In my last post, I told you about how I got into this whole mess in the first place and how I wanted to make great pastrami. Then I started to tell you how I was going to make my own pastrami from scratch and how it was going to be the “greatest” ever. Now, in my second post I want to pick up where I left off, “mid corned beef”. By this point, I have found the whole brisket and before I go any further I would like to backtrack just a bit and talk about meat.
Our friends at the USDA have a grading system based on their inspection criteria. Prime being the highest quality and sold only to restaurants. Choice, still high quality but less marbling thus less tender and Select, again, less marbling and less juicy.
I get my meats from Costco, normally it’s Choice but I have heard of some Prime meats being distributed through various locations but I have not seen it at my local Costco. To tell the truth, Choice is just fine. If you can cook Choice like you like it, you can cook anything with minor adjustments to your cooking times and temps. You don’t want to practice on a Wagyu, one of those suckers can cost you as much as $120. The last Choice grade brisket I bought was 10.6lbs and cost 2.26/lbs, a little less than $25 compared to the 175.98 that Lobel’s of New York charges for a Wagyu Brisket or the $47.50 that Paradise Locker Meats charges for a 10lbs brisket. You wouldn’t want to use Wagyu for corning in the first place, it would be a waste of money.
Now that you have a little more background on meats let’s move on with the project. We left of with the brisket sealed in brine quietly resting on the bottom shelf of my fridge. Every so often I’d flip the brisket over just to keep everything working evenly. Fast forward 30 days. The corned beef is as ready as it’s going to get.