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Unread 05-07-2013, 09:25 AM   #1
Bluehawg
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Default Fauxstrami/Pastrami question...

Sorry if I sound dumb here but would someone please tell me what the difference in pastrami and fauxstrami is? I have searched on here as well as the whole internet and for the life of me have not been able to find one definitive answer to that question.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 10:25 AM   #2
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I’m no expert but the way I understand it is they are very similar, but the brining mixture used to cure the meat is slightly different. Also the cut of meat can be different. Pastrami is made from the forequarter called the deckle or plate, or from the brisket. The meat is usually dry-cured with a salt & spice rub (but can also be soaked in salt & spice brine like corned beef but slightly different) for several weeks and then smoked. A Fauxstrami is a Corned Beef Brisket (which is boiled) that has been repurposed to be Pastrami.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:06 AM   #3
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The corned beef briskets they sell here seem to appear to be completely raw just cured but not cooked or boiled. Not really sure if it is the same type corned beef you guys are talking about or not but it is basically a brined cut of meat that comes with a little packet with some seeds that appear to be mustard and celery seed and some green looking herbs.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehawg View Post
The corned beef briskets they sell here seem to appear to be completely raw just cured but not cooked or boiled. Not really sure if it is the same type corned beef you guys are talking about or not but it is basically a brined cut of meat that comes with a little packet with some seeds that appear to be mustard and celery seed and some green looking herbs.
The only time it's cooked already is when you're buying lunch meat. When I said "boiled" I meant the cooking method. What you're describing it a standard "raw" Corned Beef that still needs to be boiled to cook it.
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Unread 05-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
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Fauxstrami is that raw corned beef you describe. But instead of boiling it, you first soak it in water at least 3 or 4 times for at least 2 hours each, either in the fridge if you have room, or in a cooler with ice. Rinse between each soak, and repeat. If you skip this step, you'll have VERY salty fouxstrami! Then cook it up in your smoker!

Pastrami, the real thing, is often cured with more spices than typical corned beef, and then smoked. corned beef is cured in a brine, NOT smoked, and usually boiled....unless someone makes fauxstrami with it
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Unread 05-07-2013, 12:16 PM   #6
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Some folks boil the corned beef, some folks soak in fresh water. Either method gets some of the salt out. Boiling it, of course, also cooks it up part of the way, so less time in the smoke. Either way works.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 07:19 AM   #7
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You can make pastrami out of almost any cut of meat. Faux literally means false. But what kind of meat originally was used is anybody's guess. Round is popular because it is cheaper than brisket.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 08:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captndan View Post
You can make pastrami out of almost any cut of meat. Faux literally means false. But what kind of meat originally was used is anybody's guess. Round is popular because it is cheaper than brisket.
Tru dat, about "faux" meaning false, and that was the premise of my original question since I really couldn't tell a difference in the "real deal" or the "faux" and didn't know if I was missing a crucial detail that delineated between the two. I had never even tried pastrami until a few years ago, but once I did I liked it but it is quite pricey around here. We have some corned beef deli meat sold by the pound here at the grocery I work at part time. It tastes like it is smoked too but it is labeled corned beef bigger'n day. There is pastrami there beside it. The pastrami looks a little different only in shape and has a slightly darker color shade. They taste extremely similar though. Almost so close in flavor that it would take some sure nuff serious taste testing to tell the difference.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 10:22 AM   #9
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I did some poking around on the WWW and here about the brine for "corned beef" and for "pastrami".
They are generally the same--nothing to consistently separate the two.

I think the "faux" phrase came from some purists who felt you had to corn your own beef and were not being "true" to pastrami if you used beef that was corned commercially.

Same end product when it is smoked--pastrami.

The only advantage I can see to corning your own is if you wanted some special flavor in your product.
Or, maybe you just like to DITY

I use commercially corned beef and love it.
And (strange thing) the commercial corned beef brisket is normally cheaper here than plain brisket.
Go Figure

JMHO

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Unread 05-08-2013, 11:36 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Kapn View Post
I think the "faux" phrase came from some purists who felt you had to corn your own beef and were not being "true" to pastrami if you used beef that was corned commercially.
Exactly, Tim.

But yet those same purists don't raise their own beef or grow their own spices. Go figure.
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Unread 05-08-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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From the above responses, I guess I can safely conclude that smoked corned beef is in fact, pastrami. Whether it be personally corned or corned commercially, you end up with the same product. This is what I was suspecting to begin with but didn't know for sure that I was missing something that would separate the two. With that being said, I think I'm going to give it a try and make some home made pastrami. I can usually catch the corned beef brisket flats and/or points far cheaper than a green brisket (which is beyond my comprehension).
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