2 Packers Go To Pastrami School: Q-View, 2 Recipes, Methods

Discussion in 'Beef' started by forluvofsmoke, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey everyone!

    I haven't made alot pastrami for quite some time (I did one small batch a few months ago just for giggles), and after scoring a case of brisket at Sam's Club a couple weeks ago, I decided to plan this project well in advance. The packers were thawing in my Q-fridge for almost 5 days, and were still partially frozen
    today when I started prep. Also, a thought which came into the picture early on is the fact that these packers were from a case which had not been handled yet, meaning they were as fresh as I could get at the time, and went straight into the freezer from the store, so they'd be great candidates for a curing project. I like to work with partially frozen meats just for the purpose of being able to keep it well-chilled during processing, even though it is a bit more difficult to actually get the point/flat seperation done, I have one less thing to worry about, as the meat is still very cold and partially frozen when I'm ready to bag it up with the brine cure. Trimming of the fat is actually easier when partially frozen, IMO.

    I'm including methods for those wanting a fresh look at preparation for pastrami from scratch, and a couple of tasty unconventional recipes I've used in the past, and have modified them slightly for a bit different flavor profile.

    I'll post up all the numbers along the way, for anyone interested in seeing the comparisons/ratios of the full weight vs seperated/trimmed weights, then on to the smoked/finished weights.


    CHERRY RBP CORNED BEEF BRINE & CURE

    4 Tbls dried, minced, ground tart cherries (prep method found in the Wiki for my "Cherry Rub")

    2 Tbls ground red bell pepper

    1-1/3 Tbls black peppercorn

    1-1/3 Tbls thyme

    2 tsp oregano

    1-1/3 Tbls garlic powder

    2 tsp cumin

    1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper

    1/2 tsp cinnamon

    1 cup Morton's Tender Quick Cure

    4 cups water

    4 cups ice-water

    Mix all dry ingredients except TQ into 4 cups water, and heat to simmering temp, then remove from heat and cool.
    Prep meat to be cured, add 4 cups freshly iced water to brine solution, add TQ and mix very well.
    Measure out as needed for multiple bags or containers.

    Cherry brine:

    [​IMG]


    HOT ANCHO CHILI CORNED BEEF BRINE/CURE

    4 Tbls ancho chili, freshly ground

     
    1-1/2 Tbls minced garlic
     

    1 tsp thyme
     

    2 tsp rosemary
     

    1 tsp cinnamon, ground
    2 tsp cumin
    1-1/3 Tbls cayenne Pepper, ground
    6 Tbls morton’s tender quick cure
    4 cups water

    4 cups ice-water

    Mix all dry ingredients except TQ into 4 cups water, and heat to simmering temp, then remove from heat and cool.
    Prep meat to be cured, add 4 cups freshly iced water to brine solution, add TQ and mix very well.
    Measure out as needed for multiple bags or containers.

    Hot Ancho Chili Brine:

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    Weighing out largest of the pair of students for today's:

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    And, the smallest:

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    Trimming the big daddy of the packers...a look at the fat cap before it meets my blade:

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    And, the back side:

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    Getting started with seperation of the point/flat:

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    It's harder to stay on the fat seam between the point/flat when it's frozen, but I'll get through it:

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    The slivers of fat you see here are just a small portion of what I cut out of the seam to start spreading it open as I worked my way in...:

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    Ah, a light at the end of the tunnel:

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    You can see where I cut off the thin section of point layer still remaining on the flat, just next to the removed fat...this part has nearly no fat seperating the two cuts, so I left it alone...it would cure and smoke much faster than the rest of the point, so to keep things more uniform, it stayed were it is:

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    Seperation is complete...point on the left and flat on the right...heavy ends of both cuts (I'll refer to them as tips  for definition in further discusions below):

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    The opposite end of the board...thin ends of both cuts:

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    Trimming is not completed yet, so lets get rid of some tough edges and fat:

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    Notice the light pink/gray (connective tissue) on the edge of the point (bootom cut:

    [​IMG]

    And now, it's history...trimmed the flat to show all red meat as well on the edges. Also, notice how the meat grain runs accross the length of the point with alot of intermuscular fat, while the muscle grain runs lengthwise the flat with a leaner muscle interior...that's the easiest identifying indicators once the pieces are seperated, as at times, the packer will look differently (longer and more slender in width, as this one is):

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    I cut-down the point and flat to fit the gallon ziploc bags for brine curing, leaving them as large as possible, while cutting off the heaviest ends (tips) of the two cuts to put into a third bag. These pieces, being thicker, will require longer curing time if left as one piece, so by cutting them off, they will get brine/cure penetration from all sides, speeding up the cure a bit. I'm not injecting brine cure solution, as I never have before for corned beef and get great results every time, so I'm not going to fix what isn't broken. I could get a faster cure with injection, but the interior of the meat can suffer some texturual issues if you get in a hurry with the release of fluid from the needle, and this can show up in the finished product. Without injection, I tend to get the curing done just about the time I'mm be able to toss 'em into the smoker, so I'll just keep rolling with this method.

    Here are the tips of the point and flat:

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    The single larger cut of point:

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    And the single larger cut of flat:

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    I tossed those all back into the fridge while I did final prep of the brine/cure solution and calculated what measurements I wanted for each bag based on the shape/weight of each bag's contents.


    Time fore some Tendeer Quick to mix into the brine solution...I mixed up another 4 cups of ice water with the 4 cups of brine without straining and added 1 cup TQ, which 50% of recommended strength for a fast cure, but I'm stretching this out for more than a week. I've run with much lower concentrations also, but it's a bit risky if the cuts of meat are too thick, so I'll lean more towards the full-strength dose of TQ:

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    The spices are suspended more now with the TQ mixed into the brine, with the minced garlic and a few peppercorns floating on top:

    [​IMG]


    After consideration of the bulkiness (heavy cross-section) of the tips of the point and flat, they'll get the most brine cure solution in order to fill the bag up and get the air out without squeezing the pieces tightly together. I want them to be able to lay as loosely as possible in the solution to give best curing results. So, I measured out 2 cups for the smallest single cut being the point, then, 2.5 cups for the largest single cut, being the flat, with the remaining 3.5 cups for the point/flat tips.

    I would have ultimately used vac sealed bags for this project, which would have allowed me to keep the point and flat cuts in single pieces in two bags instead of three, but then, the uneven curing issue would come into play due to the heavier sections of the tips of the point/flat, so the triple-bag method seemed the best route to go.


    Let's bag 'em all up and send 'em to the study hall (fridge) so they can get started on their home-work (curing):

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    I'll flip the bags over twice daily and work the brine solution to remix and redistribute throughout the surfaces of the meat for the most even curing.

    I opted to wait for preparing the cherry brine/cured brisket until in the morning, due to lengthy uploading and previewing/editing. It's the smaller packer, so they should be cured pretty close to the same time...probably 6-7 days, which will be just right for my next pair of days-off work, but maybe longer...I'll see what the meat bags feel and look like each time I handle them, while making a few notes and taking pics for comparisons each time I see any change or the lact thereof. When changes in texture have ceased, that's a good indication that the curing is completed, and I'll let them go for another day or so just to be sure. Then, it's smokin' time!!!


    Here's the ratios I have thus far, as promised:

    15.25lb packer weight
    3.5lb point/flat tips
    2.3125lb (2lb-5oz) point cut
    3.8125lb (3lb-13oz) flat cut
    9.625lbs total trimmed & seperated weight
    5.625lb trimmings
    63.11% trimmed/seperated meat yield
    36.89% trimmings
     


    I'll post pics of weights and write-up the ratios of the small fella which I set aside for the cherry rbp brine/cure, just for giglles to see how those ratios come out, as well. If you're wondering why I chose the larger packer for the hotter brine/cure, well, those of us here who eat much of my pastrami have grown to like the spicy heat...it's an experience which you don't soon forget...the more you chew a piece, the deeper and more intense the flavor becomes. It's not to the point of choking you up in the first bite or two, but will eventually put sweat on your brow.

    The brisket has it's homework assignment...lets see how it comes through.

    See ya later when the home-work is finished, and again when and they take their final exams!

    Been a looooong day coming up to this point on this post (8 hrs off and on, I think)...hope it works...SUBMIT!!!

    Eric
     
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Nice tutorial on separating the point & flat Eric. I guess this is the start of another 10 day pastrami thread. Better get ready.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I have yet to brine my own corned beef/pastrami. I should give it a try some day.
     
  4. fife

    fife Master of the Pit

    Great info [​IMG]
     
  5. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Oh, man, you gotta try your own corned beef, Ross, seriously. If you're into home-cured/smoked sausages, you'd love doing pastrami from scratch. When you use your own brine cure, you're in control of the flavors you impart into the meat before you smoke it. You're not just limited to what ever the processor/retailer put into the solution, which may or may not be everyone's taste. I've never done a traditional recipe yet, mainly because of availability of some of the ingredients like juniper berry, but maybe someday I'll get a chance. Every time I do a batch of pastrami, I play around with a few twists on the flavor profiles and intensities. It's pretty amazing what you can do with corned beef.
     


    Thanks, Robert! Gonna be a long ride, but man is it ever worth the wait!

     


    Thanks Al, I just checked back through my threads and found the Cherry Spiced Cured Beef thread, which I gave some instruction how to seperate as well, but with a thawed subject to work on. Jeez, I've done so many posts and different smokes lately, I gotta look back to refresh my own memory as to what I did...is that good or bad? LOL!!!

    Yep, it'll be awhile before its over... a good test for the teacher's patience to wait for the students to do their homework correctly...ha-ha-ha!


    More pics and data on the second packer are on the way, ASAP.

    Thanks again, fellas!

    Eric

     
     
  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Packer #2 is into the brine cure...pics and data...

    This packer has more of a typical shape, and was quite a bit easier to process than the first one...more uniformly sized point/flat cuts. The point is always much smaller/lighter, but this one's proportions were more along the lines of what I'm accustomed to working with, and due to it's sizing, worked much better for bagging.

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    The flat remnent...I used more brine/cure than would be need to actually cure the meat, but also needed to fill the larger void in the bag...a quart size ziploc would have been perfect for this, but wouldn't you know it...we didn't have any around. I also folded the top/zipper of the bag over the the flat package when I placed it into the fridge to help keep the small cut submerged in the brine/cure...should be just fine:

    [​IMG]

    The point was left intact, and I rolled the thinnest flap piece over to fit into the bag...it was small enough to not fuss over it anyway:

    [​IMG]

    The flat cut made a nice, full package after trimming off just short of a pound (the remnent) for a good fit:

    [​IMG]


    And, here's the ratios again, for the smaller packer:

    13.25lb packer weight

    3.375lb (3lb-6oz) point

    4lb flat

    0.9375lb (15oz) flat remnent

    8.3125lb total trimmed and seperated weight

    4.9375lb trimmings

    62.74% trimmed/seperated meat yield

    37.26 % trimmings


    See ya in about 5-6 days (I state that with crossed fingers, knowing, it's cured when it's cured) with some thin blue smoke wisping from the Smoke Vault 24!

    Eric
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  7. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    20.6lbs of corned beef, and the smoke is on!!!

    I hadn't noticed any texture or color changes for the past 24 hours, and I'm off work for two days, so today's the day.

    Without doing a frypan test, experience told me that with the higher concentration of TQ in the brine/cure, the salt content would ne higher than we like. So, I gave 'em all a 1.5-hr soak in fresh, cold water.

    The ancho flat and point (sumbmerged underneath):

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    The ancho point & flat tips:

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    The cherry & rbp was small enough to fit all three pieces into one bowl:

    [​IMG]


    Curiousity got the better of me while I was soaking the meat, so I got my scale out and dialed in the zero with an aluminum cookie sheet to place the meat into.

    Total starting trimmed weight was 17.9375lbs, and after just a drip-dry it weighed in at 20.9375lbs wet. I drained off approx 4 oz of water combined from both pans after they sat for a few more minutes, so you could figure on 20.6875lbs cured weight, which indicates an added weight of approx 15.33% (water with disolved salts, cure and spices).

    The Ancho recipe getting weighed out before the smoke:

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    The Cherry RBP recipe:

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    To the Smoke Vault, shall we?

    No dry rub on either recipe. I was thinking about using some simple rubs following along with the flaovor profiles of each brine/cure, but instead decided I'd just let the brine/cure speak for itself...not even a speck of cracked pepper on any of the pieces. I put the pieces in while still moist into the cold smoker, fired it up on high to get the smoke coming on while opening the door several times to keep the heat from building too high too quickly (took about 10 minutes), and then, dialed it in @ 210* and let it climb to 240* after the initial thermal absoroption (took about 40-45 minutes.

    2nd grate position from the bottom...ancho flat & point tips:

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    3rd grate position up...ancho flat (left) and point (right):

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    4th grate position up...cherry rbp point:

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    5th grate position up...cherry rbp flat and flat remnent:

    [​IMG]


    Here's where you can really tell the difference between the Cherry RBP and the Ancho recipes..Ancho is on the lower two grates...the cherry rbp is more of a pink while the ancho has a light brown tint. It'll be intersting to see what the smoked bark and interior sliced color differences will be:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    I'm smoking @ 240* due to my higher elevation of nearly 5,000 ft (I've noticed excessive smoking times alot at lower temps) with a mix of finger-sized 2-3" chunks of cherry and pecan chunks and a full water pan, ambient conditions of 34*, light breezes of maybe 2-3 MPH, light snow and 86% humidity. The differing sizes of chunks are used so I get a faster onset of smoke from the smaller pieces while the larger ones will carry it for several hours.

    So, the smoker was fired-up @ 11:15 am due to a late night @ work last night and me sleeping this morning, but I have all day, all night, and all day on Tuesday for smokin' fun, so I'm not worried.

    Catcha later with updates, and sliced shots of the smaller cuts which we plan on dining on this evening.

    Ah, man, now that the curing is over, the anticipation is starting to build...TIC-TOC---TIC-TOC...

    Eric
     
  8. Eric another great detailed thread....Can't wait to see the end results. Looks fantastic so far. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.[​IMG]
     
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    4.25-hr update...

    I tossed the two smallest pieces each of the Cherry RBP and the Hot Ancho into half-size stainless steam pans and tented with two ounces of water to finish them up for tonight's dinner.

    4.25 hours into the smoke:

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    I didn't take the time to get temps on the pieces I pulled, but went mostly by look and feel when lifted with the tongs...they had firmed up quite a bit and were getting a dryer look on the top surface, so out they came. 4-1/4 hours should be enough smoke time anyway, and I needed something to toss on a plate for dinner. I'll just probe for tenderness in a couple hours and see how they're coming along.

    Here's the two smallest cherry & rbp...flat & flat remnent:

    [​IMG]

    ...and, the tips from the ancho flat (left) & point...I call the point for my first sammie...ha-ha-ha!!!

    [​IMG]


    2 half-size S/S steam pams side-by-side fill the grate space in the SV24, so chamber temps will likely rise due to the baffling effect they will have, so, I'm dialing back the burner setting to accomodate for the changes in the smoke chamber. This can also tend to cause temp readings on the door therm to be slightly less accurate due to the pans being located just above the door thermo stem. The use of a large area of baffling, even though it is above the meat will slow down the thermal exchange somewhat because of the reduction in air flow through the smoke chamber. You can see where I have just a slight gap between the pans to allow for some air flow...there isn't as much as I'd like, and the pans are crowded against the 5th (upper) grate supports, so I'll make the best of what I've got for the conditions as such. I moved everything down one rack space as well:

    [​IMG]

    I think this is the first time I've actually steamed any pastrami to finish it up. I've always smoked to 160* (typo) 180* and wrapped and rested, then chilled well before slicing, but that was with a dry rub and wanting to keep a nice bark going. Here, it's all about the flavors of the brine/cure, meat and smoke, and a super-tender and juicy finished pastrami.

    The cuts of corned beef remaining on the grates will get the most smoke, and being they are larger, it should yield nice results.

    Back soon with some sliced pics (and maybe a sammie or two for ya to drool over) and a review of the two recipes...

    Eric
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2011
  10. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    FINISHED!!!

    The Hot Ancho flat and point @ 170* & 182*, respectively...point is coming out now, while the flat takes another 45 minute or so ride:

    [​IMG]

    The CHerry & RBP point @ 174*...almost ready for resting as well:

    [​IMG]

    The ancho point...man, this is about killin' me here...:

    [​IMG]

    I flipped the ancho flat around a bit so it's underneath the thinner section of the cherry/rbp point to baffle it while the heavier end finishes up:

    [​IMG]


    The cherry/rbp...tons of juices from ther steaming phase...oh, is this gonna be great!

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    Onto the scale for a smoked/steamed weight:

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    And the ancho...very nice looking as well:
    [​IMG]

    For the record, this is the last meat this scale will touch, as I'll explain below:

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    I suffered a major set-back after the last 3 pieces had rested in foil in the warm oven and I was preparing the scale to weigh them out...while placing plastic wrap on the stainless tray, the wrap grabbed ahold of the tray while I was positioning it and I inadvertently pulled the wrap which yanked the tray off the scale and toppled the scale onto the kitchen floor...yep, I broke my only high capacity food scale. So, that said, I won't be getting the total cooked weight vs trimmed, brine cured ratios. Ah, well, I had good intentions...

    CRAP!!! I just realized an even worse set-back! No high-capacity food scale translates to no sausage making...ah, but, I have a source, and it's time to get another order ready to place in the next 2 weeks. OK, no sweat...sausage making will just have to wait for another 3-4 weeks. On the bright side, I did get over a year of use from the scale and it served it's master well.


    Now, here's your warning...MAJOR DROOL FACTOR coming here........................................

    I'm just wingin' it here with a freshly straightened edge on a carving knife...little narration is not required for the moment. Just a couple things...you'll notice a dark pink (no gray) all the way through, indicating a fully cured product before the smoke...and secondly, don't trip on your tongues...LOL!!!:

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    Slicing went beautifully, as you can see. I really like the looks and eating with a slight amount of surface fat left on instead of the super-lean trims I generally do. Those two pieces were for tonight's dinner, shown below.


    Oh, nope, that's not a hoagie...me and french bread party sammies goes way back...didn't use anything but meat...this stuff's too good want anything with it:

    [​IMG]

    Ancho Chili:

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    Cherry/RBP:

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    Cherry/RBP:

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    Ancho Chili:

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    One of each style, drizzled with a couple Tbls of pan juices just for me:

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    [​IMG]


    The flavors of the no-rubbed corned beef are so smooth, it's difficult to describe, but I'll do my best. The ancho recipe is milder than I had anticipated with it's own aroma and flavors coming mainly from the ancho powder, a hint of cinanamon in the background and nothing else taking over the flavor profile. The ancho powder being dominent, but not harsh, as it isn't a hot variety. I did notice a difference in the spicy heat of the ancho recipe...it's less intense than I expected, and my only possible explanation is that the spices didn't have quite as much penetration due to the higher concentration of TQ in the brine/cure solution which may have caused it to cure too rapidly for the same result as I have had in the past with a bit less cayenne pepper and other heat provoking ingredients. The cherry/rbp was very nice, with subtle flavors of the tart cherry, a unique aroma and a slightly sweet background.

    I adore the flavors from cherry in dry rubs and brines alike, and this is yet another good example of what this fruity goodness can bring along to the palate. My wife and I both agree that we liked the ancho better than the cherry/rbp tonight, but it's a close call. My wife is not heavy into the spicy heat, in fact, she can't tolerate much of it at all. When I told her that this batch isn't very hot, she didn't hesitate to try some of it.

    I think for a little better heat level in the ancho recipe, a reduction from 50% recommended strength of TQ to approx 35% along with allowances for longer cure time would bring out a stronger flavor profile from the spices in the brine/cure, as my other recipes have had in the past. Hmm, the cherry/rbp would benefit alot from this as well. I do like a slightly slower cure time of 8-10 days for the best results. Overall, with it being a quicker cure than I'm accustomed to, it all came together, as always...ah, except for that little hitch with the broken scale..ha-ha-ha! I can laugh about it now, but I wasn't laughing when I heard it crash to the floor...

    Thanks all! Hope you enjoyed the ride!

    Eric
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2011
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great looking pastrami Eric! I like the French bread idea too. I would have never thought of that. I just always used good rye bread. I also agree with you that it doesn't need anything but meat & bread, although I do butter the bread. As always Eric, you provided a well written & informative thread. Thank-you.
     
  12. lexoutlaw

    lexoutlaw Smoke Blower

    good detailed description.....looking forward to results
     
  13. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Step by Step Tutorial Eric...

    That sure looks good, but where is the Swiss Cheese and Saurkraut?
     
  14. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Al, yes, french bread makes quick work out of building sammies for sure, and the crusty exterior holds everything togetehr so nicely while offering a differing texture in the overall chew...it's a nice touch, I think. Yea, rye is the best thing for pastrami, no doubt, though buttered or no butter...not sure you'd have missed it much with the pan juices. There was just a touch of fat in the pan to add that extra flavor....mmm-mmm-mmm!

    I am running out of topics to cover with these lengthy threads. I enjoy passing on the whole experience of a project like this so others may not think of it as something too complicated or lengthy to undertake...lengthy yes, complicated? Not really. Just some fridge space needs to be dedicated for something like this and you're set for the long-haul of the whole process. Where I'm never in need is fridge space, having a 4.2 cu ft specifically for my thawing & curing, I'm set. Anyway, I've done most of these types of cures/smokes that I wanted to do, so I may start slowing down a bit now. Not to say that more new (to me)projects won't crop up that I'll want to take a shot at...that would be like saying a bullet shot straight up in the air will not fall to the earth...
     


    LOL!!! Thanks, yea, that would have been my first choices, along with a nice dark rye bread...great combo for pastrami, IMO.

     


    Thanks, brother smoker, I'm always happy to be able to pass on what I've learned, or things I have been inspired to create. You're most welcome.

     


    Thanks, man.


    Well, I did find what looks to be a very good 0-30lb digital scale with hundredth's lb readout (postal/shipping type) on-line, and if I can put together enough scratch to order it before the un-weighed/frozen pastrami heads off for a reheat or cold slicing, I can still get weights to complete the ratios I had discussed earlier. So, with any luck, that data won't be lost to hungry mouths. I just don't want to buy another scale like I had...it was not represented very well on the website, and I didn't recieve the quality of construction that I thought I was buying.
     

    I had some more pastrami this afternoon for a snack while my appetite drove me insane during a loin back rib smoke with a new rub and method...I couldn't help but savor the 3 slices of cherry/rbp flat I rationed myself...yea, I know, only 3?!?!?!?!?!? LOL!!! Oh, the UPS dude dropped off a package for my wife today whiile my ribs were in the smoke vault, and we got on a brief discussion of ribs and pastrami, due his nose leading him to the conclusion that he had walked into Bbq heaven, and I offered him a couple slices of pastrami. I think he had never had a good pastrami before...he started asking what it is and how it's made...he's already hooked and he probably doesn't even know it yet. Jeez, now that I think about it, that might have been kinda mean of me to put him through these potentially tormenting times ahead...ah, he knows where I live, he'll ask if he needs some help getting his addiction off the ground and flying straight.

    Thanks again, all! Been fun sharing the ride with ya!

    Eric
     
  15. boykjo

    boykjo Sausage maker Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    awesome pastrami eric.....[​IMG]  nice tutorial.......looks dag gum tastey...
     
  16. lexoutlaw

    lexoutlaw Smoke Blower

    great job man......im just learning the strami life....and this looks soooo good.
     
  17. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG]  Oh Master, we don't even deserve to eat the crumbs that fall from your smokers.  [​IMG]

    Too bad you lost the scale on your path to smoking greatness, but at least it gave it's life in the achievement of pastrami perfection. 

    I'm surprised you haven't gone digital with your scale.  I'm really impressed with the Ultraship series.  Mine goes up to 35 lbs and displays in grams/lb:eek:z/kg/lb/oz.  For someone like you, they do make a 55 lb version.  Maybe even greater capacity, I just don't know about that.  Just for gee whiz, I took my -35 out to the instrumentation calibration shop where I knew some folks and they put it thru the paces (it was a slow weekend) and they said it was dead on, well within several decimal places, whatever that means.

    By the way, that thundering sound isn't your weather, it's all the SMF'ers converging on Wyoming for samples.  You might want to think about [​IMG].

    ~Dave
     
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome Qview, but I almost missed it!

    Fantastic Sammies!

    Looks even greater now Eric!

    When I come back to week old threads, I usually only read the last couple posts.

    The only reason I noticed those last pictures was purely by accident.

    I thought it was all over but the comments.

    Bear
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2011
  19. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Lex, hey, if there's one thing I'd say you must try before you die...uh...yea, no mistake, it would would have to be your own home-cured and smoked corned beef pastrami. And, it is every bit as good as it looks. What's so great about doing your own curing is that you control what goes into it, and, the flavor profile is limited only by your imagination. What's makes it even more great is that brine curing is so easy to do.
     


    Thanks, this round just came off so nicely...from cure to smoke to steam...it doesn't get much easier than this batch...well, at least I haven't had any that were easier...LOL!

     


    Oh shoot, Bear! That would have been a shame...gotta watch those mid-thread replies, huh?  Man, this stuff came through without a hitch, and that's rare for me...seems like something is always sneeking up behind me to tap my shoulder and say: Hey you! remember me? Murphy's Law? I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!! LOL!!!! Ah, I don't mind some challenging projects, just so they all aren't making me scratch my head searching for creative fixes.

    Thanks Bear!

     


    Ha-ha! Dave, everyone would be welcome at my house for samples if there were a way. I still haven't seen that huddler upgrade with the PM smoke deliveries go through yet.

    Ah, the salter scale...I opted to stay with a mechanical rig for my first higher capacity scale. Just didn't want to have more technology than I really needed, I guess. I am looking at a bunch of digital postal scales and already have my sights set on a 30lbr. It would stand to reason that a postal scale would probably have the best accuracy of any design out there, so that'll be the route to go, IMO. I wasn't really thinking about it when I bought the salter maechanical scales, but they are rather top heavy once you toss a couple poiunds onto them, and they don't have a very big foot-print for stability, either. Well, lesson learned anyway. Had I spent twice the money, I'd have been using a digital postal scale for more than a year, and would have only needed one scale...I bought the 16oz as well, for weighing lighter pieces, as most mechanical/analog scales and gauges lose accuracy if it's very much above or below 1/2 the dial reading. Basically they need to be calibrated to the particular range they will be used for, otherwise it's kinda like shooting in the dark. Hmm, 40 bucks for the 2 mechanical scales, or less than 60 bucks for an accurate digital with 8lbs higher capacity...hmm...yup, shoulda went digital right off the bat.

    I think the 30lb will suffice, as the biggest hunka meat I've smoked so far was a 22lb whole 7-bone beef rib (standing rib roast/prime rib), and I try to limit my sausage and beef jerky batches to around 10-12lbs, so it'll work out fine for my needs. I might have played with a turkey bigger than that recently, but without curing, there's no real need for a weight on a bird...just read the label and guestimate your cooking time from there. I do toss stuff on a scale now and then just to see if the frozen weight is the same as the label or not. If purchased fresh and then you freeze it at home, then thaw and weigh, you'll lose some water weight if the package leaked at all.

    Oh, crap, is that why my house was shaking like we were having an earthquake?!?!?! Sheesh, that was pretty fast, too! I think they missed my house and stomped through my neighbors place last night looking for me...Ha-ha!!! OOPS!!! Should kept my mouth shut...now they'll know for sure where I live!


    As I mentioned earlier to SmokinAl, I may be slowing down a bit for awhile, but every time I start thinking that I've run out of ideas for smoking or grilling, I get flooded with more inspiration from somwhere. And, I can't forget about my dutch ovens! It's all good fun and great eats!

    Been another fun ride with everyone!

    Eric
     
  20. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    Sweet Baby Jeebus those look AWESOME!!  I have two brisky parked in the Castle freezer, and I have just been too Chicken to do anything with them.

    Your knifework makes me look like a hack, my man. Brilliant tutorial, as always. ::applause::
     

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