Technical Description – Brisket is prepared from the boneless brisket. The fat along the sternum edge is trimmed at the top within 6 mm (1/4") of the lean meat. The deckle and thick layer of fat are removed along its natural seam. The inside surface must be free of all loose fat, gristle, ragged meat and bone cartilage. The outside fat cover is trimmed to an average 6 mm (1/4"). The tapered end is cut square to the sides and must show at least 12 mm (1/2") lean and not more than 6 mm (1/4") of fat. Brisket weighs between 4.4 – 5.4 kg (10 – 12 lb).
Briskets are supplied vacuum sealed and packed 5 – 6 briskets per case. Briskets are also purchased vacuum sealed in brine and cooked as corned beef.
This is often referred to as the Brisket Point.
There are other, less common brisket trim variations including NAMP #118 Bone-in Brisket, NAMP #120A Brisket Boneless Deckle Off and NAMP #120B, Brisket Point Cut, Boneless.
The brisket is considered a tougher section of the carcass, and contains a substantive amount of connective tissue and fat.
The brisket is a desirable muscle if prepared properly, and is an excellent price point value.
The best cooking application for the brisket is to apply a rub and cook the brisket "low and slow" for an extended period of time. It is critical that front-line staff in a meat department are able to convey this to their customers. Examples of these cooking techniques are pot roasting, stewing and American Style BBQ in a smokehouse.
A growing trend in Canada is the slow cooking movement. An application of slow cooking is the American BBQ. In the United States, BBQ is a bit of a cult and the king of the BBQ is the brisket. There are national competitions and a lot of hype around BBQ with many different recipes for BBQ brisket. For an exceptional product, a rub is often put on the outside of the brisket and vigorously applied. The brisket is cooked in a smokehouse at a temperature of about 107°C (225°F) for 12-14 hours to an internal temperature of 96.1°C (205°F). Remove the brisket at about 94°C (200°F). The brisket is rested for 30 minutes to an hour and then carved across the grain. Done properly this is an exceptional eating experience and will appeal to the consumer looking to be a part of the slow cooking movement. Sourcing brisket at retail has been a challenge for tailgaters, foodies and meat hobbyists alike. The brisket may add additional meat sales for the slow cooking enthusiast.
The brisket is an excellent choice for braising applications and performs well because its connective tissue breaks down and creates a nice balance of fat to keep the meat moist and flavourful.
Brisket is also ideal for use in stews.
Brisket is also processed and sliced for Montreal corned beef, smoked meat and pastrami.
Braising, Simmering, Stewing or Pot Roasting
Sandwiches Carved Items
Pastrami NAMP #611s
Corned Beef NAMP #601s
Brisket Tech Sheet
Technical Description - A bone-in foreshank is the item produced from a NAMP #120 Brisket after its separation from a square-cut chuck and brisket. The foreshank is made by a straight cut exposing a cross-section of the humurus bone. The brisket is excluded by a cut through the natural seam.
Shanks are usually supplied vacuumed sealed 2 shanks per package, packed 5 – 6 packages per case.
Shank meat has never been one of the most popular beef items in retail meat markets, but people who understand how to make a really good stew often purchase centre shank, traditionally in a bone-in format.
While there is a lot of connective tissue in the surrounding muscle, using a braising technique will solubilize and break down the tissue - imparting exceptional flavour and creating a wonderfully tender eating experience.
The bones in the foreshank and hind shank are marrow bones and they add another level of richness and elevated taste experience to a properly braised stew.
In Canada, beef shank prepared properly and displayed nicely can elevate meat sales and customer acceptance in the winter season.
Seasonal merchandising should be a careful consideration for all retailers in Canada.
Retailers should remember to remove all of the bone dust from the shanks as shanks are usually sold as bone-in products. Remember that comfort food (braised beef) rules in the winter.
Most shanks sold in retail meat operations are centre-cut shanks. The end bones or knuckles from the shank should be sold for producing soup stock or as pet food to your customers.