them for $3-4 each. Then I stock up. But I much prefer to make my own. I may have to start some in the next few days.

                1. re: seamunky

                  I'm not sure why St Paddy's day would be the time for sales. Strange. At Christmas the prime rib goes up in price, but I shall keep my eye out. I try to buy "natural." So my scope may be more narrow. Honestly, I'm inexperienced in the distinction between point cut and flat cut. I assume it designates the two different ends of one primal but I wouldn't know the advantages of one over the other. Nevertheless i'm getting hungry! Thanks

                  1. re: VTB

                    Around here (eastern Massachusetts) it's the loss leader to get you in the store. Cheap corned beef, potatoes, and cabbage. Like the Thanksgiving sales where every store screams it won't be undersold on 49 cent a pound turkey.

                2. Here's the deal. If you want to serve the corned beef hot, then you would be advised to corn a cut that has lots of fat that renders and collagen that breaks down with long cooking - like chuck. If you want to serve the corned beef only cold, round will also work, but round is a lean cut with comparatively little fat and collagen (compared to chuck or brisket), so it's not as good when you try to rewarm it after cooking (unless you take care not to heat it past about 125F - it can be done by the poor man's sous vide in a plastic bag under hot tap water). This is why lean pastrami is OK for cold sandwiches but not nearly as good as brisket/navel for hot pastrami.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Karl S

                    I know a thing or two about meat. I own and am comfortable using a sous vide and a smoker, I cure and smoke my own Montreal smoke meat at home (pastrami's Northern cousin), and know a fair bit of food science and chemistry.

                    Your paragraph is absolutely elegantly put. Simple, concise, correct, comprehensive. Can't imagine making the same point any better than you. Well said- and I agree completely (but *might* suggest the brisket flat might do as well)!

                      1. re: Karl S

                        Among other things, thank for calling to my attention that pastrami (apparently more likely to be skirt or hanger steak) is commonly different from brisket meat

                  2. A brisket doesn't really have the amount of fat that I like in a roast, so I'm a fan of using a chuck roast instead. Here's the recipe I have used from Michael Ruhlman, and been very happy with. I didn't have the pink salt, but it didn't need it. I loved the fattiness of this corned beef. It's been on my rotating menu ever since.

                    http://ruhlman.com/2012/03/corned-bee...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Heidi cooks and bakes

                      I'm lovin that link. Even corning pork. May be time for experimentation... Thx

                    2. It's about 2.50 a pound here, I'm not sure how much cheaper you can get.