I got up to Falvo's recently to pick up my corned beef along with some beef short ribs. I've never bought a corned beef that was prepared "in-house" and I was curious to see if there would be a discernible difference between the more commercially, vacuum-packed variety. And the short ribs? They were on sale and the butchers at Falvo's do such a beautiful job trimming them that I couldn't resist.
I shop sales. It's the only way I know to maximize my dollars and the Lilly boys do enjoy eating like princes. I've gotten more savvy during this past year of being solely responsible for the grocery shopping and I don't mind making the effort to stop at the butcher every few weeks to stock up the freezer. I find it particularly efficient to call ahead with my order so that it is prepared and packaged when I arrive. I figure it saves me time and also allows the folks at the butcher to work at their preferred pace.
When I arrived to pick up my items, I couldn't resist peeking at the beautiful meat in the deli cases. The steaks looked great, as did the array of house made sausages. But then my eye was drawn to a two-page print out of a blog posting from the Times Union. A blog post from Vinoteca, the blog I contribute to a few times a month. A blog post that I wrote! I'm smiling as I type this because it really was one of the coolest things to come from my writing...
I introduced myself to the gentleman I perceive to be the owner, as the writer of that piece and we made a connection. It turns out he had fielded my phone call when I called that afternoon from BJ's looking for rack of lamb. We chatted a bit about the rack of lamb and the importance of supporting local independent businesses and the increase in the amount of lamb he is selling to those who read the piece as they shop. Very, very cool.
And the corned beef? It was tender and flavorful and lean almost to a fault. The salt content was a bit intense for me but I think I should have asked for some cooking instructions. I ended up tossing it in the crockpot overnight in a pool of beef stock, but next time will use a combination of beer and plain water, maybe adding a peeled potato to absorb a bit of the salt from the brine. It was a quality piece of beef for sure and I'll be happy to buy Falvo's corned beef in the future.