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Dry Aged Pastrami

smokingalsmokingal Posts: 1,025
edited October 2019 in EggHead Forum

For some time now, I've noticed that people will often post questions about the possibility of
curing meat after it has been dry aged.  There's never been a straight answer.  I've only found
two examples of this being done online, and only one was thoroughly documented in a video.
As that process used brining, and I prefer dry cures, I was on my own for this experiment.  I
started a 10 lb. prime packer brisket which was wet aged in the cryovac bag for 2 weeks prior
to being placed in an Umai Dry bag for 35 days to dry age.



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The brisket was then trimmed, rubbed with a nitrate based cure and coated with a new pastrami cure I'm testing out.  This blend has more peppercorns and a mix of seasonings that are more commonly used to season Montreal smoked meat.  The meat was placed in a vacuum-sealed bag and left in the fridge to cure for 30 days.



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The cured brisket was desalinated for 8 hours, with several changes of water, and then placed
on a rack to air dry in the fridge overnight.  Once a pellicle had formed, it was coated in a mix
of fresh ground black peppercorns with a bit of the original pastrami rub blended in.



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The brisket was placed on the Egg at 250F with oak, hickory and cherry being used for smoke. Once it hit 165F, it was wrapped in butcher paper and cooked until it probed tender, around 200F. The flat was then separated from the point.



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While the perfect way to enjoy pastrami is between two slices of bread, I had something else
in mind.  I purchased some Caputo Nuvola Super Tipo 0 Flour, used to make a contemporary version of Neapolitan pizza, some time ago and had yet to put it to use.  This batch of dough
was my second attempt and used the direct method, which involves mixing all ingredients in
at once as opposed to the indirect method using a biga or preferment.



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My take on a pastrami melt pizza started with 270 grams of the cloud pizza dough, which was
cold bulked for two days.  A thick white American cheese sauce which was seasoned with garlic, onion and dehydrated peppers was piped onto the dough as the base before topping it with a mound of the pastrami.



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All done.



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Now obviously I tasted the pastrami soon after it was cooked rather than wait until the pizza
was done.  I can honestly say that it's the best pastrami I've ever had.  There was something
about the nuance of dry aged flavor that really helped shine the spotlight on the pastrami
seasoning.  Like pastrami personified.  Like getting punched in the face with pastrami flavor
and saying, "Thank you, may I have another." - on repeat.  The only thing that slowed me down when eating this pizza was the piping hot cheese sauce which caused me to burn the bejesus out of my mouth several times.

I'm withholding my final judgement on the cloud pizza dough until I can make it in a mixer, like I see being demonstrated in preparation videos online.  So far, the texture isn't as desirable as my tried and true, no-knead, cold bulk method using Tipo 00 flour.  The flavor is excellent, however.

It's "Smokin Gal", not "Smoking Al".
Egging in the Atlanta GA region
Large BGE, CGS setup, Kick Ash Basket, Smokeware SS Cap,
Arteflame grill grate


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