Roberts Corned Beef, a Taste of Old World San Francisco

Our Roberts Corned Beef is a taste of Old World San   Francisco and a staple for St. Patrick’s Day meals. Mollie Stone’s is proud to carry Roberts, which has also found its way onto the menus of Tommy’s Joynt, Lefty O’Doul’s, Marin Joe’s and other quintessential Bay Area restaurants.

roberts corned meats

Roberts is a fifth-generation, family-owned business in San Francisco celebrating 100 years of business. The great-grandfather, G.H. Roberts, arrived in America from New Zealand with a family recipe for corned beef and established his business in San Francisco in 1910.

What makes Roberts Corned Beef truly special is its unique recipe and brining technique. G.H. Roberts’ proprietary technique used a brass needle and foot-operated pump to inject brine directly into the arteries of beef. This method not only distributed the brine more evenly, but reduced soaking time from four weeks to two days. Today, Roberts uses machines to inject the brine into the meat, but the end result is the same: a mild, balanced, phosphate-free cured beef that cooks up tender and moist.

Also essential to the recipe is the cure itself. Roberts uses coarse solar kiln dried rock salt, sugar and water with two curing compounds. Sodium crythorbate (which is an antioxidant with similar structure to vitamin C) and sodium nitrate, which has been used for centuries in preserving and enhances flavor. Roberts says that the San Francisco weather is another secret ingredient that makes their corned beef impossible to replicate elsewhere.

Roberts makes a signature mixture of whole pickling spices and dried red chiles, but is also available plain so you can season it to your own taste. If you decide to use Roberts spices, here’s how they recommend cooking your corned beef along with a recipe for the leftovers.

From Roberts Corned Meats, Inc.

Place meat in cold water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer approximately 3.5 hours or until fork tender. After simmering, remove meat from pot. Coat corned beef with 1/3 part brown sugar and 2/3 part spicy mustard. Bake for 20 minutes at 400F. Serve warm.

Adapted from Roberts Corned Meats, Inc.

Cool and chop leftover corned beef. Steam 3 potatoes, cut in quarters, cool and dice. In frying pan, sauté 1 chopped yellow onion in 1/2 stick butter until golden brown.

Add potatoes and corned beef to the onions. Season with pepper and 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and mix all together.

Heat thoroughly, allow to get brown and crisp on the outside; turn out dish and garnish with poached egg and ketchup if desired.

Optional additions: minced garlic, diced red or green pepper.