I love getting cooking tips from strangers. Last year after Saint Patrick’s Day, a guy waiting alongside me at the Whole Foods butcher counter told me that he waits until after Saint Patty’s to buy corned beef. The price goes down so I buy a bunch to really enjoy it, he said. He looked like he was in his early 30s and more of a dude than someone who monitored prices at the Whole Foods butcher counter.
I kept his tip in my back pocket and passed on the corned beef for March 17. My husband Rory was okay with it, despite his fondness for wearing a shamrock lapel pin and other greenish clothes on St. Patty's Day. Rory's surname is O'Brien. His only caveat was that I make him a corned beef sandwich. Can I make a Viet-Irish banh mi? He agreed.
The corned beef price at Whole Foods didn't change on March 18. I was crestfallen and worried that we'd totally lost out because I was trying to save money. Finally on Friday, March 20, the price dropped from around $8.99 to $5.49 per pound. I scored a nearly 2-pound piece made from the brisket.