Bubbyswhollycow’s Weblog

Homemade Pastrami
July 8, 2008, 2:10 pm
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We had dinner at Marlow and Sons the other night.  They were serving grass fed homemade pastrami, which seemed like a great idea. So, we are making it today.  It will take a couple weeks to make, so here is the recipe, and the report will follow.

THe first thing you have to do is corn the beef. Many recipes call for saltpeter, which scares me. They give it to prisoners so they won’t have properly functioning wienies. No one wants that, probably not even a prisoner.

So, to corn the beef, you make a pretty simple brine, making sure the brine is cold before putting the brisket in to sit for a couple weeks.  Also, with the grass fed briskets, there is very little fat.  We are removing the deckle, which is the fatty piece on the butt end of the brisket. One more thing: you don’t want refrigerator smell getting into your brisket. We are going to marinate in doubled oven bags, aka turkey bags.

For the marinade:

4 quarts water
1 cup kosher salt
12 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons pickling spices
8 bay leaves
2 TBL Juniper Berries
1 TBL Black Peppercorns

Bring water to a simmer with the spices and salt. Off the heat, add the garlic. Cool the brine so the meat doesn’t cook.  Cool it down to 45 degrees.

Trim a brisket so there is only 1/4 inch of fat.  Remove the deckel.  Place trimmed brisket in a doubled oevn bag (turkey bag).  Seal very well.  Marinate for 2 weeks.  (ALWAYS DATE THE BAG)

THEN: To pastrami the corned beef…

Grind together the following spices to make your pastrami rub

5 tablespoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons hot Hungarian paprika
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons mustard seeds
1 tablespoon juniper berries
10 cloves garlic, minced

Rub the corned brisket with your pastrami rub.  Allow to sit overnight in a new oven bag. (I mean, don’t use the old one.) Then, smoke the brisket at 200-225 until it reaches an internal temperature of 170. Allow to cool rest for at least ten minutes before slicing.

I will keep you posted on how this turns out.  I’m nervous about it. Catch you in 2 weeks for Pastrami Update