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Unread 03-25-2010, 07:33 AM   #1
Derek
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Default Low Sodium Pastrami?

Is there any thing I can do to make or buy a low sodium pastrami?

I'm really missing that great taste!
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Unread 03-25-2010, 07:43 AM   #2
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None that I know of. That pork belly method might work with a flat, but keep in mind I never could come up with a way to do it without spending lots of money just to experiment and see if it would work, with the risk of it not working of course. Also, like anything else, it might taste different without the salt. I have no idea what the taste of either would be like to be honest.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 07:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigabyte View Post
None that I know of. That pork belly method might work with a flat, but keep in mind I never could come up with a way to do it without spending lots of money just to experiment and see if it would work, with the risk of it not working of course. Also, like anything else, it might taste different without the salt. I have no idea what the taste of either would be like to be honest.
Thank you man.

It's a weird tasting meat but it tastes really supper good. Specially on pumpernickel and Mayo :)
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Unread 03-25-2010, 08:05 AM   #4
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Well, salt is central to the (curing) corning process that beef goes through before smoking it to make pastrami but here are some totally random thoughts....

Storebought corned briskets are out, as they are loaded with sodium. Corning your own seems to be the logical choice since you would be in control of the amount of salt used. The "accepted" and "tried and true" recipes for dry cures and for sweet pickle solutions (brines) contain quite a bit of salt as well as nitrates. When decreasing the salt and/or nitrates you risk not fully curing your meat, and also risk bacteria growth. There are other variables too, like the curing temperature and the length of time. The good thing is these traditional methods work well.

All that said, there is a theory called "modern day cures" by Warren Anderson, and he promotes the use of less salt in his methods. When I get home from work, I'll check his book for recipes.

In the meantime, look at Dave Stamper's home corning method. It is a combination of an injection and a rub, with plenty of garlic and seasonings for flavor. It is quite good and I mention this because Dave got me hooked on using injections for the delivery system of a brine. (He is one of the Guest Pit Bosses on my site, and is a long time mentor of all things barbecue). Now, Dave's injection has plenty of salt .... but if I was going to experiment with reducing salt I would still go with the injection/rub combination, and I would use his combination of seasonings as a baseline.

Before jumping in and changing anything major in a proven technique (like Dave's), I would recommend making it to the T. This will give you an understanding of the flavors.
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Last edited by thirdeye; 03-25-2010 at 08:28 AM..
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Unread 03-25-2010, 08:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Well, salt is central to the (curing) corning process that beef goes through before smoking it to make pastrami but here are some totally random thoughts....

Storebought corned briskets are out, as they are loaded with sodium. Corning your own seems to be the logical choice since you would be in control of the amount of salt used. The "accepted" and "tried and true" recipes for dry cures and for sweet pickle solutions (brines) contain quite a bit of salt as well as nitrates. When decreasing the salt and/or nitrates you risk not fully curing your meat, and also risk bacteria growth. There are other variables too, like the curing temperature and the length of time. The good thing is these traditional methods work well.

All that said, there is a theory called "modern day cures" by Warren Anderson, and he promotes the use of less salt in his methods. When I get home from work, I'll check his book for recipes.

In the meantime, look at Dave Stamper's home corning method. It is a combination of an injection and a rub, with plenty of garlic and seasonings for flavor. It is quite good and I mention this because Dave got me hooked on using injections for the delivery system of a brine. (He is one of the Guest Pit Bosses on my site, and is a long time mentor of all things barbecue). Now, Dave's injection has plenty of salt .... but if I was going to experiment with reducing salt I would still go with the injection/rub combination, and I would use his combination of seasonings as a baseline.

Before jumping in and changing anything major in a proven technique (like Dave's), I would recommend making it to the T. This will give you an understanding of the flavors.
Thank you for the link man, However the link is broken and its a 404 not found.



I was thinking of an injection system since I got some heavy duty food injectors for rubs, bbq sauces and such!
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Unread 03-25-2010, 08:29 AM   #6
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Sorry, I fixed it in my post and here it is too.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 08:36 AM   #7
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It's a cruel world for those on a low sodium diet.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 08:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Sorry, I fixed it in my post and here it is too.
Thank you, and I will take a look at it later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by expatpig View Post
It's a cruel world for those on a low sodium diet.
Yes it is.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 09:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek View Post
Is there any thing I can do to make or buy a low sodium pastrami?

I'm really missing that great taste!
Derek,

I am going to use much less salt in my next pastrami.

Here are my thoughts:

It's the salt petre that adds the real nitrates, and gives you the nice pink color. Don't be afraid of this... eating a small amount in the pastrami is not harmful, and the claim of it affecting your libido is a myth.

The growth of bacteria is unlikely in the recipe I use... as the soak is done in the fridge.

Use less salt, and after at least 3 days... drain the bag the meat is in and place several halved potatoes under the brisket. Fill the bag with water, and return it to the fridge. Do this every 6 hours for a few days. Much of the salt will be absorbed by the potatoes and rinsed by the water.

Then cook it.

This will reduce the sodium greatly.

My wife wouldn't eat more than a chunck of my pastrami... claimed it was too salty. Me... I didn't care what she said... more for me (it's already all gone... YUM).

I too, will be doing the lower sodium version next time, and on the other half still soaking, that I am making corned beef out of.
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Unread 03-25-2010, 09:39 AM   #10
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Derek, I made a post in the Pork Belly thread that is just as relevant in this thread. I have put the link to it here just so that information is as readily available here as it is over there
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