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Look for beef brisket that has a clear, red color. Beef normally has a purplish-red color but takes on a cherry-red hue, known as the “bloom,” when exposed to oxygen. While the exterior is bright red, the interior of the meat will retain this darker color. Vacuum-packed beef also shows this purplish color. Packaged beef brisket should be cold and free of punctures or tears; vacuum-packed beef should have its seal intact. The beef should be firm to the touch. Check the “sell-by” date and buy on or before that date.
This is the entire triangular-shaped muscle from the breast of the cow.
Also called flat cut, first cut, or thin cut, the flat half is considered the better half of the brisket.
Also called thick half, this is the thicker half of the brisket.
Corned beef is beef brisket that has been salt-cured to give it a special, tangy taste. It’s called corned beef because the Irish practice was to cure it with corn-sized grains of salt. Today, producers inject the brisket with a seasoned saline solution.
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