Pastrami

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Pastrami

Post  PjL on Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:28 pm

Has anyone made pastrami?

Have searched on the forum, but no results and a www search only gives hot smoking recipes. Basically, if I cure, cold smoke then steam bake, how long should it be cold smoked for? Any suggestions?

Cheers.

PjL
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Re: Pastrami

Post  Mack on Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:51 am

Hi PjL,
Pastrami is normally Hot Smoked I think.
I'm going to try some Bresaola from this recipe http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/may/11/how-to-make-bresaola but I will be cold smoking it for around 4 hours too.
I'll post some results as soon as I'm done.
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Traditional..

Post  PjL on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:40 am

Hi Mack,

Traditionally, pastrami was cold smoked, roasted slowly then steamed. I just can't find any details, just that overview. Today's recipes do, as you say, hot smoke because it's easier. Who has a cold smoker these days??? Probably most of us on this forum thanks to you and the little CSG which I have been using for a year now and am very happy with it, as are most of the neighbours and family who get the smoked foods!

I am curing it now and plan to cold smoke it for 3 hours, then slow roast it, covered, then add water to the pan and steam it until tender. We shall see.

Just cold smoked some biltong prior to hanging. The smell is out of this world, I nearly wanted to eat it raw!

PjL.

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The results...

Post  PjL on Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:39 pm

OK, it seemed like a lot of trouble but...

I cured the beef for 5 days. Then dried it and left it in the fridge overnight to dry some more. Then smoked it for 3 hours. Then rolled it in spices. Then slow roasted it, covered, for about 3 hours and then I steamed it by adding boiling water to the pan in the oven and raising the oven temp for about an hour. Then chilled it and waited until the following day.

The result is some rather good pastrami. No one was more surprised than me. Sliced it up, vacuum sealed and froze it. I just take a pack out of the freezer the night before I want it. The following day I lay it in a dish and pour boiling water over the bag, leave it for a few mins and I have hot pastrami sandwiches for lunch.

PjL
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Re: Pastrami

Post  Mack on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:20 am

Any Pics and would you be willing to share the complete recipe/ method?
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Recipe...

Post  PjL on Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:25 pm

For each 1Kg of brisket I used;

2 Litres of brine - I used a nitrate salt for this to retain the colour of the meat (95% water 5% curing salt) but you can use a basic 10% brine solution (90% water, 10% Salt) if you prefer.
160g brown sugar
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp coriander seed
2 Bay leaves
couple of sprigs of thyme
4 garlic cloves
6 juniper berries
You could use pickling spices instead if you want an easier option.

Add all the brine ingredients and bring to the boil. Allow to cool fully. Add the brine to your curing box, I use a large plastic one although I have seen plastic bags used on the www. Add the brisket. Put the lid on (or seal the bag) and put it in the fridge. Give it a jiggle every day to ensure it gets brined evenly. Leave it for about 4 days, more if it is a large piece of meat. I had 2 x 2Kg and left it for 5 days for the first piece, the second stayed in for another 5 days and became salt beef by just boiling it in fresh water for 2 hours and allowing it to cool.

Rinse off the cure and pat dry.

The spice covering is an individual taste thing. I have tried a couple;

1. Finely ground black pepper and corriander seed. You can use a coarse grind but that tends to stick in your teeth a bit!

2. Finely ground smoked paprika and chilli.

Both worked well, you will need about 20g of either. Massage your choice of spice into the meat.

Cold smoke the brisket for about 6-8 hours.

After smoking, place in a roasting tray in a wire rack. Cover the tray with foil, making a tent over the meat (don't let it touch the meat too much as it may stick and remove the spice coating). Place in an oven at 120C for about 90mins. After 90 mins, add water to the bottom of the tray to steam the meat for another 90 mins. It should now be very tender, if not, let it cook for another 30 mins or more until it is tender.

I chill it, slice it and vacuum seal it in portions. You can then either have it cold (defrosted!) or place the bag in a bowl of boiled water for 10 mins to have hot pastrami sandwiches.

I've looked at trying a photo, but frozen, vacuum sealed pastrami isn't very photogenic!

PjL
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