Pastrami from scratch, lots of Q-view!

Discussion in 'Beef' started by smokinal, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. smokinal

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

    Been a while since I've made pastrami from scratch. Got lazy & was just buying store bought corned beef, but they are just not the same. So I picked up a 15+ lb. packer at Wally World. Separated the point & flat, put it in a brine/cure for 10 days. Threw it on the WSM at 225 & 16 hours later I had pastrami. Here's what I started with.

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    It's a big boy!

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    Next I mixed up my brine. I used 1 gal water, 3 level Tbls cure#1, 1/3 cu kosher salt, 1/3 cu brown sugar, 1/3 cu pickling spices, 3 bay leaves, & 1 Tbls granulated garlic.

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    While everything was dissolving in the water, I rinsed the brisket & dried it off.

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    I look at the briskets at Walmart every time we go and I just never see a real good one until I saw this guy. It's a real beauty. Anyhow on to separating the point & flat. It's quite easy if your patient & go slow & you must have a real sharp knife. There's a line of fat running between the two & they are easy to see because the grain of the two run different ways. Here I'm starting to slice between the layers.

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    You can see how rthe head of the point hangs over the end of the brisket and by separating the two you end up with two pieces about 6 inches shorter than the whole brisket. If you have a brisket that won't fit in your smoker and only need a few inches this is one way to get them.

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    Here's the flat all separated from the point.[​IMG]

    Next I trimmed all the fat & silver skin off.

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    After I got it all trimmed up I injected the thick parts with the brine/cure. This is the point & it's almost 4" thick.

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    Here's the pile of fat I trimmed off, not really that much for a brisket this size. I'll put it in the freezer while the brisket is in the cure.

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    Into the brine & into the fridge for 10 days.

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    Through the miracle of SMF TV, it's 10 days later & I took them out of the brine, soaked them in ice water for 4 hours, changing the water one time at 2 hours. Dried them off & next I coated them with mustard.

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    Covered both sides.

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    Then a nice coating of black pepper.

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    Wrap them in saran wrap & into the fridge over night.

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    Fast forward to the next evening. Fill up the WSM for a long night.

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    Put both pieces on the bottom rack.

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    Got the fire started with about 10 lit briquettes on the top of the pile.

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    Get the meat in & put a few probes in them, 2 from the Maverick & 1 from the guru.

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    Next thing is putting the fat I trimmed off on the top rack so it can drip on the meat & keep it nice and moist while I'm sleeping.

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    Fast forward again to this morning. Open the lid to see what's going on & as you can see the fat has done it's job. The fish in the pond behind us are going to get a treat this morning.

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    Get rid of the fat & take the top grate off & see what the pastrami looks like.

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    Well they sure have some bark on them. They have been in 15 hours & I'm going to crank the temp up to 240 to finish them off, I'm looking for about 205.

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    1 hour later they are ready. 203 is close enough.

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    Here they are, they look like a couple of lumps of coal. I didn't foil them so I hope they are not dried out.

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    Time to meet the slicer.

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    Turns out they weren't dry at all, they were moist & melt in your mouth tender.

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    My son is visiting and he is the pickiest eater I know. He will not eat anything but Boars Head pastrami or corned beef. So I made him a sandwich with the scraps that fell out of the slicer & asked him what he thought.

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    He said it was the best pastrami he has ever eaten. He couldn't get enough of it. So I quickly vac packed a bunch so I would have some for later.

    Thanks for looking & I hope you enjoyed the show!
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2011
    smokinpapist likes this.
  2. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    There ya go again Al !   But where is the finished product ?   I bet it won't last long.........[​IMG]

     
  3. smokin - k

    smokin - k Meat Mopper

    Great step by step break down Al... And awesome looking pastrami...! Happy Smoking, Smokin - K
     
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great tutorial Al and great strami.... I could go for some of that too !!!!   Dave
     
  5. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great post and I can see what you were talking about seperating point and flat to shorten and will try it....JJ
     
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Excellent post as always, Al!  And a great tutorial for those who have never broken down a brisket.

    It doesn't shorten the brisket by much, but for some it may be just enough to make the flat fit in the smoker.  An added advantage is that the flat will now be of more uniform thickness for smoking.  The point is also great stuff, but I like to cook them separately.

    Nothing like a great Strami. Once cured, lots of variations on the Strami rub out there.

    Super job, Al!

    Good luck and good smoking.
     
  7. Whoa!

    That looks yummy!

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  8. brentczech

    brentczech Fire Starter

    Big Al,

    Great post man. I just got a lesson for sure.

    I am a BIG Pastrami (and corned beef) guy. I love the stuff and grew up with some great Jewish delis that had killer Pastrami. But the always cooked them in ovens.

    This looks GREAT!!!

    And corn beef tips? Also I really dont like yellow mustard, can you taste this at in the finished product?

    Again well done and looks TASTY!

    BrentCzech
     
  9. I just noticed the can of Steel Reserve!

    That's like drinking whiskey and water!!!! LOL

    Good stuff!

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  10. africanmeat

    africanmeat Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi AL this looks amazing like all your food and the step by step tutorial, when it coming to food and posting it you are a [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  11. smokinal

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


    No you can't taste the mustard at all. The only purpose it has is to hold the pepper on the meat.

    Also thanks all you guys for your nice comments, they are greatly appreciated.
     
  12. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Great job on the Tutorial Al.   Very informative and the strami looks delicious.   

    Do you normally wrap them?  If you do is it similar to ribs where you return them to the smoker to finish them off or more like butts where they get wrapped and then stay wrapped till they get to temp?

    There again   great job!
     
  13. smokinal

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


    I do normally foil them at about 165 like a butt. I like to put them in a pan with a little water & a foil cover then back in the smoker until about 205. These were so big I didn't have any aluminum pans big enough so I just let them go the whole way uncovered. 
     
  14. jrod62

    jrod62 Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Al , all I can say is "YOUR THE MAN !!!!! 

    Added this to my "evernote" file and on the "to do list"

    thanks
     
  15. Looks awesome. Great tutorial. My first attempt is in the brine now. Did you keep smoke going for the entire time?
     
  16. jak757

    jak757 Smoking Fanatic Group Lead

    Love it Al.....makes my mouth water.  And makes me wonder when I'll make my own....soon!
     
  17. smokinal

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


    Yes I did, when I filled the charcoal ring I mixed in about 15 wood chunks with the charcoal so there was always smoke rolling.
     
  18. shoneyboy

    shoneyboy Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Again, another amazing post!!! Great looking Pastrami!!! [​IMG]
     
  19. hoity toit

    hoity toit Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Al , I just got back from the meat market and guess what I'm fixing to do ?


    Your Pastrami recipe. I just couldbt stand it...yours looks so good in the pictures I just have to try it..I'll do a follow up when I finish it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  20. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

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    Now thats a killer job there Al. I love me some  pastrami and I make my own also. I have found the real secret to pastrami and believe me it works. I made som and went to New York City and ate some of mine an then matched it against Katz's Deli, Eisenburg's Deli, and Carnegie Deli. The folks said it ws either better or as good. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011

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