I've been waiting to make something that I considered to be appropriate for my first blog post here, on Grub Hacker. Surprisingly, none of the imaginative wild game dishes created in my kitchen seemed to be able to make the cut, and I ended up choosing this!
Inspired by the most recent episode of No Reservations, and an appealing recipe in Charcuterie, I decided to make fresh pastrami. There's nothing quite like getting fresh, hot pastrami on rye bread from a hole in the wall deli; the results of the following foray into recipes from the aforementioned book are just as fulfilling.
The recipe is very easy, just brine, smoke, steam and serve. Pardon all of the pictures, I'm just becoming more comfortable with my camera and starting to get good pictures. My only regret is that I am unable to stop time and passing by clouds in order to have the sunlight right for pictures.
The brine is going to take a little longer to prepare than it will take to trim the brisket, so start with that. Here's what I put in my brine...
1 gallon water
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. kosher salt
1 1/2 oz. pink salt (6.25%)
1 T. Pickling salt (I made my own, but store bought is suitable)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. honey
8 garlic cloves, minced
Combine ingredients over heat until salt and sugar are dissolved. After 2-3 days submerged in the brine, you should have something that looks like this.
Before smoking, grind up a tablespoon or two of coriander seeds and black peppercorns, both lightly toasted in a dry pan, and evenly coat the meat.
Smoke in a smoker at 250 with lots of oak until internal temp hits 165-170; to bring it to final temperature, place the pastrami in a foil covered pan, half submerged in water.
It should take another 2 hours for the internal temp to hit 185-190, at which point you're ready to slice and serve on rye bread with spicy mustard.