The most popular dinner this time of year is corned beef and cabbage! What do you use, the point cut or the round flat cut of corned beef? Don't know the difference? Find out here.

Corned beef is salt-cured brisket of beef. Wikipedia says the name comes from preparing the meat with large-grained rock salt, also called "corns" of salt. Sometimes, sugar and spices are also added to corned beef recipes.

If you got some extra time, I highly suggest you make your own brine. It tastes so much better than using the pickling spice that comes with either the point cut or flat cut. I use the guide from Simply Recipies and use whatever spices I have on hand. I make it different all the time, and it's NEVER tasted bad.

Here's what to do:

  • Make a salty curing brine with pickling spices like mustard seed, allspice berries, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. You may want to research this if you're looking for a specific flavor.
  • Marinate a beef brisket in the brine for 5 to 7 days.
  • Simmer the brined and drained brisket in water with more pickling spices for several hours until tender.

If you're not cooking a whole beef brisket, then you'll need to know what cut to buy—the point cut or the flat round cut.

The flat cut is the biggest portion of the brisket. You'll find a thick layer of fat on the top that will keep the cut moist. The fat also helps to keep it in one piece if not overcooked. This cut makes for a beautiful presentation after it's sliced and served in a sandwich or as part of a full-blown dinner that includes potatoes, cabbage, and carrots.

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The point cut is thicker, smaller, and marbled with more fat and connective tissue than the flat cut. There’s a lot more flavor from the extra fat, but not as much meat, which is why it usually is shredded for sandwiches. On the other hand, some prefer the point because it tends to be more tender and juicy after cooking.

Cooking Corned Beef in Slow Cooker:

    • Place your veggies in a crockpot.
    • Add the corned beef fat side up.
    • Sprinkle the pickling spice.
    • Add enough water to cover the meat.
    • Cook on high until tender about 4 1/4 hours (or 8 1/2 hours on low).

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