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Corned Beef FAQ

Once again as we near the start of Spring it’s time to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day! In Ireland, beef was scarce and the traditional meal for their celebrations consists of leg of lamb, maybe shepherd’s pie, and potatoes. As beef was, and is, plentiful in America, Irish immigrants who wanted to share in the luxuries life in America made accessible to them would use an ancient method of preserving beef using salt and other spices in a brine. This process came to be known as “corned” because the salt used resembled kernels of corn. Cuts of beef that were less expensive, like brisket and cuts from the round, were soaked in this brine for a period of time so the salt and spices could break down the connective tissue of the well-worked muscles to create a tenderer piece of meat with enhanced flavor. By utilizing a slow cooking process the beef becomes fork tender, and the Irish had the centerpiece for their celebration. The Tradition continues today. As with all of your important meals, Adams wants to be a part of helping you make it memorable. Thank you for making a place for us at your table!

How much Corned Beef do I need?

• Around 1/2lb per person. A 2-3lb corned beef should serve 4-6 people. Today’s corned beef, cooked properly, should not shrink a significant amount.

What cuts of beef are used for Adams Corned Beef?

• The most utilized cut, and the cut that performs the best, is beef brisket, a heavily worked muscle. Brisket is full of connective tissue, comprised mostly of collagen. That collagen is going to need a bit of time to be converted into gelatin. Brisket is perfect for this since it has the right amount of fat and connective tissue. As it is cooked the gelatin will mix with the fat to create a wonderful flavor and tenderness profile. In the past brisket was one of the least expensive cuts of beef, but with the rise of the smoked and barbeque trends in restaurants, brisket has become increasingly costly. At Adams we take another heavily worked muscle, the bottom round, and cut it in such a way that it retains some of the look and characteristics of a brisket, yet is a slightly leaner piece of beef, and less expensive. We call this our Farm Market Corned Beef. With this cut you will experience great flavor and tenderness and stay well within your food budget.

How do I cook my Corned Beef?

• The slow cooking method, either moist or dry, is the best way to making your corned beef tender and delicious. Bringing a pot of water to a boil, using the spice packet, placing the corned beef so it’s completely immersed in the water, turning the heat down to simmer, and simmering for 3-4 hours is the easiest way. Use your fork to check for tenderness. The corned beef will still be pink due to the brining process. Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing thinly against the grain.

Why the spice packet?

• The packet has spices which are specially mixed to add to and enhance the flavor of your corned beef while it is cooking. Just open it up and pour the spices in as the water is boiling.

How long can I keep cooked Corned Beef?

• If you refrigerate your leftovers immediately, they will last 3 days in your refrigerator, and 2 months in your freezer. Don’t forget the leftovers are great for corned beef hash!

Do you have a Corned Beef Recipe?

• We sure do! Click to view our St. Patrick’s Day Recipes