Originally Posted by BBQ Grail
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.