Been a while since I've made pastrami from scratch. Got lazy & was just buying store bought corned beef, but they are just not the same. So I picked up a 15+ lb. packer at Wally World. Separated the point & flat, put it in a brine/cure for 10 days. Threw it on the WSM at 225 & 16 hours later I had pastrami. Here's what I started with.
It's a big boy!
Next I mixed up my brine. I used 1 gal water, 3 level Tbls cure#1, 1/3 cu kosher salt, 1/3 cu brown sugar, 1/3 cu pickling spices, 3 bay leaves, & 1 Tbls granulated garlic.
While everything was dissolving in the water, I rinsed the brisket & dried it off.
I look at the briskets at Walmart every time we go and I just never see a real good one until I saw this guy. It's a real beauty. Anyhow on to separating the point & flat. It's quite easy if your patient & go slow & you must have a real sharp knife. There's a line of fat running between the two & they are easy to see because the grain of the two run different ways. Here I'm starting to slice between the layers.
You can see how rthe head of the point hangs over the end of the brisket and by separating the two you end up with two pieces about 6 inches shorter than the whole brisket. If you have a brisket that won't fit in your smoker and only need a few inches this is one way to get them.
Next I trimmed all the fat & silver skin off.
After I got it all trimmed up I injected the thick parts with the brine/cure. This is the point & it's almost 4" thick.
Here's the pile of fat I trimmed off, not really that much for a brisket this size. I'll put it in the freezer while the brisket is in the cure.
Into the brine & into the fridge for 10 days.
Through the miracle of SMF TV, it's 10 days later & I took them out of the brine, soaked them in ice water for 4 hours, changing the water one time at 2 hours. Dried them off & next I coated them with mustard.
Covered both sides.
Then a nice coating of black pepper.
Wrap them in saran wrap & into the fridge over night.
Fast forward to the next evening. Fill up the WSM for a long night.
Put both pieces on the bottom rack.
Got the fire started with about 10 lit briquettes on the top of the pile.
Get the meat in & put a few probes in them, 2 from the Maverick & 1 from the guru.
Next thing is putting the fat I trimmed off on the top rack so it can drip on the meat & keep it nice and moist while I'm sleeping.
Fast forward again to this morning. Open the lid to see what's going on & as you can see the fat has done it's job. The fish in the pond behind us are going to get a treat this morning.
Get rid of the fat & take the top grate off & see what the pastrami looks like.
Well they sure have some bark on them. They have been in 15 hours & I'm going to crank the temp up to 240 to finish them off, I'm looking for about 205.
1 hour later they are ready. 203 is close enough.
Here they are, they look like a couple of lumps of coal. I didn't foil them so I hope they are not dried out.
Time to meet the slicer.
Turns out they weren't dry at all, they were moist & melt in your mouth tender.
My son is visiting and he is the pickiest eater I know. He will not eat anything but Boars Head pastrami or corned beef. So I made him a sandwich with the scraps that fell out of the slicer & asked him what he thought.
He said it was the best pastrami he has ever eaten. He couldn't get enough of it. So I quickly vac packed a bunch so I would have some for later.
Thanks for looking & I hope you enjoyed the show!