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Brisket - Corned beef and Pastrami

MileHiGuy

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Hi all. I bought a 14.3 lb whole packer brisket and am making corned beef and pastrami out of it. This will take 1 week plus. Here are pics.

Cut into 3 pieces, and then put into a brining solution of pickling spices for 1 week. I will get it out and proceed with the next step in a week. Oh and if you try this make sure you drink lots of beer along the way.
 

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bauchjw

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Looking good! I’m in! Let’s see those bad boys in a few weeks, I’ll keep the beer flowing!
 

bigfurmn

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Dang I am all in for this one. Can’t wait to see the finished product!
 

TNJAKE

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I'm in. Mind sharing your recipe?
 

pushok2018

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Looking.... So far so good... Agreed with TNJAKE - any chance you can share your recipe and the process?
 

DRKsmoking

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I'm in for the run, and i'm also in the list of asking for the recipe if you can.
Do you stir , every day , blend of the spice etc.

Not much on beer unless real hot out , so thats not today. I will have to settle for a Rum and Coke process

David
 

jcam222

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Looking good. In for the finish! I love pastrami.
 

SmokinEdge

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How much cure #1 (nitrite) did you use?
 

MJB05615

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Looks good, can't wait for the finished in a few weeks. I'm in the midst of a dry cured Brisket turning into Pastrami. About 6 lbs after trim, etc. Supposed to smoke it tomorrow, but Winter is expected this evening into tomorrow all day with snow and ice. I may have to wait a day or three. This will be my 4th try, so far mixed results, not like I hoped for. Still fun trying.
 

MileHiGuy

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Looks good, can't wait for the finished in a few weeks. I'm in the midst of a dry cured Brisket turning into Pastrami. About 6 lbs after trim, etc. Supposed to smoke it tomorrow, but Winter is expected this evening into tomorrow all day with snow and ice. I may have to wait a day or three. This will be my 4th try, so far mixed results, not like I hoped for. Still fun trying.
Post the results of yours. Personally I have used a liquid brine and a dry brine (I used a recipe from Chef John Folse's cookbook - The encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole cuisine https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/encyclopedia-of-cajun-creole-cuisine-john-d-folse/1100199520) and I've had better results with the liquid brine. The flavor of the brine is just more pronounced in my experience.
 

MJB05615

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Post the results of yours. Personally I have used a liquid brine and a dry brine (I used a recipe from Chef John Folse's cookbook - The encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole cuisine https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/encyclopedia-of-cajun-creole-cuisine-john-d-folse/1100199520) and I've had better results with the liquid brine. The flavor of the brine is just more pronounced in my experience.
It's in the Smoker now. Unseasonably cold and snowing today. Not expected above 32 today and windy. Smoker is maintaining temp pretty good the first 2 hours. Hope it finishes before we lose power, lol. If it comes out decent, I will post some pics and results.
Using my MES 40 Gen 1, with Hickory running about 235-240' cook temp. Hoping to get 180 IT when done.
I'm going to look into that book you mentioned, thanks for the link.
 

MileHiGuy

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Here is the recipe / process I am following, it's a take-off from a recipe I found on the Amazing Ribs website - from Meathead Goldwyn:

I did modify the recipes I have to accommodate a whole packer brisket. The recipe below is after my modifications.

Pickling Spice:
3 T prague powder #1
4 T whole mustard seeds
3 T whole allspice berries
2 T ground coriander (the recipe calls for whole coriander seeds but I didn't have any)
1 T ground Ginger
1 T red pepper flakes
4 T ground cinnamon
6 Bay leaves
15 whole cloves
2 cups of brown sugar
10 cloves of garlic
4 gallons of water
14.3 lb packer brisket (I bought it at Costco, it's choice beef. I've used Prime beef before but couldn't tell the difference.)
equipment: large plastic Cambro to let the brined meat sit in for a week

Combine all the dry ingredients and garlic, add the water to the Cambro, add the dry ingredients (oh and don't forget to drink beer while doing this), stir the brine well.
Trim the brisket and separate the point from the flat. I cut the flat in half to make 3 cuts of meat. I intend to use one of the less fatty cuts for Corned beef and the other two for pastrami. Place the meat in the brine and let it sit for at least a week to make corned beef brisket. Stir each day to move the meat around and let it absorb the brine.

That is as far as I am right now. I will add more later.
 

MJB05615

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I've seen that before, and the Rub I use before smoking if also from that same thread on Amazing Ribs. Also they have one they claim is similar to Katz in NY, which I've had and is the best of the best. I'm doing the dry cure from SmokinAl SmokinAl . The Rub is from Amazing Ribs, the only ingredient I couldn't get for the rub was Juniper berries. I don't know if that would change the flavor much, but if this round isn't good, I won't be doing again until I have Juniper berries. I've also started with store bought Corned Beef, soaked it for 18 hours and turned into pastrami. It was OK, but still had some Corned Beef taste in it.
 

MJB05615

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But this is how we learn, once I get it right, it'll be pastrami on a regular basis for us. We can't get it here in Ga. They only have Top Round, and not the Flat. We don't like the Top Round type.
 

thirdeye

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Oh and if you try this make sure you drink lots of beer along the way.
Got you covered on that one.... Plus I use beer as part of the liquid in my corning brine.
 

thirdeye

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Here is the recipe / process I am following, it's a take-off from a recipe I found on the Amazing Ribs website - from Meathead Goldwyn:

I did modify the recipes I have to accommodate a whole packer brisket. The recipe below is after my modifications.
With respect to the aromatics you are using, my corning brine is similar. Say, the same brine can work well on pork butts, then you have Porkstrami.
 

Steve H

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Sounds interesting. What is the next step after a week? I'm just asking because I'm curious about the meat only being cured for a week. That doesn't sound long enough. I usually go 12 days. Longer if it is really thick.
 

MileHiGuy

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Alright, so I felt inspired to try a recipe I saw on the Amazing Ribs website. I pulled the first of three brisket cuts out of the brine marinade two days ago and chopped it into smaller pieces that I could then feed into my meat grinder to make burgers out of. I then grilled them and made corned beef burgers out of them.

So, after 9 days in the brine, I pulled out a brisket that weighed 4.7 lbs and cut it into about 2 inch cubes and froze it for about 20 minutes. Then I got it out of the freezer and it was just a bit too big and not quite frozen enough so I cut it into about 1 inch cubes and froze it for another 20 minutes. Then I got it out - again - and ran it through my Kitchenaid meat grinder. I then made patties out of the meat and froze 2/3 of it and the rest I put in the refrigerator. The next night, I got a fire going hot with B&B charcoal in my weber kettle and dumped the coals on one side of the grill and put a chunk of hickory wood on top and let it get going a bit. After about 15 minutes, I put two of the patties on the grill over indirect heat, being sure that the smoke vent was over my food and would flow that way. I grilled them about 12 minutes, flipping them twice and I then checked the temp (it was about 125 I think), I then moved them over direct heat for two minutes per side (4 minutes total). Then I took them off the grill and checked the temp. It 140 - 14.

Then I assembled the sandwiches / burgers like Reubens...with swiss cheese, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and corned beef burgers on pumpernickel. I plated them with homemade potato latkes and a pickle. I'd give the finished product a rating of about 4.5 stars out of 5. My wife thought they were awesome...I'd have to admit though, I got Covid about 3 months ago and my taste has been off a bit since then, so maybe that's why I gave them 4.5 stars.

The Corned Beef flavor was mild, I thought. I still have two briskets, one point and one flat section in the brine. I plan to get them out tomorrow and I plan to smoke the point for pastrami and to freeze the other brisket for a traditional corned beef brisket with cabbage...any thoughts or experience with freezing a corned beef brisket would be appreciated. Oh, and I would say that Steve H's comment above made me think about brining them longer than I originally planned. I'm glad I did. I will post more results after I cook the rest.
 

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MJB05615

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Those look excellent! Great work. Can't wait to see the rest down the road.
 

BXMurphy

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I just did my first corned beef and WOW! It came out great! It really is better than store-bought. Who knew?!?

I wish I wrote down what I threw in there so I can do it again. Ah, well...

I want to do a pastrami next. Isn't pastrami just thin-cut corned beef? Or is it a different spice and brine recipe or cut of meat?

Murph
 
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