I didn’t take any pics of my last pastrami smoke, it wasn’t anything to rave about anyway. I sort of screwed them up.
I had them on the very top rack and for some reason they didn’t darken with smoke properly, maybe too much steam at the top of the Mastercook 30” box.
In addition they got to over 180° before I realized it and I think that made them tough, I would have probably been better taking them to 205 at that point. Anybody know the answer to that question?
So, I normally trim the heck out of my pastrami after slicing, cutting away the tough fatty parts. In fact I have learned with pastrami to even cut my slices in to little strips or ribbons for a Reuben Sandwich (just the two words “Reuben Sandwich” makes me moan in delight). This makes it easier to get a clean bite and not pull big hunks of meat out you weren’t trying to. Ever get that Reuben, think you have bitten all the way through and a whole slice starts sliding out of the sandwich attached to your mouth? You know what I mean if so.
Anyway…so after trimming all the slices and food savering the ones that were to be frozen, I was left with all these strips of scraps…tough, chewy, fatty…and not pleasurable to eat. I thought to come here and ask for ideas; I hate to throw food away and have even ground scraps like this up in to homemade sausage with other scraps of stuff.
Yesterday I had an epiphany though. I had the oven on to bake off some bacon. That’s how I do bacon…restaurant style…I actually cook bacon as much for the grease as the actual bacon. I use the grease like an old timer but it also makes an awesome warm salad dressing…but I digressed again didn’t I? Yum…
Then it hit me to make some biscuits which required the oven to get jacked up to 450. Then I was like, “hey while I have the oven hot, I wonder what would happen if I baked the snot out of those pastrami scraps?
I pulled them out, chopped them in to small bits and spread them out on the sheet pan after removing the biscuits.
And here is the result. Mostly crunchy, some with a little chew like real bacon bits. And great flavor of course. So…Pastrami bits!
They are good right out of the bag like bacon bits and I actually sprinkled some over the huge homemade raviolis I made for dinner last night. They were a welcome foil to the rich lemon butter white wine sauce I made; sort of like how Italians use pancetta.