Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Pastrami from Scratch

All of the talk recently on the forum about Pastrami has made me want to make some. I used a modified version of the Montreal Smoked Meat recipe.

I went to Walmart and bought 2 packer briskets. They only had 1 Choice one and the rest were all Select. All were $3.68/pound and they had a lot to choose from. I bought the Choice one at about 14 pounds and a 12 pound select.

Trimmed the hard fat off both. My wife likes to make an oven brisket once in a while, so I cut off a chunk of the flat from the choice one and froze it.

Here is the remaining choice brisket

image

Here is the trimmed Select brisket

image

I use a dry cure and this is my mixture:
• 4 TBSP peppercorn, ground
• 4 TBSP coriander seed, ground
• 1 ½ TBSP bay leaf powder
• 10 TBSP Tender Quick (3/4 TBSP per pound of meat)
• ½ cup Pickling Spice

This is enough for about 12-14 pounds of meat, so scale according to your needs.

Here is the Select brisket covered with dry cure

image

I pack the meat in ziplock bags (2 gallon size) and put it in a plastic tub in the refrigerator. The bags are turned twice per day for 9 days.

image

At the end of the 9 days, I wash the spices off and then soak for 4 hours in water which is changed every half hour or so. This removes quite a bit of the salt.

I then coat it with my chosen rub (I use a homemade one), cover it in plastic and leave in the refrigerator overnight.

Next morning, I setup the BGE with the platesetter, drip pan on top of that, and grill on top of that. I use a few chunks of Almond wood (very similar to Pecan). Set it for 250 and pile the meat onto a V rack. I’ve never done 2 large briskets like this before, so the meat is piled pretty thick. It is going to be interesting to see how well it cooks. Here is a picture of the brisket stack:

image

At 2 ½ hours into the cook, I decided it would be best if I switched around the meat a little to even out the cooking. Here it is after the switch:

image

At 4 ½ hours into the cook with an internal temperature around 150, I wrapped the pastrami in foil along with some chicken broth. I did taste a small burnt end and it was tough, as expected, but the flavor was very good.

I don’t mind using the foil crutch with Pastrami since I’m not too concerned about a crunchy bark.

Here is a picture of the foil packages:

image

About 5 hours later, I removed the foil packages from the BGE and opened 1 of them to see what it looks and tastes like. Here is one of the pieces:

image

It tasted great and was very tender. Even though it had been wrapped in foil it still had some nice burnt ends. Here is a picture of that piece with a few slices cut:

image

And finally the pastrami plated for eating with some cooked cabbage and homemade rye bread which I baked while waiting for the pastrami to finish:

image

It was a very successful cook. I had my doubts when I had to pile up the meat to get all to fit inside the BGE, but it worked out very well. I didn’t notice much difference between the Choice and Select briskets.
Large BGE
Barry, Lancaster, PA

Comments

  • SJ21XDCSJ21XDC Posts: 235
    This looks incredible!  =D>

    XL & Mini-Max

    Chattanooga, TN

  • LegumeLegume Posts: 11,824
    Wow! I really need to try this, I've stayed away from curing but, I gotta try this
    I do not have any broken or spare parts for any size egg.
  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,690
    Interesting approach, and it really looks good.  I did pastrami once, but started with a corned beef brisket and then a pepper/coriander rub in the smoker.  I did not cook it long enough to get as tender as yours ( next time), but I like the idea of the dry cure and starting with a fresh brisket. ^:)^


    Legume said:
    Wow! I really need to try this, I've stayed away from curing but, I gotta try this
    Don't be afraid of curing.  It opens up a whole new world!
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • bill37bill37 Posts: 126
    I made pastrami from eye of a round. Everybody loves it and it made nice slices!! 
  • Nice, Looks like it turned out really good. What temp are you going to before pulling? 180F or 200F I.T. ? 
    You must have smoked these for 12 hours+ with that much meat stacked up?
    Have you tried going longer time with your rub other than overnight? 
    You must be shuffling these fairly often with the stack you've got going. Are the pieces tasting pretty consistent with this method? I would be worried the meat isn't getting the proper surround of heat and smoke but if you leave it on there long enough I guess you achieve that in a sense.

    I have done pastrami a bunch of times following the Katz Deli recipe. Make my own corn beef with a wet brine for 2 weeks+. Like @Legume says, don't be afraid of the curing, it makes big difference.
    After that, will soak in water for minimum of 8 hours to dump some of the high salt content.  

    Have done a few batches with the overnight dry rub but after doing one with the dry rub at over 5 days, I don't do them any less than that. The meat seems to absorb a lot more of the flavors over a longer time period but it does not get over powering since there are so many spices banging around.

    When doing pastrami I usually go with an 8-10 lb brisket and it usually takes around 8 hours at the 225F indirect cook. Shooting for about 180-190 I.T. before pulling. 
     
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,835
    bill37 said:
    I made pastrami from eye of a round. Everybody loves it and it made nice slices!! 
    I've had corned beef and pastrami made from eye of round but didn't care for it since the texture isn't what I expect from a corned beef. I'm sure it's good, but just not my preference.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,835
    Nice, Looks like it turned out really good. What temp are you going to before pulling? 180F or 200F I.T. ? 
    You must have smoked these for 12 hours+ with that much meat stacked up?
    Have you tried going longer time with your rub other than overnight? 
    You must be shuffling these fairly often with the stack you've got going. Are the pieces tasting pretty consistent with this method? I would be worried the meat isn't getting the proper surround of heat and smoke but if you leave it on there long enough I guess you achieve that in a sense.


    After that, will soak in water for minimum of 8 hours to dump some of the high salt content.  

    Have done a few batches with the overnight dry rub but after doing one with the dry rub at over 5 days, I don't do them any less than that. The meat seems to absorb a lot more of the flavors over a longer time period but it does not get over powering since there are so many spices banging around.


    When I pulled it off the BGE the IT was about 205 and everything was very tender - it passed the butter test.

    The total time was about 10 hours.  4.5 hours initially, then wrapped for about 5 more hours.  The temp was about 150 when I foiled it.  The grid temperature was about 250-275 for the first 4.5 hours, then I let it get up to about 280-300 when wrapped in foil.

    I only rearranged the stack once.  I was a little concerned that it wouldn't smoke or cook consistently, but it did pretty well.  All the chunks of brisket looked pretty much the same and were equally tender and smokey.

    I have made this before but wasn't as thorough with changing  the water frequently as I did this time.  This one wasn't as salty as my past ones.  I only did the soaking for 4 hours but did change the water about 6 times.  My wife doesn't like a lot of salt and was very happy with the way this one came out.

    I'd definitely do it this way again but will look for smaller briskets next time - not because I wasn't happy with these results but the logistics of soaking and stacking this amount of brisket was a lot of work.

    The leftovers are in the freezer for future meals and some for the kids to take home.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • Mouth watering.  Very instructive and helpful.  I'm going to try it at some point -- need to block out the time and commit.  Thanks for posting!
    It's a 302 thing . . .
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,835
    Mouth watering.  Very instructive and helpful.  I'm going to try it at some point -- need to block out the time and commit.  Thanks for posting!
    It's always a challenge to figure out if we'll be home for a 10 day period where I can plan to do all the steps necessary.  It's definitely worth the effort.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • GATravellerGATraveller Posts: 8,189
    That looks delicious.  Thanks.

    "Social media gives legions of idiots the right to speak when they once only spoke at a bar after a glass of wine, without harming the community [...] but now they have the same right to speak as a Nobel Prize winner. It's the invasion of the idiots."

                                                                                  -Umberto Eco

    2 Large
    Peachtree Corners, GA
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 5,676
    That looks fantastic I dont have tender quick but I do have #1 pink salt could I substitutes pink salt for tender quick? I have a packer in the freezer and want to do this.
                                                                
    _________________________________________________
    Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story!
    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,835
    JRWhitee said:
    That looks fantastic I dont have tender quick but I do have #1 pink salt could I substitutes pink salt for tender quick? I have a packer in the freezer and want to do this.
    They do about the same thing but the proportions are different.  Read the instructions on Pink Salt to see how much you use per pound of meat.  Good luck
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • JRWhiteeJRWhitee Posts: 5,676
    @Shiff
    Thank you.
                                                                
    _________________________________________________
    Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story!
    Large BGE 2006, Mini Max 2014, 36" Blackstone, Anova Sous Vide
    Green Man Group 
    Johns Creek, Georgia
  • cook861cook861 Posts: 872
    Nice looking  pastrami thx for the how to instruction to 
    Trenton ON 1 mbge for now
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.