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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

The Perfection of Corned Beef

Are you ready for the wearing of the green? I know I am! St. Paddy's day is March 17th and Whole Foods Market Team Members are all set to help you serve up that traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage. Now here's something you may not know: "corned" beef isn't a cut of meat. It's a beef brisket that's been cured or pickled in brine seasoned with "corns"-now called "grains"-of salt. We have two delicious corned beef options for your table. All of our stores carry a great prepackaged corned beef brisket from Wellshire Farms made exclusively for Whole Foods Market. Also, a number of our meat departments develop their own brine and pickle the briskets right there in the store. Whichever you choose, you are going to come home with a winner. Here's what the folks at Wellshire Farms say about their corned beef brisket:
We first began making a Corned Beef Brisket for Whole Foods Market for St. Patrick's Day in 1996. Wellshire, as a standard, uses only beef that has been raised without the use of antibiotics or growth promoting hormones. Our slow cooked recipe has been passed down for generations. Other than the beef, ingredients include: water, sea salt, raw sugar, beet powder, spices and garlic. The outside is coated with chopped and crushed bay leaves, mustard seed and allspice, ingredients you would use at home. We use a beet powder to add a natural sweet flavor and it gives a pinkish color to the outward appearance. When you thinly slice our corned beef, you can see the pure, authentic brown color of the beef. As you bite into a slice of Wellshire corned beef, you get a natural clean taste and moist bite, unlike the somewhat rubbery texture of conventional briskets.
You can also ask your local store if they are brining their own briskets this year. We make what is called "gray corned beef." This is beef brisket or round cut that's pickled in a salt-based brine. We don't add any sodium nitrates or nitrites, so the corned beef is gray in color. Since a lot of folks are not used to the gray color, we add some beet powder to make the meat a little pink. Regardless of the color, the flavor is definitely authentic and delicious. So, now you know where to get the best corned beef for your meal. What's the best way to cook the traditional corned beef and cabbage dish? Wellshire put together this easy five-step recipe and video.

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I like to shake up tradition a little with one of my favorites, Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls. Do you have a favorite recipe for St. Patrick's Day or for corned beef? Let me know so I can give it a try. Erin Go Bragh!