• You do not need to register if you are not going to pay the yearly fee to post. If you register please click here or log in go to "settings" then "my account" then "User Upgrades" and you can renew.

Pastrami

GoBlueDavid

Red Shirt
So I've been wanting to make pastrami the old school way, and I finally broke down and did it. Got a 5 lb brisket and cut it in half. Brined in the fridge for a week in pickling spice, curing salt, garlic, and brown sugar. Then soaked it in water overnight to desalinate a little bit, then rubbed a brown sugar, coriander, and black pepper rub and smoked it for 4 hours. Then back in the fridge overnight, and then steamed it for 4 hours and finally was able to eat it.

It came out really well, but I'm excited about the other half that is still in my fridge brining. Once it hits a month, I'll make it. I do now understand why many people don't do this anymore, because it is a LONG process.




Looks REALLY good Goodnterribles!! Would have loved to tip a pint with you and enjoyed a little!!

Here is the recipe I have used... fell in love with the 'soft and smoky' Montreal Smoked Meat.... it's like a National culinary obsession there

Montreal Smoked Meat Recipe BY : Stephane Prescott

http://www.dvo.com/FacebookRecipes/0331_231206452.html?CID=Facebook
 

BasilLongfellow

HMax's Royal Member
5 Year Member
Thanks Basil! I tweaked mine a little bit with the brine and the amount of pepper I put in the rub. And while my first brisket brined for almost a week, the 2nd one has been in there for over 3 weeks now, so we'll see how that turns out.
How has the month long brining turned out?
 

goodnterribles

Regulators! Let's mount up.
5 Year Member
How has the month long brining turned out?
So it had amazing pastrami flavor, but it wasn't as tender as the first batch. I think I should have smoked it a little longer but the temp of the brisket after I steamed it was 203, so I thought it was good.
 

BasilLongfellow

HMax's Royal Member
5 Year Member
So it had amazing pastrami flavor, but it wasn't as tender as the first batch. I think I should have smoked it a little longer but the temp of the brisket after I steamed it was 203, so I thought it was good.
Good to know. I'm making mine for the opening Thur-Fri of March Madness. I'll leave it in until then and smoke it the day before. I'll plan on smoking it for 6-8 hours at 185-215.
 

goodnterribles

Regulators! Let's mount up.
5 Year Member
Good to know. I'm making mine for the opening Thur-Fri of March Madness. I'll leave it in until then and smoke it the day before. I'll plan on smoking it for 6-8 hours at 185-215.
Ah, so you smoke it all the way to temp. I was just following that recipe that said to smoke it until you hit the stall, then wrap it and leave it overnight in the fridge. Then steam it on the stovetop until it hits 203-205. Next time I'll smoke it longer so it won't have to steam as much.

And thanks for the reminder about March Madness. Gotta start thinking about what I'm gonna cook. Best 2 days of the year.
 

chicago husker

Scout Team
2 Year Member
I've made pastrami at home many times, and it boils down to 3 simple steps (and a lot of lead time):

1. Curing (Corning)
2. Smoking
3. Steaming

Without step 3, it's simply smoked corned beef. Certainly nothing wrong with it, but it's not pastrami.

Some people skip step 1 by buying a corned beef brisket and rinsing well before smoking. I prefer to cure my brisket. Also, you can either wet cure or dry cure, which is the more traditional method. I do both, depending on my mood.

For meat, plate is the traditional cut for pastrami. Since that cut, as well as full packer briskets, are difficult to find where I live, I get 7-8 lb untrimmed choice flats in the cryobag.

The process I use is pretty much as follows:

1. Prepare and apply the cure. Put weights on top of the brisket and weight it down (I use foil lined bricks). Turn meat twice a day for 5 days. Remove and rinse the meat then soak in fresh water for 3 hours (change the water every hour).
2. Coat the meat with a mixture of 1 part cracked coriander seeds to 2 parts cracked black peppercorns. Cover the meat and weight it down in a refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
3. Traditionally, pastrami is first cold-smoked then hot-smoked to achieve a heavier smoke. My work-around is to put the meat in the freezer for an hour before starting the smoke. I smoke at 200˚F, using cherrywood, to an internal temp of 160˚F (about 8 hours). I then foil and weight the meat down in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
4. For service, I preheat the oven to 275˚F. I put about an inch of water in a roasting pan and put the smoked brisket, on a cooling rack with short legs, into the pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil and steam for 3-4 hours.
5. Remove, slice, and serve with good quality rye, mustard, homemade Russian dressing, slaw, and a cold beer, of course.

Note that some people advocate that, after steaming the meat as in step 4, to foil it and weight it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. They then follow with a 2nd steaming for 30 minutes. I haven't done this and don't really see a need to.
 

goodnterribles

Regulators! Let's mount up.
5 Year Member
I've made pastrami at home many times, and it boils down to 3 simple steps (and a lot of lead time):

1. Curing (Corning)
2. Smoking
3. Steaming

Without step 3, it's simply smoked corned beef. Certainly nothing wrong with it, but it's not pastrami.

Some people skip step 1 by buying a corned beef brisket and rinsing well before smoking. I prefer to cure my brisket. Also, you can either wet cure or dry cure, which is the more traditional method. I do both, depending on my mood.

For meat, plate is the traditional cut for pastrami. Since that cut, as well as full packer briskets, are difficult to find where I live, I get 7-8 lb untrimmed choice flats in the cryobag.

The process I use is pretty much as follows:

1. Prepare and apply the cure. Put weights on top of the brisket and weight it down (I use foil lined bricks). Turn meat twice a day for 5 days. Remove and rinse the meat then soak in fresh water for 3 hours (change the water every hour).
2. Coat the meat with a mixture of 1 part cracked coriander seeds to 2 parts cracked black peppercorns. Cover the meat and weight it down in a refrigerator for 8-12 hours.
3. Traditionally, pastrami is first cold-smoked then hot-smoked to achieve a heavier smoke. My work-around is to put the meat in the freezer for an hour before starting the smoke. I smoke at 200˚F, using cherrywood, to an internal temp of 160˚F (about 8 hours). I then foil and weight the meat down in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
4. For service, I preheat the oven to 275˚F. I put about an inch of water in a roasting pan and put the smoked brisket, on a cooling rack with short legs, into the pan. Cover the pan tightly with foil and steam for 3-4 hours.
5. Remove, slice, and serve with good quality rye, mustard, homemade Russian dressing, slaw, and a cold beer, of course.

Note that some people advocate that, after steaming the meat as in step 4, to foil it and weight it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. They then follow with a 2nd steaming for 30 minutes. I haven't done this and don't really see a need to.
The next I make it, I'll have to try steaming it in the oven. I did it entirely on the stovetop, which made it take longer.
 

KingTM

All Big 10
5 Year Member
Ah, so you smoke it all the way to temp. I was just following that recipe that said to smoke it until you hit the stall, then wrap it and leave it overnight in the fridge. Then steam it on the stovetop until it hits 203-205. Next time I'll smoke it longer so it won't have to steam as much.

And thanks for the reminder about March Madness. Gotta start thinking about what I'm gonna cook. Best 2 days of the year.
n00b. ;)
 
Last edited:

BasilLongfellow

HMax's Royal Member
5 Year Member
Thanks Basil! I tweaked mine a little bit with the brine and the amount of pepper I put in the rub. And while my first brisket brined for almost a week, the 2nd one has been in there for over 3 weeks now, so we'll see how that turns out.
Thirty days in the brine. Off to soak for a day in fresh water and I'll smoke it tomorrow for 6-8 hours, then steam for 2. Then I'm going to refrigerate, slice, and freeze.

IMG_0116.jpg
 

CrabHusker

Alienating everyone, one post at a time.
5 Year Member
I've cooked so many different things from scratch, but this wasn't on that list. How I made it this far in life not trying this is beyond me.

That won't be the case for long.
 
Top