If you’re even an occasional reader of this site, you know two things for sure – I have a diminishing interest in purchasing most ‘deli meats’ because of real or perceived notion they aren’t ‘real.’ By that I am generally referring to two things – ‘roasts’ that are formed from meat and other ingredients into a shape that is easy for uniform slicing and appearance, and also the growing trend to enhance weight and flavor with injections of brine solutions, which I personally feel just ruins the texture of real meat muscle.
The second thing you would be aware of as a regular visitor here is that I am fond of the products made by Chicago’s premier hot dog manufacturer, Vienna Beef. They make great hot dogs, sausages, and a compliment of condiments. So I thought I would try out their deli corned beef and pastrami.
In the deli counter, the roasts appeared to be whole muscle briskets. The price currently exceeds $14 per pound. Examining the ingredients, there does not appear to be any fillers or brine, and it looks like a whole roast, when sliced, as the slices are not uniform in appearance, as far as both shape and fat content. I inquired of Vienna about the composition and ingredients of these two deli products, but they did not reply.
I’m gonna guess, and hope, that they are whole muscle cuts. My only reservation is the price, but all meats are stupid priced these days. If you’re making an overstuffed sandwich, with 8 ounces of meat, it breaks down like this: a pound each of pastrami and corned beef, roughly $31. One half pound of cheese, $6.00. Rye bread. $3. Sauerkraut $0.00, as I make it myself. So $40 / 4 sandwiches? $10 a pop. Wow.
Course go to any large city deli, and the same serving will cost between $17 – $27. Wow even more. BTW? You see the ‘iridescent’ quality in the top slice of meat below? Over the past 20 years, I must have asked dozens of people what causes that, and never received a satisfactory answer. Do you know?
Look for Vienna Beef products in your favorite grocery deli counter; we have some great corned beef whole brisket or slices from Omaha, and pastrami from the Bay Area’s favorite meat company, Saag, in our little store; for something a little different, try Montreal Smoked Meat. Appreciate your reading and business.
Vienna Beef Corned Beef and Pastrami