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ramrod25 02-09-2011 09:02 AM

Pastrami Question
 
Went down to our local Walmart to get a corned beef brisket last night - sorry - we don't carry those anymore. Tried the other grocery store in town (small town) and they didn't have one either. HUM:crazy:

So - I have a question. If you buy a corned beef brisket - and then soak it to get out all of the salt - do you really end up with just a regular flat brisket??

In other words, can I take a brisket flat and season it for pastrami - and end up with pastrami??? Or is there something special about starting with the corned beef brisket?

Thanks for the help.

Regards
Rodney

Ron_L 02-09-2011 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramrod25 (Post 1541676)
So - I have a question. If you buy a corned beef brisket - and then soak it to get out all of the salt - do you really end up with just a regular flat brisket??

Nope. It is still corned. The water bath just pulls some of the salt out of it so it doesn't taste like a salt lick after you smoke it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramrod25 (Post 1541676)
In other words, can I take a brisket flat and season it for pastrami - and end up with pastrami??? Or is there something special about starting with the corned beef brisket?

Again, Nope. If you take a regular brisket, season it and smoke it you have regular smoked brisket :-D Pastrami is basically smoked corned beef. You can buy a regular brisket and cure it (the corning process) yourself to get corned beef and then smoke it. I've done that a few times and it come out great, but the corning process takes a couple of weeks depending on the size of the brisket.

BBQ Grail 02-09-2011 09:08 AM

The process of "corning" a beef brisket is more than just seasoning a brisket with seasoning. It take several days of a wet cure/brine to give it the flavor of corned beef.

The soaking you are going to give your store bought corned beef will only remove salt. The flavors imparted with the wet/cure/brine will not be leached away.

bigabyte 02-09-2011 09:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramrod25 (Post 1541676)
Went down to our local Walmart to get a corned beef brisket last night - sorry - we don't carry those anymore. Tried the other grocery store in town (small town) and they didn't have one either. HUM:crazy:

If you have a Sam's nearby, they should be carrying them this time of year.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramrod25 (Post 1541676)
So - I have a question. If you buy a corned beef brisket - and then soak it to get out all of the salt - do you really end up with just a regular flat brisket??

No. The curing agent is in the meat already and has converted the myoglobin to nitorsomyoglobin. When cooked, the meat will turn pink. It will never be a regular brisket again.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ramrod25 (Post 1541676)
In other words, can I take a brisket flat and season it for pastrami - and end up with pastrami??? Or is there something special about starting with the corned beef brisket?

No, you need to brine it first or it won't taste the same, and it certainly won't look the same. There are seasonings added to the brine that flavor the meat, it is not just pure salt and/or curing agent. You would be missing this added flavor by using a regular brisket.

Big George's BBQ 02-09-2011 09:12 AM

Why not get a corn beef and do a pastrami from that

dmprantz 02-09-2011 09:16 AM

Buy some TenderQuick and go to the Virtual Weber Bullet for a recipe for making your own corned beef. There's another good recipe out there too, but I forget where it is. You can always skip the TQ, but I don't think it's as good. If you want real pastrami, you should use a beef plate, but good luck finding one. Brisket point is pretty close.

dmp

Will work for bbq 02-09-2011 10:50 AM

I've done the dry rub method from the virtual weber bullet and it comes out great, the hardest part for me was trying to find tender quick locally, so I bought it online at Allied Kenco.

BBQ Grail 02-09-2011 10:56 AM

I've done both dry and wet cured pastrami from flats, points and beef rounds. There is no doubt this can make for some great pastrami. But...

...you can get some great results from a good quality store bought, already cured corned beef. There are some really great brands and there are some not so great brands.

The key in either process, store bought or home cured, and that's to make sure you get the salt leached out of the meat. I soak mine for several hours, rotating the water every 30 minutes. I even toss in cut potato or two during the process, because that helps remove the salt.

BBQ Grail 02-09-2011 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Will work for bbq (Post 1541828)
I've done the dry rub method from the virtual weber bullet and it comes out great, the hardest part for me was trying to find tender quick locally, so I bought it online at Allied Kenco.

All the tender quick does in this process is give it the nice red/pink color we love in pastrami. In many countries it's not used and if you order pastrami it's sort of a grey color...

Ron_L 02-09-2011 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big George's BBQ (Post 1541685)
Why not get a corn beef and do a pastrami from that

He said that he couldn't find one locally.

Quote:

Originally Posted by dmprantz (Post 1541691)
Buy some TenderQuick and go to the Virtual Weber Bullet for a recipe for making your own corned beef. There's another good recipe out there too, but I forget where it is. You can always skip the TQ, but I don't think it's as good. If you want real pastrami, you should use a beef plate, but good luck finding one. Brisket point is pretty close.

dmp

No need to go all the way to another site :) there is plenty of info on corned beef and pastrami right here on the Good Ol' BBQ brethren :-D

Here is the recipe that I use...

Brine for Corned Beef

Saltpeter, or potassium nitrate is a food preservative. It will give the meat a pink coloring and reduce the chances of spoilage. If you are careful with your food handling and don't need the pink coloring you do not need to add the saltpeter.

INGREDIENTS:
4 quarts water
2 cup brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
12 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
3 tablespoons pickling spices
4 teaspoons thyme
8 bay leaves
1 teaspoon saltpeter (optional)

The beef brisket should remain in the brine stored in a cold, dark place for anywhere from seven days to three weeks. You do need to regularly check on the meat and turn it to prevent spoilage.

When I corned my first brisket, I used Mortonís Tenderquick instead of salt peter. I followed the directions on the Tenderquick package to determine the amount. Also, I thought the corned beef was a little sweet, so I would reduce the amount of brown sugar next time.


Pastrami Rub for Beef:

5 tablespoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon white peppercorns
1 Tablespoon Juniper Berries
8 cloves garlic, minced

When grinding the rub ingredients you donít want to pulverize it but more so want a very coarse feelósimilar to cracked black pepper.

dmprantz 02-09-2011 11:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBQ Grail (Post 1541842)
All the tender quick does in this process is give it the nice red/pink color we love in pastrami. In many countries it's not used and if you order pastrami it's sort of a grey color...

I disagree with this. Nitrogen based curing agents do imbue a pink colour, but they also cure the meat which has sanitary and textural effects. While you certainly can cure meat with just NaCl, I don't think it is as good as nitrite/nitrate cured meats. I am not aware of any country which has commercially produced "Pastrami" that is not cured with nitrogen. Corned beef is a little bit different because it means different things in different countries.

dmp

BBQ Grail 02-09-2011 11:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dmprantz (Post 1541885)
I disagree with this. Nitrogen based curing agents do imbue a pink colour, but they also cure the meat which has sanitary and textural effects. While you certainly can cure meat with just NaCl, I don't think it is as good as nitrite/nitrate cured meats. I am not aware of any country which has commercially produced "Pastrami" that is not cured with nitrogen. Corned beef is a little bit different because it means different things in different countries.

dmp

Thanks for your take on it.



Sir Larry of Rocklin

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ramrod25 02-10-2011 07:21 AM

This is the best place in the world to talk BBQ.

Thanks for all the responses to my simple question.

Really appreciate it. A Sam's is 90 miles away - but may
have to make a trip over shortly.

Again - thanks for all the information.

Regards
Rodney


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