Last summer I was trolling the meat case (I am fortunate to live near a real butcher shop who will do cuts on demand for me) and I came upon the corned beef. I asked the butcher guy if he thought a corned beef would do well in the smoker. He informed me that that's what pastrami was - smoked corned beef.
I did not know that.
So I took that boy home (the meat, not the butcher), soaked it, peppered it and smoked it up and it was truly the best pastrami I've ever had. The intent was to make reubens, but my pals didn't let it get that far.