I like corned beef….real corned beef. Short of making it at home or going to some esteemed purveyor like the Carnegie Deli in NYC (sandwich, $17.95), it’s becoming not so easy to find. Oh, sure, lots of deli counters have a slab of meat that they will shave into bits for you – some pressed, chopped, and formed (PCF) “roast”, that resembles ‘real’ corned beef in texture and taste. But to me, it’s not the same.
Corned beef got its name in England, where it was traditionally a salt-cured brisket, and the ‘corn’ reference was not from the grain, but rather that they used “corns of salt” in the curing.
Not in the mood to make and wait at home, and certainly not of the mindset for the PCF type, I was intrigued to see some new packaging at my local grocer, Stone Ridge Ranch “Shaved Deli Style” Corned Beef. It’s a heat and eat product, and not having read the label close enough, and by its packaging, I thought it was a mini-sized brisket. 14 oz for about $8.
Stone Ridge is a meat processor in suburban Los Angeles (PSI Foods) that provides a wide variety of pre-cooked foods, under their own name or private label, to groceries and food services.
The packaging says that the product is made from “the finest 100% USDA inspected beef. The beef is hand trimmed with just the right amount of marbling to ensure that wonderful melt-in-your-mouth flavor and tenderness.”
The meat comes vacuum sealed in a tray, already sliced.
It is very marbled. Marbled is an industry term used to describe the amount of fat content visual to the naked eye. In layman’s terms “streaks of white.” Most meat connoisseurs say that fat is what gives beef its flavor. The world’s most expensive beef, Kobe, from Japan, is highly marbled.
The flavor is good, very mild, and as promised on the package, the meat is deli sliced. It makes a good sandwich and is a relatively good value compared to deli counter offerings.
While the marbling exceeds my personal taste, it might suit yours.