- 2,839 Posts. Joined 11/2013
- Location: Massapequa, NY (Long Island)
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Personally, I don't add the sugar into my pastrami brine. I only use 1/4-1/3 cup of kosher/sea salt per gallon of filtered water.
I do add extra bay leaves(crumbled), fresh, smashed garlic and a few slices of fresh ginger into my pastrami/corned beef brines.
As to pickling spices:
1 Tbs whole allspice
1 Tbs black peppercorns
1 Tbs black mustard seeds
1 Tbs whole cloves
1 Tbs coriander seeds
1 Tbs red pepper flakes-optional, **recommended
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1 cinnamon stick, crumbled-optional, **recommended
Toast the allspice, peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick and coriander seeds in a dry frying pan until aromatic.
I add 2-3 Tbs of pickling spice per gallon of water.
I have used Pops Brine on Pork but I don't care for sweet on Beef or Poultry. The Cure is important but salt and sugar is more to your taste. I don't like to have to soak cured meat to reduce the salt...JJ
It's more about one's personal preference in flavors. I much prefer the flavors of the spices over the sweetness in all the foods I eat.
Did you use the 1 c each sugar/brown sugar from Pop's brine or the 1/2c of each sugar/ brown sugar from Pop's low salt brine?
Without running out to the local market, I would have to assume that most commercially available corned beef/pastrami contains sugar. Likely in much higher amounts than what's called for in Pop's brine(especially the low salt version). Personally, I don't like all the corn syrup/sugar/salt that are predominant in packaged food. I try to make everything we eat here from fresh, seasonal, organic and locally sourced ingredients.
Now would be the best time to make changes, if that's what you decide to do.
Been making corned beef for years. Always get the responses from friends and family how much better it is than store bought brands.
That's my usual plan, make multiple variations until I find which I like best. Then another recipe or suggestion comes along and gives me ideas and I go changing what I liked from the results of my experiments.
I'm on day 14 of my pastrami brine. If I have time, the pastrami is coming home tonight to toss into my WSM tomorrow morning. It's going to be tight on time today/tomorrow, so I may just wait until after work on Saturday to pull out of the brine and smoke on Sunday. Couple more days in the brine can't hurt.