How to: Homemade Pastrami
January 29, 2014
Now that I no longer live in New York, it’s been extremely difficult to find really good pastrami. After a quick review of a few recipes, I decided to try my hand at home curing and smoking my own pastrami. The result? It was exactly as I had hoped for, piled high between a couple of slices of rye bread and slathered with some whole grain mustard.
½ cup Kosher salt
4 tsp. pink curing salt
2 tbsp. pickling spice
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
4-5lb uncooked brisket
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1 tbsp. cracked black pepper
Combine Kosher salt, curing salt, pickling spice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and minced garlic in a small saucepan and heat over medium until the sugars have completely dissolved. Remove the curing mixture from the heat, pour in to a medium sized bowl and refrigerate until fully cooled.
Place the brisket in a container large enough to hold it and cover it completely with the brine mixture. Place a heavy plate or bowl on top of the brisket to weight it down. Refrigerate the brisket for 4 days.
Remove the brisket from the brine mixture, rinse it under cold water to completely remove the mixture, then pat dry. Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees, adding 6-7 Kingsford Smokehouse Style Briquets or 3-4 chunks of your favorite smoking wood once the charcoal has completely ashed over. Coat the brisket with the coriander seeds and cracked black pepper then place it on the smoker.
Cover the smoker and allow the cured brisket to smoke for 2 hours. Place the brisket in to a disposable aluminum half pan, add ½ cup of water, and cover with tinfoil. Place the aluminum pan on the smoker and allow the cured brisket to continue cooking for another 1.5-2 hours until fork tender (approximately 185 degrees internal temperature).
Remove the pastrami from the half pan, rest for 10 minutes, slice and serve.