Corned beef has but little nutritive value. It is used to give variety to our diet in summer, when fresh meats prove too stimulating. It is eaten by the workingman to give bulk to his food. The best pieces of corned beef are the rattle rand and fancy brisket. The fancy brisket commands a higher price and may be easily told from the rattle rand by the selvage on lower side and the absence of bones. The upper end of brisket (butt end) is thick and composed mostly of lean meat, the middle cut has more fat but is not well mixed, while the lower (navel end) has a large quantity of fat. The rattle rand contains a thick lean end; the second cut contains three distinct layers of meat and fat, and is considered the best cut by those who prefer meat well streaked with fat. The rattle rand has a thin end, which contains but one layer of lean meat and much fat, consequently is not a desirable piece.
Wipe the meat and tie securely in shape, if this has not been already done at market. Put in kettle, cover with cold water, and bring slowly to boiling point. Boil five minutes, remove scum, and cook at a lower temperature until tender. Cool slightly in water in which it was cooked, remove to a dish, cover, and place on cover a weight, that meat may be well pressed. The lean meat and fat may be separated and put in alternate layers in a bread pan, then covered and pressed.