musings, mutterings, and creative muddle. . .

Monday, July 26, 2010

Corning of the Beef Part 3: Pastrami

So we started with Corning the Beef.   Then we moved on to using that corned beef in Corned Beef and Cabbage (not so successfully, I should add)  And now it's time for Pastrami!

Pastrami is, basically, corned beef, rubbed with spices, smoked, then thinly sliced.  I do have to say that I liked our pastrami better than the stores - which, considering how the corned beef and cabbage came out, is a real plus!

Pastrami Spice Rub:

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup paprika
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon white peppercorns
1 tsp granulated garlic

Combine coriander seeds, peppercorns and mustard seeds in a spice grinder. Grind coarsely. In separate bowl, combine grinder contents with remaining ingredients and mix well.  Rub into corned beef thoroughly and prepare for smoker.
Smoke at 225 degrees for 4 hours.  Let meat rest until just cool enough to handle and slice against the grain. 

We have a meat slicer and though it made pretty even slices for our sandwiches, it was most certainly messy to clean up. . . so I'm not sure if a person wouldn't be just fine using a long, sharp knive and cutting board to the same effect.

We took our pastrami, piled it onto some swirled rye bread, topped it with baby swiss cheese and had sliced tomatoes and cucumber salad on the side.  So deliciously good!  The meat was a little tougher than we expected, but the flavor was excellent!

One thing Hubster did different on this piece of corned beef than on the other one (we used for our Corned Beef and Cabbag) is he not only rinse-rinse-rinsed it under cool water, he also boiled it before seasoning for the smoker.  Boiling helps pull salt out of meat (we do this all the time with hams before we smoke or bake them).  They key is NOT to boil the meat so long and so hard as to actually cook it before cooking it.  Sometimes, on extra salty hunks, you'll want to drain the salty water and replace with fresh water a time or two to pull out more salt.

So, overall, was the Beef Brining experiment a success or failure?

Considering it was our first attempt, the first recipe bombed, and the second wasn't bad. . . AND we have an excellent source of already brined beef for our various recipes, I'm going to have to say it wasn't a complete success nor a complete failure.  But I don't see us revisting this brining process again in the near future.

I'm thinking it's time for something sweet - how about cookies?

Let us know if you try brining your own beef - we'd LOVE to hear how it turns out for you!

Have a Beefy kind of day ~

Robin Z

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