Thursday, March 17, 2011

Where's The Beef

If you ask me what I miss most about Adelaide, and if I speak from the heart, I have to say my butcher. It is not because his meats were a cut above the rest, but because he would put up with my Yank vocabulary when ordering and he was easy on the eyes. A patient and cute butcher, what more could a woman want?
So my arrival in Perth has involved a search for the perfect butcher. There is no doubt my quest has unveiled everything from inexpensive prices, quality cuts, to exotic meats. Unfortunately, I have yet to find the "perfect" knife bearing individual.
So this past Monday I found myself in a bit of dilemma. With St. Patrick's Day less than a week away I needed a slab of mammal for my home-corned beef brisket. Of course, I didn't need the choicest cut, but I wanted something fresh that would ensure that the once a year dish would live up to its full potential.
I decided to bite the bullet and take the 30 minute walk over to Northbridge where I was sure I could find a point-cut brisket, that when prepared correctly, would become something special. My only fear was that I had yet to establish a working relationship with this "new" butcher. I was worried that my server would be able to understand my foreign vocabulary, and I couldn't help but wonder if an American brisket is the same as an Australian brisket.
I took a deep breath before entering the small store. No eye-candy here, but I was quickly waited on by a young gentleman behind the counter. As I asked for a brisket, I watched his face for a reaction, and was thrilled that the only response was how much. My answer of no more than 2 kilos, had him quickly leave to the back room. He soon returned to inform me that I would have to wait since he need another guy to help him move the meat from the hook. I imagined a half-cow hanging from above, and pictured the butcher trimming away a small roast from the breast section beneath the first five ribs, behind the foreshank. My image was soon shattered when the butcher returned  with a whole flat cut brisket--about 10 pounds worth--and threw it on the scale.  Ooops, perhaps I should have explained what I was looking for!
No worries, after a bit of a chat we were able to determine the boneless point cut beef brisket was in need of is, in fact. a piece of silverside (at least here in Australia). I even learned that a scotch fillet is just a rib-eye with the bone removed.  So he may not exactly fill his predecessor's shoes, but it looks like I've had a little Irish luck and found a new butcher.

Home-Corned Beef Brisket (Silverside)

1/2 cup kosher salt
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, cracked
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 tablespoon paprika
2 bay leaves, crumbled
2 kilo point cut beef brisket (silverside)

1. Mix salt and seasonings in small bowl
2. Spear brisket 30 times per side with metal skewer. Rub each side evenly with salt mixture.
3. Place in 2-gallon-size zipper-lock bag, forcing out as much air as possible. Place in pan large enough to hold it. Cover with second, similar-size pan, and weight with two bricks or heavy cans of similar weight.
4. Refrigerate 3 to 5 days, turning once a day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Maya, :) I'm glad in the end that you found yourself a new butcher in your new home of Perth.