Author Topic: Pastrami  (Read 501 times)

Offline Piker

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Pastrami
« on: April 03, 2017, 10:47:01 am »
My question is can you make pastrami out of a plain brisket. I have made corned beef before and all the recipes I see call for brining and I do not havegoodplace to store it. Also can you make corned beef without brining. Thks

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Pastrami
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 01:58:00 pm »
I always make my pastrami from fresh brisket. If you are doing from scratch, you must first cure the brisket to make corned beef. After curing, and you have corned beef, you then make pastrami out of it. That is done by adding a spicy seasoning, and smoking it.

Beef Pastrami

Note: I no longer use Morton Tender Quick. I now use the Basic Cure and use more precise measurement. The first half of the recipe makes the brisket into corned beef. Once the rub is applied you are on your way to making pastrami. If you have your own corned beef recipe start with that, then pick up the recipe at the Dry Rub section.


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Offline Grouperman941

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Re: Pastrami
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 02:54:35 pm »
My question is can you make pastrami out of a plain brisket. I have made corned beef before and all the recipes I see call for brining and I do not havegoodplace to store it. Also can you make corned beef without brining. Thks

You can use a dry cure to make the corned beef. Habs has a great recipe on the recipe site. I actually usually do pastrami with eye round and a dry cure.
I have trimmed up whole brisket and done the exact same thing and it is great. If the price of brisket here stays lower than eye round, next time, I am going to trim one or two up, use the flat for pastrami, and make BBQ and a ton of burnt ends out of the point(s).
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Offline Ka Honu

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Re: Pastrami
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 03:42:59 pm »
My question is can you make pastrami out of a plain brisket.
That's how it's done by folks who really like their pastrami (and corned beef for that matter) - as Habs says, corn it first and then make the corned beef into pastrami.


I have made corned beef before and all the recipes I see call for brining and I do not have good place to store it.
You can cut the brisket into manageable chunks and corn in gallon Zip-Loc bags in the fridge.


Also can you make corned beef without brining.
The definition of corning is to cure in a salt brine, so the answer is "No." However, as Grouperman points out, the brine doesn't necessarily have to be wet (although I've never tried it that way and I'm not sure how well the pickling spice would work its way into the meat).

IMO other cuts besides brisket can work well for corned beef (bottom round, rump roast, etc.). For pastrami, however, I prefer to start with a fattier meat which makes a juicier, more tender, and tastier product. In other words - brisket.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Pastrami
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2017, 02:21:13 am »
For myself, the best cuts to cure for corned beef or pastrami is the beef plate; which is almost impossible to find; then brisket. Because of the price of brisket in my area, I have tried other cuts of beef, and they all fall short of the flavor and fat content of either the plate or the brisket. So I won't make pastrami unless I can find a brisket, or plate, which I've never been able to get. If you use another beef cut, I would stick with cuts from the chuck.

If you have a whole packer, I would separate the point from the flat, and not any further prior to curing it. You don't have to cure both pieces at the same time. For example, you can freeze the point for later, and just cure the flat. If you can find the right container, a wet brining may not take up much more room than dry curing (dry brining). I prefer dry curing, but I have been able to wet brine (cure) a 7.5 pound flat, in a 2.5 gallon resalable bag.

As a side note; many members will make pastrami out of commercial corned beef. Which is very inexpensive, but it just doesn't taste right to me.


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Offline Piker

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Re: Pastrami
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 07:00:43 am »
Thanks for all the advice. I found my old notes and that was how I did it a few years ago. I guess I had a bit of brain freeze. I will start it today and be in touch if I need some more help.