Homemade Corned Beef & Pastrami

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

couger78

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
May 3, 2011
679
243
Northern California
With St. Paddy's day quickly approaching, it's time in our house to start thinking about the meal: corned beef & cabbage.

This years, I decided I'd make our own corned beef and, as an additional treat, make a good bit of pastrami as well.

I picked up 20 pounds of good quality beef brisket— a 14lb monster & two 3-pound flats. After trimming the hard and exterior fat (down to 1/4") from the big brisket (nearly 4 pounds), I prepped them for the brine.

Brine (for 20lbs)

1 gallon water

7.5 TBL (136g) Cure#1

1 LB (453g) kosher salt

3 TBL Coriander Seeds

3 TBL Black Peppercorns

2 TBL Yellow Mustard Seed

3 TBL Brown Sugar

3 TBL Paprika

8 cloves Garlic; minced

I injected the brine into the briskets (10% of total weight). All briskets then were placed into a lug, weighted down (submerged) and place in the refrigerator. There they'll stay for 5 days. I'll move them around around a bit over the course of the next few days to ensure good cure coverage.

No photos yet (images of me trimming fat aren't so exciting 
biggrin.gif
)

But I'll have some when I take the briskets out for the next step...Pastrami-making!

-Kevin
 

couger78

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Thread starter
May 3, 2011
679
243
Northern California
Took a peek at the briskets last night—and gave them a good rotation so cure is evenly distributed. I'll do this every other day.

My temp in this second fridge started a bit low (32°!), so I've cranked it way back (up?) so it'll get to the desired temp for the cure to work effectively ("The curing temperature should be between 36-40° F which falls within the range of a common refrigerator. Lower than 36° F temperature may slow down the curing process or even halt it."—S.Mariansky).

Unfortunately it took about a day & a half to climb to 37-38° so I may extend the brine time an extra day or so to ensure good cure treatment.

-Kevin
 

mballi3011

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Mar 12, 2009
14,477
56
icon_cool.gif


Well Kevin the waiting is always the hardest part of alot of things we do here. So hang in there and soon you ill have some of the best corned beef that you have ever tasted believe me.
 

couger78

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Thread starter
May 3, 2011
679
243
Northern California
Almost there........

My plan is to take the briskets out from the brine tomorrow; dry & rub down those targeted for pastrami and food-saver those two briskets destined for corned beef.

Here's a shot of the beef about 3 days into the soak...The load is weighted down with a 10-pound plate on the lid so they are entirely submerged in the brine. They 'bob' to the surface (in these shots) when the weight is removed.

Shown here are the 3 smaller briskets. They'll be flipped and go on the bottom next as I rotate the pieces in the brine.

cbca1d75_briskt_brine.jpg


The two larger briskets now on top. Since I took these shots a few days ago, I've continued to move them about to ensure good brine saturation.

-Kevin

cd48d3be_briskt_flipped.jpg
 

couger78

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Thread starter
May 3, 2011
679
243
Northern California
At the end of the six day brining period, I pulled the briskets and rinsed them well.

The 3 smaller 'corned' briskets I 'food-savered' for next month's St. Paddy's Day festivities....

6c220d02_briskt_cornedBeef.jpg


The remaining two biggies I gave a generous rub-down of coarsely cracked black pepper, coriander seed & mustard seed. Also mixed in a bit of turbinado sugar to the rub.

I let these dry for a bit before placing them into a pre-heated smoker:

a29d49c2_briskt_rubbed.jpg


At 140° I began giving the pastramis a good dose of hickory smoke. This continued for the next 90 minutes at 140.°

Following the smoke, I raised the temp to 200° & kept the meat cooking until the IT of 165° was reached. I then chilled the two in the refrigerator.

Smoke beginning to roll...

b747b0bf_briskt_smoke.jpg


Next day, I broke out the slicer and took the well-chilled pastramis out to begin the 'pre-packaging' process...

Good uniform color in the meat; a bit on the salty side, but after steaming some & applying mustard & kraut on a sandwich, the pastrami is quite good!

Ready to eat or be packaged up for later....

4a26825d_briskt_past_sliced.jpg


Thanks for lookin!

-Kevin
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: cris993703

scarbelly

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Jul 26, 2009
14,317
73
Man those look great. I bet that made a tasty sandwich 
 

redclaymud

Meat Mopper
Sep 7, 2011
277
16
Barnardsville, NC
I so much want to try this.  Thanks for the recipe. 
 
With St. Paddy's day quickly approaching, it's time in our house to start thinking about the meal: corned beef & cabbage.

This years, I decided I'd make our own corned beef and, as an additional treat, make a good bit of pastrami as well.

I picked up 20 pounds of good quality beef brisket— a 14lb monster & two 3-pound flats. After trimming the hard and exterior fat (down to 1/4") from the big brisket (nearly 4 pounds), I prepped them for the brine.

Brine (for 20lbs)

1 gallon water

7.5 TBL (136g) Cure#1

1 LB (453g) kosher salt

3 TBL Coriander Seeds

3 TBL Black Peppercorns

2 TBL Yellow Mustard Seed

3 TBL Brown Sugar

3 TBL Paprika

8 cloves Garlic; minced

I injected the brine into the briskets (10% of total weight). All briskets then were placed into a lug, weighted down (submerged) and place in the refrigerator. There they'll stay for 5 days. I'll move them around around a bit over the course of the next few days to ensure good cure coverage.

No photos yet (images of me trimming fat aren't so exciting 
biggrin.gif
)

But I'll have some when I take the briskets out for the next step...Pastrami-making!

-Kevin
 

couger78

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Thread starter
May 3, 2011
679
243
Northern California
Well, got it all 'food-savered' in handy little 8 ounce packets.

Gave some away to the neighbors on all sides—always a good idea considering they have to tolerate hours of wonderful BBQ smoke wafting in their direction. 
biggrin.gif


Pastrami is one of those foods that has a pretty wide audience of fans! Now, Liverwusrt...that's a different story.

-Kevin

2ec96ae6_pastrami_bulk.jpg
 

redclaymud

Meat Mopper
Sep 7, 2011
277
16
Barnardsville, NC
Love liverwurst.  Probably eat it on a sandwich twice a week and always have a couple store bought packages in the freezer.  I will never run out of Liverwurst.  Das ist gutes Zeug!

If you have a recipe, please share.