I've been working up to this day! I smoked a couple of store-bought corned beefs into pastrami. They came out real good, but I felt like I was cheating, so I decided to start from scratch, well, from raw, uncured meat, that is. So a few weeks back, I did a prototype using some cheap (<$1/lb) pot roast type meat. I cured it using Tender Quick and following Morton's recipe for corned beef. After curing, I put a rub of black peppercorns, coriander and mustard seed on it to form a crust. I smoked it to an IT of 175 and got exactly the taste I've been looking for, but not the consistency since it was the wrong cut of meat. Also, most of the rub fell off as it handled throughout the process.
So now I've got a 6 pound whole packer brisket curing in the basement and I've got a question. When I was a kid, I worked in a deli. When the cook unpacked a pastrami, it had a nice thick crust of seeds all over it, most of which managed to stay on even after it was sliced. That's kind of what I have in mind in an ideal pastrami. I was thinking I'd maybe rub a bunch of mustard on the packer and see if that will serve as the glue to keep the crust more intact. Am I going in the right direction here?
As always, thanks in advance for any help. I promise Qview of the results.