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1st: Corned Beef Pastrami from Packer w/recipe & q-view

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I told my wife a few days ago that if she really loved me, she'd find me a packer next time she's out shopping...she brought one home for me to work my majic with lastnight.

So, after many long passionate kisses, here we are! The price was $0.02/lb less than regular price @ Sam's for a single, if you can believe that, and, at wally world of all places.

I made up my brine/cure, and trimmed/separated the point and flat while the brine was chilling...the flat:

The point:

I trimmed off 4 lbs of fat which I bagged and froze for sausage grinds, and had 11 oz of waste trimmings, so just short of 9 lbs of meat:

The seasoning is not completely traditional as you will see. I wanted to experiment and came up with this instead:

Corned Beef

For 11-15 lb packer brisket, trimmed and separated

¾ cup + 3 Tbls Tender Quick
7 cups water
1 Tbls Coriander Seed, whole (typo)
2 Tbls 5 Peppercorn Blend, whole
2 tsp Chili Powder, coarse grind
2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
1-1/2 Tbls Paprika, mild
1 Ancho Chili, dried and broken
2 tsp Fennel Seed
2 Tbls Red Bell Pepper, chopped and dried
2 Tbls Rosemary Leaves, dried
7 Bay leaf, med/large, whole
Mix all ingredients while heating in a saucepan to ~180*
Rinse packer brisket well with cold fresh water, trim all fat and separate point/flat.

Chill brine/cure solution and add ½ to each separately bagged flat/point. Vac-seal, removing as much air as possible and chill @ 32-35*. Massage and turn over bag at least twice daily. Cure for a minimum of 3.5 days per inch of meat thickness. Rinse and soak in clear cold (33-36*) water to remove salt as needed.

Here's the spices:

Just into the saucepan:

Mixed, heated, and ready for a good chill...look at the developement of all the colors here...it smells as good as it looks, too...mmm:

The flat is ready for a nice long soak:

And the point:

So, my first pastrami is in the cure and will be pulled for prep to smoke in about 11 days. My first CBs and Chicken Sausage along with my latest Salami and Jerky were all a tasty treat last week. I'm sure this will be another huge hit, too!

I'll be back with progress reports.

Thanks for lookin' at the start of my first corned beef pastrami!

post #2 of 54
Awesome Eric!
Wow this seems to be the time of year for pastrami! You were right, that brine solution looked beautiful.
Just so happens I have my cure mix for injecting in the fridge cooling, in about an hour I'll inject and rub then seal and into the fridge for a good 10 day or so rest.
Great job separating the point and flat by the way PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #3 of 54
I've made pastrami b4 never from scatch tho. Sounds and looks great PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #4 of 54
Looks like a great start, love the brine colors as you mentioned.
post #5 of 54
Great Start, Keep us posted...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #6 of 54
Oh man you have to give it a try, it makes such a difference curing it yourself and really is not that hard to do at all and just tastes so great.
post #7 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks, yeah there's a bunch of strami threads lately...too many to for me to keep up with as busy as I've been. That's what helped me make up my mind to go for it! I put it off too long...and after my CBs last week, I figured strami couldn't be much more difficult...really, it isn't.

Those spices just blossomed so nicely after soaking in hot water awhile.

I separate the packers even for a straight rub & smoke, so it's easy now after alittle bit of practice.

Your's sounds like a great way to go too! I'll be watching when I can!

Sounds like you're about due to give the cure a shot, my friend. It's not tough to do at all...if I can do it, pretty much anybody can. Can you get TQ or other cures to mix the brine?

I haven't seen the corned beef briskets much in stores around here, but I also wanted to start from the bottom and see what it's all about. It does give a deeper sense of accomplishment, and I can change up the spices to our taste.

I know I just got started on this, but I have a really good feeling about it...my first CBs last week were a great first whole muscle meat cure & smoke. They turned out much better than I could have imagined...I have high expectations for the pastrami, without any fear of disappointment.


Thanks, yeah, I had to really take it all in before chilling in the fridge...the colors and aromas, aaaaaaaah...good stuff!

Thanks, you know I will! It just wouldn't be right not to share the inspiration...LOL!!!

post #8 of 54
There sure is alot of homemade corned beef in the works lately. I will be pulling mine out maybe tomorow and then soak it, fry test it , and then rub it, then smoke it for pastrami for the wifes return from Germany. If you haven't tried a corned beef from scatch you have too. Maybe thats why there seem to be alot of them getting started theses days for they are easy and really good too. I have done now about 5-6 one or the other but a few and they are really good and even asked for from the family. Is there a better reason for brining one well all they have to do is ask.
post #9 of 54
Beautiful thread, brother 'strami-smoker! I loved your spice mix for the brine, looked very pretty and the flavors you chose do sound so good together.

Nice looking packer you got too~ I'll be dropping in regularly to check out your work of art, ForLuv! Mines coming out of the brine and onto the smoker this morning.
post #10 of 54
Thread Starter 
Yeah, Mark, I just couldn't resist this project...it's gonna be a huge hit with the family!

Thanks, I thought about my spices for awhile after seeing what I had to work with. This was kind of a spur of the moment project. The Brisket landed in my lap late the night before, and I didn't want to waste any time getting this started. Next morning, about 2 cups of coffee into the day, I had my listing of ingredients/measurements for the recipe ready. I pondered how each one would compliment/offset another, as well as compliment the cured beef. I used some spices/seasonings with a sweeter profile instead of using brown sugar, which was one of my first thoughts...I didn't want the sugar...it just didn't seem right. Then, I wanted some deeper/spicier flavors, and the chili powder, paprika, ancho chili and cinnamon seemed to fit nicely.

Before I even knew it, the brine/cure was ready to chill and it was time for a trim and separation of the beast. I thought the flavors would prove to be a good match, as you mentioned. The Ancho Chili is a new one for me, so I'm interested in tasting the flavors it imparts. I'm thinking about powdering an ancho chili for a dry rub ingredient for the point, and then season the flat with alot milder and basic rub.

It should be a killer smoke in another...hmm, let me think, oh, 9 days! Man, that seems like a long time to tend the curing meat in the fridge...but I'll be patient and stick to the plan.

I'll post up the rubs I use for this when I get the smoke started. I'll have plenty of time to come up with something by then. They will likely both be a new recipe which isn't yet in my arsenal of flavors. I'll just let the creative juices flow...something relatively simple and unique for both the flat and point is in order, I'm thinking.

Thanks guys!

post #11 of 54
this looks awesome man..I am curious how your spice mixture will work..it sounds great !
It seems like everyone is on a pastrami kick
post #12 of 54
It must be pastrami week. This is looking great. Keep us posted.
post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Yeah, it's not 100% full-blooded corned beef, but it should be a good flavor none-the-less.

Thanks, there are loads of 'em lately...funny how we all jumped in about the same time...is this a sign of great 'strami's to come? LOL!!!

Here's my corned beef just after landing in it's new resting place, my latest addition:

I can breathe more easily now, as I have a brand new 4,5 cu ft fridge for my meat curing/thawing needs. I had my previous curing projects as well as this corned beef in an 18 qt thermoelectric cooler, which was partially freezing the meats. I had to rotate the meats as frequently as possible to avoid freezing and slowing/stopping the cure.

Smoking is planned for Tuesday, the 24th, just before the Thanks Giving holiday. I can just barely feel a change in the beef's texture as I massage every morning and night...a little bit firmer tonight...just enough to get my attention...3-1/3 days into the cure...I'll find out in a week if my brine concenration is right for beef brisket flat/point now, as it's the same as what I used for my loin CBs...oh, and, yes, I can count the hours & minutes of cure time for both pieces if you asked me to!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!

See ya for smokin' & slicin' if nothing else changes!


post #14 of 54
Looking Great, Nice Fridge...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #15 of 54
Good deal! Nice to know I wasn't the only one squeezing the meat to monitor the cure biggrin.gif

Nice fridge, too.
post #16 of 54
Thread Starter 
Thanks Paul, the fridge is working perfectly, too...I really like it!

Hmmm...oh man...that sounded very bad.........JK icon_redface.gif

It is a really good indicator. As long as you do it every day, you will feel more resistance later in the cure...just gotta pay attention to what it's telling you, I guess.

Yeah, it's gonna be so much easier to do what I want/need to do to prep for smoking & curing...I'm a happy...hmmm...how shall I say it...curer? Naw, that's not right...it's part of what we're all doing here, so yes, I'm a happy smoker!!!

OK, it just hit me again...6-1/2 days of curing to go...no biggy, though...wife and I hit the highway for a day-trip in the morning to go on a "date" shopping...then, maybe another one on Thursday closer to home for a few hours. It's spice, cooking supplies and meat restocking time here, so, hopefully I will spy some smoking/curing meat deals along the way! icon_mrgreen.gif

Man, lots to look forward to with great anticipation lately...keeps me on my toes.

Thanks John!

post #17 of 54
Thread Starter 

8 Days of Curing...they're ready, but I'm not.......

Gotta wait to smoke 'em, even though they are definately finished curing...I have 2 more days of work, then I'm off for 2. Two of my smokers will be getting another workout for a day...this much I know for sure. Then, it's a day-early Turkey Day on Wednesday!



See ya on Tuesday the 24th for rubbing and smoking!


post #18 of 54
Lookin good Eric.
Can't believe I lost track of what day mine went in on, I didn't mark it and I know I posted on here about it 2 or 3 days (I think) after I put it in the fridge but maybe I'll just wait until Tuesday and do mine then as well, sounds like 3 more days in the fridge is just what my corned beef needs icon_wink.gif

Gotta check the weather though...my luck it will decide to rain that day mad.gif

*Just checked our local forecast, 70% chance of rain on Monday but only 20% on Tuesday so that might just be the day...
post #19 of 54
Looks good Eric. I'll be keeping an eye on this one. Pastrami is next on my radar of new things to try.
post #20 of 54
Oh man, I am dying with anticipation! But- I understand the work thing, so rock on bud......we'll both hang on for another couple days.

Was at the grocery store today and came "this close" to buying another full packer for a pastrami! Man, the taste is incredible and you are going to be one happy smoker when you finally taste your creation.

Counting time...............
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