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Pastrami in the works!.....Update, finally finished pics after a crazy crazy week

Discussion in 'Beef' started by les3176, Feb 22, 2011.

  1. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    After the threads of pastrami that i saw around here earlier i decided to try my own. I searched 7 differant stores to find juniper berries,with no luck i finally had to order them off the net. Well they showed up today after only 5 days...not too bad,and ofcourse i had to order a bunch of differant spices [​IMG]. I found a 2.65 lbs. brisket flat the other day at the store so i thought that it would be a good canidate for the pastrami incase i did something wrong or it didn't turn out that i wouldn't be out a butt load of money! Now that i have all my goodies its time to get to work. First i made a injection cure of....

    1 cup spring water

    1 1/2 tbl. TQ

    1 tbl. black pepper

    1 tbl. ground coriander

    1 tbl. coriander seed

    1 tbl. ground juniper berries

    1 tbl. dark brown sugar

    I heated up the water so everything can dissolve,then i let it sit and cool till it was safe it chill in the fridge for about 3hrs. to make sure its cold. After the chill time i strained all the seeds and spices out. I injected as much as the little  flat could handle.

    Surprisingly it took almost the whole cure. OK lets get some pics going..here's the juniper berries


    I used my handy dandy coffee turned spice grinder!! Had to buy the wife a new one after i use this one for chipolte peppers!

    Here they are all happy happy!


    This is the first time using juniper berries and wow do these things smell good,they have a very unique smell and flavor.

    OK so now i got my cure made,chilled and ready to go. Here's the cure before i strained it.


    After i injected as much cure as i could i set it back in the fridge for about a hour to get the dry cure ready Here's the dry cure that i used. I searched the web and this site and i made one of my own up so i hope its good..

    1 1/2 tbl. TQ

    1 tbl. dark brown sugar

    3 tbl black pepper

    1 1/2 tbl. ground coriander

    1 tbl. coriander seeds

    1 1/2 tbl. ground juniper berries

    1 tps caraway seeds

    1 tps dry mustard

    1 tps minced garlic

    1 tps pimenton

    I pulled the flat from the fridge and dried it off a little then rubbed it down with almost all of the dry cure,only have about 1 tbl. leftover...Here we go again


    And a close up for good measure!


    Wrapped the flat in saran wrap and then in a food saver bag for its rest in the fridge. Now the wait begins again,being that this is such a small flat i am guessing that 4-5 days will be long enough for the cure to do its job. I plan on flipping it and rubbibg it twice a day for the duration of the curing stage. After thats done i will soak it and make a new dry rub for it. If anyone has any suggestions or tips please feel free to drop a line. Untill then i will be waiting , much more to come as this is just the begining of this pastrami!!! Thanks for looking--LES
  2. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    Man that looks good.. can't wait to see it done[​IMG]
  3. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    Looking good so far and the recipe sounds great
  4. Les, that looks wonderful, you are dealing with some excellent spices in this recipe for the injection and dry cure. Can't wait to see......the rest of the story!  Keep up the good work Les!

    Your SMF Friend,

    Barry  [​IMG]
  5. porked

    porked Smoking Fanatic

    Lookin' good Les.
  6. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Looks great so far Les. We'll all stay tuned to Les TV for the outcome.
  7. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    Thanks for the comments all!! Ok now i have a question, What type of wood would you use to smoke this pastrami? I was thinking a mix of hickory and cherry? Is there a better wood for this type flavor profile? I have alot of wood and dust i can choice from.. hickory,mesquite,cherry,apple,orange,pecan,alder,grape,maple,oak,peach,bourbon,wine,pear, probably afew more that i am forgetting.Any ideas?
  8. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Your choice of wood is clearly a personal preference. I use a hickory, oak, pecan mix for pastrami. I think hickory & cherry would be good too. You just have too many choices!
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2011
  9. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    HAHAHA There is no such thing as TOO many choices!!! LOL I do like the idea of adding oak....I think i'll go oak and hickory with just a touch of cherry and see where that takes me!!

    Thanks for the idea AL!
  10. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    So after days of waiting i finally got  my pastrami done! Things have been VERY hectic around here for myself and my family, the last week we have been with my grandfather who had another stroke and slipped into a coma. And being surounded by all of his family,for love and support he quietly and peacefully passed.After being awake for two days strait, i came home to find my pastrami still waiting to be smoked! It sat in the fridge for 6 days so i figured that it was long enough,being that i totally forgot about it!!! I took it out and soaked it for a hour before i fired up the smoker.....is it wrong to start smoking at 2am with no sleep and extremely exhausted???? oh well i really couldn't sleep anyhow!


    While the brisket was soaking i made a rub of

    black pepper

    ground coriander

    ground juniper berries

    dry mustard

    red bell pepper powder

    ancho chili powder


    After a hour soak i patted it dry and put some rub on. it's ready to go.


    Put the brisket in the mes at 225 with cherry and hickory dust in the amns. Later i mixed in some oak chips with the chip tray.

    Then i remembered that i forgot the fry test!!! It was too late,it was in the mes for 2 hours by then!!! LOL Well what do you

    want when you smoke at 2 in the morning!!!! Oh well,here is the finished pastrami i took it to a IT of 158.


    So now it's about 6 am and i'm hungry anyway so........................................................................................................

    yep you guessed it...pastrami for breakfast!!! Here's getting it all sliced up.


    All sliced up....i'm going to need a slicer!!


    Made some breakfast sammies... marbled rye bread,some mustard,and the swiss cheese i smoked awhile back!


    I really lucked out without doing the fry test, it was perfect not too salty at all.


    It made for a great breakfast!!!! This will NOT be my last pastrami, man this was good!!! Only problem was i started with a

    2.6 pound brisket flat...which was WAY too small!!!LOL But i'm glad i used a small one for my first try,now i know what i like about

    it and what i can change next time. After i ate and took a shower i went into hibornation for 14 hours!!!!  This will be one smoke

    that i will NEVER forget.It's been one crazy week for me and it's nice to have some quiet time and sit around to look at all of the great

    Q here.  Thanks for looking at my crazy smoke---LES
  11. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    That looks awesome Les...
  12. uncle_lar

    uncle_lar Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    awesome pastrami! great job
  13. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks GREAT !     BUE----T-----FULL !!!!

    I missed the start of this thread, but I got here in time for the best part !!!!

  14. lookwow

    lookwow Smoke Blower

    Super good looking. I really need to get a flat and give this a try. But then i also want to try bacon and my wife wont let me take up that much of the fridge.
  15. That looks perfect Les. I made my 1st one a while back and it turned out great too. I was surprised at how easy it was to make. I guess with all the great advice and posts here I guess I really wasn't that surprised. Everyone says once you make one you'll want to make more cause store bought just won't do. Nice job.
  16. les3176

    les3176 Master of the Pit

    Thanks all for the great comments. This will not be my last pastrami,thats for sure!! [​IMG]
  17. Les ...That pastrami looks out of this world..excellent job. That breakfast sammy looks like a meal fit for a king. Nice work on you first pastrami.[​IMG]
  18. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Man, I'm a sucker for home-cured meats, and pastrami is the bomb, IMO. I missed the start of this myself, like Bearcarver.

    Looks perfect, Les! You got a good cure all the way through...nice, dark pink...can't ask for anything better. Your flavor profile is not 100% traditional, but mine aren't either. That's what's great about curing and smoking your own, because you choose what you want for the big picture instead of having to settle for whatever a deli has. I've eaten some deli pastrami that was so-so, some that was great, and some that I had trouble finishing the first sandwich. I don't buy pastrami anymore...I have Tender Quick! LOL!!!

    I've done straight brine cures on all mine, which takes a bit more time than an injection/dry rub cure, but it works out quite well with my 4/2 work schedule, so I stick with what works for me. By all means, do what works for you as well.

    Nice 'strami, brother!

  19. micmike

    micmike Smoke Blower

    Hey Les, I'm so glad to find this thread. Try the mesquite. I've been using it for years. In the South, hickory dominates. The mesquite is a western wood, but what a flavor, and my guests  always like the flavor!
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2011
  20. Les, first may I say that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in the loss of your grandfather, sometimes, when we have a loss it is comforting to us to do something that we like that does not talk back to us. I hope that your time smoking your pastrami gave you some time alone doing something that you liked to do and that you could kind of clear your mind during this time of loss.  If there is anything that I can do please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Now on to your pastrami, I have not had pastrami in a long time, several years at least but I do remember having it the last time at a deli in Richmond, Virginia, they were slicing it up hot and thin and piling it high and it was delicious. I have been following this thread and you have done such a good job with it explaining everything in detail that you did, I think I could do some pastrami on my own.  Well there is another thing on my "TO DO" list.  Thanks for sharing it with us Les.  Again, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time of loss.

    Your Friend,

    Barry  [​IMG]