Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Smoked Brisket! Pastrami!

As you may recall, one of the first things I'd planned to do post meat hiatus was test out my stove-top smoker with a pork butt or brisket. And true to my word, the first chance I got, I picked up brisket to get started. Unfortunately, that first chance I got was late night at the end of  a long round trip drive to Motown immediately following from a weeklong conference. I was tired. I was a little surprised to discover the next morning that I had picked up a corned beef brisket.


Then it occurred to me: When you smoke corned beef, you get pastrami. I can work with pastrami.

Basic pastrami is pretty straightforward - a pepper based rub, and lots of smoke from milder woods. After scanning the web, I came up with a rub that sounded good, and pulled out the applewood.

C'mon, it's not like it was obviously corned beef...
I used:

1 Corned Beef Brisket

~A couple tbsp each of:
Tricolor Pepper corns
Coriander Seeds
Mustard Seeds
Coriander Seeds
Granulated Garlic
Sea Salt
Dark Brown Sugar

Rye Bread

1. First, put the seeds in your spice grinder, and grind coarsely. You want some texture.
2. Mix with the remaining seasonings with the ground seeds.
3. Apply liberally to the corned beef brisket.
4. Load up your wood chips, and smoke. I kept mine on for a couple hours. It could have used more, or at least some time in the oven with low heat.


While it wasn't in the Carnegie Deli's league, I was pretty pleased. As I mentioned it probably could have used more time - the flavor was fine, but when cut thick, it was a little chewy. A few hours at 250 F or so probably would have helped. I ought to point out that at the 1 hour point, there was a brisk knock at the door. It being a lazy sunday afternoon, I was less than presentably attired, and threw on a robe. I answered the door to find building security investigating a wood-burning smell. "Not problem, long as nothing's on fire. You cooking?" I was asked. So, I replied "Nothing's on fire. Cooking. Yeah, I'm cooking. No fire." In my robe, unkempt, and I'm sure sounding more than a little cagey.

I decided it was probably a good time to wrap up my pastrami adventure ASAP.

At any rate,  when thin sliced was, the texture was fine - and I kept finding myself heading back to the kitchen with carving night in hand. Definitely worth revisiting in the future.

Just needs mustard!

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