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Need help w/Pastrami

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Using an Angus flat and the following brine (reduced by 1/2) in a zip bag, I brined for 6 days (also injected brine). The result was a gray colored interior and lacking pastrami flavor. It was smoked at 150* for 2 hrs, 3 hrs at 240* and steamed for 2 hrs.
Is this brine or the brining time correct? What did I miss?


2 gallons Foat Wuth tap water
2 cups pickling salt
1 3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Mortons's Tender Quick
1/2 cup Amesphos *optional (if you aint got none dont worry about it)
1/2 cup dried minced onyawns
1/4 cup garlic powder
1/3 cup coarse grind black pepper
2 T. dry mustard
1 T. ground Thyme
1 liberal sprinkle ground Allspice
1 chintzy sprinkle ground Cloves
4 or 5 or 6 of Joe Ames good tasting bay leaves
post #2 of 9
im pretty sure the distinct pastrami flavor comes from juniper berries. most grocery stores carry it.
post #3 of 9
juniper berries add a flavor but you still get pastrami if you do not use them. i would guess the none red color was due to the brining. I have only smoked store bought corned beef so i can not help you there but my guess is it is not fully "corned"
post #4 of 9
I'm not an expert either, but it looks to me like it didn't get cured all the way through except where you did inject. If I remember right, the brining recipes I've seen talk about injecting like every inch.

As far as the flavor, in the dry rub you put on before smoking I think all the recipes I've looked include coriander. The rub I used was just black pepper, coriander, and garlic powder.

The pastrami I just made tastes like pastrami, but with a hint of corned beef; however, I started with a corned beef and I don't know if they might have spiced it during brining.
post #5 of 9
my rub, i am going from memory, is
2 T fresh gound pepper
1t coriander
1t garlic powder
1t of something else...

search for my posts. I put one up about " my first pastrami, what i learned"
post #6 of 9
did some research.

saltpeter = pink inside
no saltpeter = grey inside

the lacking flavor probably had to do with the rub
post #7 of 9
easy way to get pasterini......(couldn't help myself.......OLD qb from the cowboys, if i remember correctly, or was it houston oilers?)..........take a corn beef and just smoke it..........you have to corn the beef first, then smoke.......
post #8 of 9
I beleive to get the red or pink color it has to be cured with saltpeter as said above or use cure #1 aka praque #1.
post #9 of 9
Morton's TenderQuik werks also.......its what i use for Candian Bacon....Buckboardbacon......etc........ 1 Tblsp per pound as per directions
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