St. Patrick’s Day is fast approaching and the most commonly served meal on that day (at least in America) is corned beef. Where does corn beef come from? The answer is the brisket. The part of the cow brisket is located is in the front of the cow, toward the bottom, near the cow’s front legs. Since the cow uses that area a lot this is a tough cut of beef, so a slow cooking method must be used. Yet it is worth your time because it is a flavorful cut.
When choosing a brisket, unless you buy the entire brisket, you will have to choose between a flat cut and a point cut. It is very easy to tell the difference by just looking at the cuts.
Point Cut Brisket
A point cut comes to a point at one end. The point cut has a lot of fat running through it, so when you cook it, it comes out nice and juicy. This cut is harder to find in supermarkets, as it isn’t as attractive of a cut as the flat. This is a good choice if you plan on shredding the meat when finished cooking.
Flat Cut Brisket
The flat cut is a much leaner cut than the point. However it still has a layer of fat on the bottom, that will keep the meat moist. This is the cut you will most often find in supermarkets, as it looks more appealing the the point cut. If you are looking for brisket that will slice up nicely, this is your best bet. It is also the cut used most often when you buy packaged corned beef.
Which is Brisket Cut is Better: Flat or Point
It just depends on what you are going to do. Point Cut is good for shredding, but for corned beef opt for the flat cut. In the Good Eats episode “Pickled Pink”, Alton Brown choose a flat cut to make his own corned beef. I prefer the flat cut as the point cut is too fatty for my tastes.
How to Quickly Cure/Brine Your Own Corned Beef
Once you have choosen your type of brisket you will need to cure or brine it to get the flavor you want, unless it comes already pre-brined. I have come up with a method to do this fast (overnight or 24 hours) – it’s a dry rub that employs some dry aging methods. Check out my post – How Can I Quickly Brine Corned Beef