Instructables

Make delicious pastrami with a simple recipe

Picture of Make delicious pastrami with a simple recipe
Around 1987, I was working downtown in New York City.  I started going to a local Irish pub to get my lunch (Not to be confused with beer.)  They served this wonderful dish called the corned beef.  I did not know how it was prepared but I just loved it.  A few years later I was introduced to pastrami, which is a close cousin of the corned beef, I loved it even better.

Over the years, I have gotten very good at making the corned beef from scratch.  However this was my first attempt to make pastrami.  I used chef John Mitzewich's recipe from his YouTube video.  I cheated a bit by using a corned beef brisket rather than making it from scratch.  I actually used a corned beef brisket, they sell almost all the time at Costco.  If you get the corned beef brisket from Costco, do NOT use the spices which come with it.
 
 
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Step 1: Prepare corned beef brisket from scratch [Optional]

Skip this step if you already got corned beef brisket.  So, what exactly is a corned beef brisket?  The process of corning is basically to soak the meat in brine (salt water) for a few days.  In every recipe there is one secret ingredient which makes all the difference.  In case of pastrami and corned beef, it is the pink salt, which gives the final product a nice pinkish/reddish texture.  It is hard to find it at the grocery stores.  I found it at mySpiceSage.com.  Look for Prague powder number 1.

Use this recipe for a 5 lbs brisket.
  1.     One gallon water
  2.     Two cups Kosher salt
  3.     Five teaspoons pink salt
  4.     1/2 cup brown sugar
Bring the water to a boil with all the ingredients above.  Once cooled, put the brisket in a pan soaked in this brine for at least five days.  Make sure to keep it in a cool place or refrigerator.
The end product is a corned beef brisket.

Step 2: Prepare the meat

Picture of Prepare the meat
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Remove excess fat. Pastrami, unlike the corned beef has little fat.
We enjoy corned beef and pastrami, and we have been wanting a simple recipe for a while. This sounds perfect! Next time briskets are on sale, we will be trying this! Thank you! :-)
kabira (author)  PecanCorner1 year ago
Depending upon how large a quantity you were trying to make, your best bet is to go to Costco or Restaurant Depot (Not sure if they have one in your area.)
Dunyas1 year ago
you're missing one big step; Smoke! What sets pastrami away from corned beef is the fact that it's been smoked. I know that not everyone has the time or ability to smoke meat, but I've used a nice shortcut in the past for similar cooking applications. Before putting your dry rub on, work in a couple of teaspoons of liquid smoke. I make my own by condensing the smoke from my smoker when I'm actually smoking something, but you can buy in in most supermarkets. Normally it's by the barbecue sauces. I can normally find hickory, apple, pecan and mesquite. I'd suggest pecan as it would match best with the spices being used, with apple as a second.
kabira (author)  Dunyas1 year ago
Thanks for your comment. You have made me thinking. My smoker is my grill. So, instead of doing that five hours cooking in the oven, I could use the grill. The hard part will be to keep a steady 250 degrees temperature. However, it is worth a try. I am a big hickory and mesquite fan.