Pastrami is a prepared meat that I have always really enjoyed and fell in love with at Katz Deli in NY, succulent, served with pickles and mustard on rye bread. I had a few pieces of brisket point left over from a competition. This does take a few days to prepare, but is well worth the effort.
- 1x Brisket point or flat +- 2kgs
- 4x Tablespoons Sea Salt
- 2x Tablespoons brown sugar
- 2x Tablespoons dried coriander seeds (in a pan then crushed)
- 3-4 Bay leaves shredded
- 1x Tablespoon of crushed garlic
- 1x Teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes
- 3x (8 grams) Teaspoons Prague Powder #1 (93.75% Table salt and 6.25% Sodium Nitrite)
Rinse and dry the meat. Take the dry ingredients above and mix well. Take the garlic and rub into the meat, then rub the remaining mixed dry items for the dry brine into the meat. Place the meat into air tight sealed bags and squeeze as much air out of the bags before sealing.
Place the sealed bags in the fridge and turn daily for 3-4 days. On the day you are going to smoke the meat, rinse off all the spices. I was worried about the salt content, so I placed the meat in the a bowl of water for 45mins with a plate on top. Remove from the water, dry thoroughly and then add the dry rub.
- 2x Large handfuls of coriander (roasted in a pan and crushed)
- 2x Tablespoons of pepper
- 1x Tablespoon of garlic powder
Smoke for 3-5 hours at 225F until it hits an internal temp of 165F. Wrap in foil with 2x Tablespoons of butter and put back in the smoker for 1hour. Remove from the smoker, vent for 15 minutes then wrap in foil and let it rest for 1 hour. Slice thinly and serve on warm white bread with pickles, cheese and a splash of hot sauce.
Lessons Learnt - I used 1x Teaspoon of the Prague Powder, but it wasnt enough as a result my meat was not as tender and did not have quite the pink colour I was hoping for. There are many articles written about the dangers of Sodium Nitrite and Nitrates, but it is now commonly accepted that as long as the end product is not cooked in excess of 600 degrees Celsius, carcinogens will not form in the cooked meat.