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First Time Pastrami From A Packer

post #1 of 78
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all you folks posting such great pastramis I had to take the plunge!

Since this is my first try at pastrami, I figured I might as well start from the beginning. Picked up a 14 lb packer this afternoon, no special deals, standard $1.89/lb local price...


Sticking with the traditional flavors, no tweaking for my first try. Got the TenderQuick and spice mix at the store, the rest had at home...


Crushed the juniper, peppercorns, mustard seeds under a rolling pin and added them with the rest into a pot of water to simmer...


Once they started to steam, off the heat and covered for about 20 minutes to release the flavors. Then, strained the seeds and stuff...


To the liquid I added the TQ, brown sugar and garlic powder and a bit more water to make 3 1/2 cups. Simmered that then off the heat...


This will be the injected brine after I trim and separate the brisket tomorrow. The flat will get sealed and brine 'till next weekend. Planning on making burnt ends with the point this weekend.

I'll keep progress posts tomorrow and next weekend when the finished product is done. My plan is to smoke it over either apple or alder...any thoughts or ideas? Is the alder too mild for pastrami?

Thanks for looking and stay posted for more!

Edited by Rivet - 10/12/11 at 5:55am
post #2 of 78
By all means, keeps us posted. I know whatever you turn out will be fantastic.
post #3 of 78
Sounds like it is going to be a great tasting pastrami...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

My question is what are the small noodle like things in the brine mix?
post #4 of 78
Thread Starter 
That's the small bits of the ground coriander and garlic powder that I guess combined with the TQ and brown sugar. The pic was before heating. I kept stirring it as it came up to a simmer and they disappeared. The cooling liquid is still cloudy as I expected it, since the coriander powder won't dissolve. I looked at my injector and I don't think there's any worry about clogging it.

Good question though!

UPDATE- I sent an answer through PM....at first I thought Paul was talking about the noodly-looking things in the cooling liquid. The ones he was referring to were the rosemary leaves. Apologies for misunderstanding!
post #5 of 78


You are going to love the fresh Juniper in it.....
I did one with the fresh ones and what a diff. The wife says"Have a Martini (or Gin)with it, Mavelous" , I guess, I can't do it, shucks!
Looks good now , already...
post #6 of 78
Great start Rivet.I think the lightness of alder will compliment the brine flavors nicely......PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #7 of 78
Nice start there Rivet.

Quite a coinsidence since I am doing one also.

Good luck on yours.
post #8 of 78
Pastrami HUH.....Cant wait to see how this turns out...
post #9 of 78
You both john and ron will fine out really soon that is one of the best corned beefs you will ever taste and then to smoke it to pastrami you will be in heaven. I have made them serial times and some just got sent with the wife to gemany again.So please keep us posted and I really curious to see if you 2 like them. I'll see you soon.
post #10 of 78

Do you think you could share the ingredients/ratio for the pastrami? Thanks
post #11 of 78
I have some deer roasts in brine right now that will be turned into corned venison and venison pastrami next week.
I can honestly say I probably wont ever buy a corned brisket again. unless for some reason I need to do one quickly and dont have time to brine for a week.
I like to smoke all of my pastrami over cherry wood.
I love the flavor combination along with the juniper,coriander and pepper.
post #12 of 78
Thread Starter 
Sure can Old Poi, be glad to!


3 1/2 Cups Water (I used distilled from a jug in the fridge)
4 TBSP Juniper Berries
4 TBSP Black Peppercorns
2 TBSP Mustard Seeds
1 TBSP Coriander Seeds
2 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 TSP Garlic Powder
1 TBSP Fennel Seed (didn't crush these seeds)
1 TBSP Whole Rosemary Leaves
2 TBSP McCormick Pickling Spice
About 5 or 6 Mexican Bay Leaves
2 TBSP TenderQuick


3 TBSP Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 TBSP Ground Coriander
1 TSP Ground Thyme
2 TBSP Garlic Powder
3 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Hungarian Hot Paprika
1/4 Cup TenderQuick

Be aware that this amount was not quite enough rub in my book, for such a big brisket. If the packer had been 10-12 lbs it would have been fine. Although the rub covered it all, I just would have liked it caked on a bit thicker on the meat....just opinion.

Loading trimming, brining and rubbing pics as I type. Will post them soon!
post #13 of 78
Thanks for posting the recipe John...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #14 of 78
PDT_Armataz_01_37.gifThank you John,

I checked with my grocer, and he has Juniper berries. I think I am set.
post #15 of 78
Thread Starter 

Day 2

So this morning I took the packer out of the fridge and separated the point from the flat and trimmed most of the fat off. Some folks say leave 1/4 inch cap on, I decided to go lean. Ended up with a good 4+ pounds of fat from the cut, so we end up with what looks like 10 pounds meat-


After trimming, I made the rub. Recipe for that posted earlier in the thread. Looks and smells real nice.


After the rub, I brought out my new $2.49 Ace Hardware Meat Injector I bought yesterday. It held up beautifully and with care will last a long time. That's good to know since I'd read a lot of bad things about cheap plastic injectors. Anyway, managed to inject about 3 cups into this huge flat~ It's big, and here's a pic of it all injected and puffy looking-


After that, I rubbed it all over. Thought I ran a little short on the rub, but let it go. It's a big flat, but next time if it's that big I'll increase the recipe by half again-


After that, brought out the sealer and vacu-sealed that baby! Into the fridge it went to be "massaged and turned twice a day" as someone said here before icon_mrgreen.gif


It will stay in there until next saturday when I smoke it over alder, as ALX recommended. I'll definitely post pics of that.

The point will get rubbed and smoked into burnt ends probably tommorrow. If they come out okay I'll post pics of that too. Thanks for taking the time to look at my cooking!

Edited by Rivet - 10/12/11 at 7:09am
post #16 of 78
Looks so good right now John...I really hope the corned beef works to your satisfaction....I wanna follow this recipe of yours and give it a go.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #17 of 78
Me Too!!! PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #18 of 78
Thread Starter 

Uncle that sounds very good. I dont have any available right now, but I do like cherry for smoking poultry.

Yep, that combo smells delicious and even my wife said she liked the smells of the brine and rubs. Hopefully she'll like the 'strami too.

I got the point rubbed in my standard house rub and then found out my plans may change tomorrow. Thus, I VacPak'd it to be safe. If I don't get to make burnt ends manana, I can make them next weekend~ the point will be A-Okay in the vegetable bin.



Edited by Rivet - 10/12/11 at 9:24am
post #19 of 78
You're off to a roaring start. Can't wait to see the progress and the burnt ends too!

points.giffor doing this from scratch!
post #20 of 78
That is looking darn good. Thanks for posting the recipe. I've saved this thread for when I do my first pastrami.
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