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Serious Pastrami

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I just picked up a commercial meat slicer and I'm looking to get that thing in action. I have the smoker and ability to process, but I need a serious pastrami recipe, you know the New York deli pastrami.

A little help anyone?

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  1. You can use a commercial corned beef to save yourself the curing time. Soak it for about a day, changing the water a few times.

    Rub it with a coarse grind of black pepper, coriander, a little mustard seed and some garlic. Smoke it to an internal temperature of about 190 and let it rest. I often will steam them too, which is fairly common, from what I've seen...many delis hold them in a steam box to maintain the moisture.....

    5 Replies
    1. re: BackyardChef

      I'm looking to go through the initial curing process as well as the smoke. BTW, what wood are you finding the best results with?

      1. re: holy chow

        Pecan is great....as are oak and cherry. Anymore I seem to use cherry for everything. Below is a recipe for a dry cure that I like. If you can get your hands on Beef Plate, that's great, otherwise a brisket flat will work just fine. I tend to use brisket, myself.....

        Here is a surprisingly good recipe to start with....from Morton Salt. I like using Tender Quick......It is not a tenderizer, despite the name, but a kind of cure.

        Deli Style Corned Beef

        Prep Time: 5 Days
        Servings: 4-6 pounds

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Ingredients
        One beef brisket, 4-6 lbs
        5 tablespoons Morton® Tender Quick® mix or Morton® Sugar Cure® (plain) mix
        2 tablespoons brown sugar
        1 tablespoon ground black pepper
        1 teaspoon ground paprika
        1 teaspoon ground bay leaves
        1 teaspoon ground allspice
        1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

        --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        Directions

        Trim surface of fat from brisket. In a small bowl, mix Morton® Tender Quick® mix or Morton® Sugar Cure® (plain) mix, remaining ingredients and spices. Rub mixture into all sides of brisket. Place brisket in "food grade" plastic bag and tie end securely. Refrigerate and allow to cure 5 days per inch of meat thickness.
        Place brisket in Dutch oven. Add water to cover. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer until tender, about 3-4 hours.

        For your pastrami apply the rub I described previously and smoke the meat, rather than the cooking instructions included in the Morton recipe.....

          1. re: BackyardChef

            I thought I'd read somewhere that pastrami is made from beef shoulder, not brisket - a little less fatty. Is that an alternative?

            1. re: Bat Guano

              Shoulder is fine, too. In fact, I've heard of Texas bbq joints cooking shoulder clod and calling it brisket...unconfirmed of course (insert winky smiley). A whole shoulder might be slightly harder to slice against the grain since there are mutliple muscle groups and it changes direction, but not too bad. If it is just a piece of shoulder, the grain should be easier to follow......