I’ve searched for recipes for a store bought, prepared corned beef brisket and found times and temperatures all over the map. 135F for 48 hours was tasty, but just a bit too chewy. 185F for 10 hours just didn’t sound right (though I didn’t try it, so who knows?) I just tried 145F for 48 hours and it came out like mashed potatoes. I mean seriously, I could squeeze it between my fingers and make pâté. It just doesn’t seem possible that this was a case of too hot and/or too long. I’m guessing it was the tenderizer that it was packed in (papain, maybe?).
Which raises the obvious question – how can we possibly trust a store bought corned beef if there’s no ‘standard’ for tenderization? I fully plan to buy a fresh brisket for next St. Patty’s Day and do it right, but there are times when I know I’m going to have a taste for a Reuben in a couple of days (who knows if the urge will last the ten days it takes to do it right?)