12 pound "packer brisket" with a 2/13/2013 sell by...what would you do?
From Lucky's in N. Cal, in cryovac,not labeled choice, but I liked the marbling.
Sort of an impulse buy, $2.99/pound, after cooking a "flat" with just a glimmer of what could be.
The flat I got at Costco, divided and cooked two ways. but don't remember the details. I know slicing and cooking a second time in a bar b q sauce concoction came close, but I also came to understand that "the point" was what I would prefer ( I am Mrs. Sprat).
I would absolutely choose smoking, but I would need to do this on a weekend in my Brinkman charcoal smoker or a gas grill, and I would LOVE to try re-creating my childhood memories of pastrami in Queens.
It seems that I could start with aging in the cryovac, and/or brining for a week or more.
The pastrami recipes I've seen here suggest starting with a corned beef would make more sense, but that's not what I have.
So far I've just procrastinated, and Mr. Sprat is wondering why I have this cow in the refrigerator.
I think I should divide it, and try two things, but can't decide if I should divide it into flat and point, or down the middle. Beef ground for burgers or chili would be fine.
I got cookers block! Help!
You could certainly pickle, brine or smoke the Brisket....but the only cuts I would make into Pastrami are the Deckle of Navel, not Brisket....but I'm a Pastrami snob. The Deckle I am referring to is not the POINT, but rather the outer cap that covers the Rib Eye.
Cut in half....Depending on what you do with the point end, you can keep it whole or separate from the bottom flat.
btw.....if you leave the Brisket in the Cryovac, you can easily keep it for 30 days to let it *Wet-Age* and let the enzymes naturally tenderize it some what.
12 pounds? Cut it into 4 piece of about 3 pounds each. Have Mr. Sprat choose 1 portion for you to cook now, freeze the other 3.
You will not be able to replicate your childhood memories of pastrami in Queens for at least 2 reasons -- 1) your own tastebuds have changed and 2) beef feed / production / handling methods have changed.
A quick search found a Michael Ruhlman detailed recipe for Home Made Pastrami with instructions that start from a 5 pound brisket which is made into corned beef (brined 3 days) then pastrami (smoked, spiced). Looked awful to me, but if you love salt & pickling...
Montreal Smoked Meat will be along the lines of your beloved pastrami. It is somewhat time and labour intensive, and a multi-step process requiring timing (decide when you're going to smoke it/eat it and work backwards planning the curing and other steps involved) but well worth it I think.
Long thread, but includes a detailed recipe with plenty of tips and discussion.