Discussion in 'Beef' started by jc1947, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. jc1947

    jc1947 Smoking Fanatic

    Just trying to gain some knowledge as I am buying a side of beef.

    What cuts of meat besides brisket can I make pastrami from and how?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I believe you can make pastrami out of just about any cut of meat. If I remember correctly from a post way back you can make corned beef out of a lot of cuts its considered corn beef because it has been cured in a brine solution. Once you have corned beef you smoke it and then you have pastrami. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.  Hope that helps. Pops would be the man to get a positive answer on which cuts will work the best.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  3. jc1947

    jc1947 Smoking Fanatic


    Thank you muchly
  4. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm sure there are certain cuts that will work better than others so hopefully others can chime in on that. Obviously the main cut you usually see is the brisket but other cuts will work as well I'm sure.
  5. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ross has you covered.  Corning comes from the salt curing process.  The chunks of salt used in the curing process being corn like some would say, but much of that is lost in history.

    I have been planning on corning a silverside roast, as I have read that the Aussies prefer that for their corned beef.  While a bit more expensive, there would be less waste and the end product would be much leaner.  Once corned, all that is needed would be a pastrami rub and some smoke.

    The purists will tell you that it must come from "navel" meat.  The brisket as we know it is more common for American corned beef.  Actually, all sorts of meat like turkey are now being sold as pastrami, referring to the process more than to the original dish made famous in the old New York Jewish deli's.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  6. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    We do like silver side down this way.I thought the" corn" came from the British.The salt they used to salt the beef was the size of a grain of corn. So it became corn salt do differentiate it from other salt. Back on the farm we did corn roll which was I think a piece of what we call brisket,rolled ,tied then done as corn beef.Sort of thing that was served as cold cuts on hot days with mustard pickle, cheap so often on the table in shearing sheds when the farmer had to supply meals to the shearing teams. Hot corned beef,mashed spuds ,carrots & parsley sauce still one of those old time meals that take you back. Nostalgia is a funny thing isnt it?Now Im hungry
    hurriken likes this.
  7. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I smoke corn beef all the time to make pastrami, it is good
  8. roller

    roller Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    He is right...
  9. jc1947

    jc1947 Smoking Fanatic

    Thank you all.

    I have smoked corn beef and like it but I am wondering what other cuts work as well?

  10. jc1947

    jc1947 Smoking Fanatic


    What is a silverside roast?

  11. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Beyond brisket and beef plate, I have had great results using sirloin tip roast for pastrami. Any good boneless solid chunk of beef should work well.
  12. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm with Moikel on the corning term coming from the Brits.

    It is complicated, tho.  The Brits in early recipes often used the term "corn" to mean the the "dominant grain".  For this reason, many old Brit recipes used the term "corn" to mean "wheat" before "maize" was imported from the Americas.  Back then, wheat was a dominant grain in much of Europe. In either case, the lumps of salt used for dry curing were often referred to as corn?  Not the corn (maize) that we think of as Americans.  Rather lumps of grain like things they called "corn" which was probably wheat in ancient Europe.  Is that confusing enough?

    Good luck and good smoking.
  13. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I just remember the corn as a size for the salt granules,I saw something on TV maybe  on Rick Steins food hero's where he went around Britain championing old traditional farming & products. Rare pig breeds,old fashioned apple cider,traditional hams,smoked fish etc you get the picture. He was in some town that was famous for shipping corn beef around the world way back in the days.I reckon Venture is spot on about the dominant grain thing.
  14. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    JC, this one has puzzled me for a long time.  Pops made a great post on this, but I can't find it now.  Maybe he will weigh in?

    Silverside is not a term you will see much in the US.  Best I can tell it comes off what we would call the bottom round.  See:

    Due to the conflicting terms, part of the round and the bottom sirloin, or even the sirloin itself get all mixed up erroneously.  Many of these terms come from marketing terms for meat, rather than true cuts, and different countries have different terminology, too..  To make it even more confusing, the true cuts of meat are changing all the time as butchers separate out muscle groups from what were once subprimal cuts.  They have learned that selling cuts from muscle groups often reaps better profit than how they used to cut up the subprimals.

    I hope this helps until Pops comes along.  He will probably post great pics.  Whatever he tells you will be good to take to the bank!  LOL

    Good luck and good smoking.
  15. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I will get answer in so far as down under is concerned on my way home from work today.My butcher is only 400metres from my house.
  16. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Good deal Moikel!

    The terms used in your part of the world are different from ours in the US.  Even the breaking down of the beef carcass are different in your terms than ours.

    This should be a great learning experience for all of us.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  17. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I reckon topside & silverside are used here interchangeably .Seems to me its the outside portion of the leg  below the rump. Pretty lean,propels  steer along so bit chewy,probablely why its turned into corned beef here. Makes a great pot roast,I can get wagu x angus topside at $19 a kg. outstanding product. Topside is what I bought for buffalo pastrami project as well. Still a work in progress. I have the charts here for pork cuts but the chinese butchers cut it different again. 
  18. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When in doubt pull out my dearly departed mothers cookbooks. Man that woman could cook.Silverside =the outside rear portion of the hind leg.The name silverside comes from the sheen of its internal surface.Topside  = inner thigh portion of hindquarter. Round steak or thick flank=front portion of the thigh of the hind leg. I think in the USA you call  all of it round.Down under the next cut moving forward is rump(thickly fleshed part of hips) then sirloin whereas you guys call them sirloin collectively. Hope this helps The silverside does make great cornbeef/pastrami.
  19. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    "Silverside" that part of the sirloin tip/bottom round that has a silver membrane on it that has to be removed lest it be tough and sinewy; it is the outer sheath of the muscle group.  It actually is best shown in a slice of ham vs. beef, as the ham slice is not separated into it's subprimals:

    You can see the sirloin tip and the bottom round and they are separated by a muscle group line, which is the silver membrane.  Likewise on the other side of the bone to a lesser amount between the top round and the sirloin tip, but moreso a softer, fattier line than the harder muscle sheath of the bottom/tip.  The side of the sirloin tip next to the bottom is referred to as 'silverside' as well as the adjoining side of the bottom round because they both share the same silver membrane, so 'silverside' can come from both sirloin tip and bottom round. 


    In a previous post I showed 'silverside' as part of the sirloin tip, which is commonly referred to as such:


    Likewise, adjoining to it is the bottom round:


    or from the whole bottom round/gooseneck:


    another shot of untrimmed silverside on the bottom round:


    Hope this explains it!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  20. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Any cut of meat can be "corned". For me though, pastrami is just not pastrami if it's not from a brisket.

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