Experimenting With Buffalo - "Corned Beef"
As you may know, we began our partnership with Kampkreek Dairies shortly after taking over the Pork Shoppe in January of 2023. Kampkreek Dairies is a Mediterranean Buffalo farm from Sebringville, only 20 minutes away from our shop. Kampkreek offers fresh buffalo meats as well as pepperettes and summer sausage, and even buffalo milk products like butter, ice cream and cheese!
Being a big fan of cured meats, I was curious if water buffalo brisket turned into a "corned beef" would be a good product to sell at the Pork Shoppe. So for our first order from Kampkreek, we ordered a couple buffalo briskets to try out this experiment.
Here is the recipe I used:
3.8 liters water
300 grams kosher salt
5 teaspoons pink curing salt
3 tablespoons pickling spices
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 lbs buffalo brisket
Toast and crush the spices
Add all ingredients except brisket to a pot. Bring to a boil, then cool completely.
Add the brisket to the brine and allow to cure for 7 days in the fridge. Ensure brisket is fully submerged, and flip it over daily.
Remove brisket from brine and rinse off the brisket with cold water. Discard brine.
Put brisket in pot and submerge under 1 inch of water. Simmer for 3-4 hours until fork tender.
Slice across the grain!
After completing this process and slicing my brisket I was a little disappointed to find out that my brine did not completely penetrate into my briskets! There was a small grey band of uncured meat in the center of them. So an extra day or two in the brine would have been better.
However, it was still very tasty, although a little tough when cold. It was definitely best when it was warm. So to get the full experience, I sliced up the whole briskets and made myself an awesome sandwich with products in the shop. St Jacobs Foods Sauerkraut, Caplansky's Spicy Mustard, as well as some Aunties Grove sandwich pickles all on our wheat & rye bread came together for the perfect combination.
After completing this recipe and giving a few samples to friends and family, I had to do some math on this recipe to see if it was something that could be sold in the shop.
The Unfortunate News
After doing the math, I came across some unfortunate numbers. With my original price per pound of the briskets, including 10% weight loss from trimming off the fat and an almost 50% weight loss after curing and cooking, I would have to retail this product at $22.99 per pound for it to be sold at a profit in our shop. And as much as everyone would like to try it out, this is unfortunately way too expensive to be sold at any reasonable volume. So, for the time being, this project has been shelved under the "too expensive" category.
However, If you would like to try out this recipe yourself, we are able to do custom orders from Kampkreek Dairies for primal cuts like these briskets, or even whole striploins, ribeyes, T-Bones and porterhouses. So feel free to reach out to us and let us know what you would like! We also currently carry the following Kampkreek products in the Shoppe:
- ground buffalo
- buffalo burgers
- buffalo tenderloin steaks
- buffalo sausage (4 varieties)
- buffalo pepperettes
- buffalo summer sausage
- buffalo gouda and gruyere