You have to make this!
I started out brining two briskets on March 6th, both intended for corned beef. But. We didn’t really need all that corned beef – it was just going to be the four of us eating it, and Alex doesn’t really like corned beef all that much…so…why not turn one brisket into pastrami?
So that’s what I did.
Now, the main difference between corned beef and pastrami is that corned beef is simmered and pastrami is smoked. Both are made from beef brisket, both are brined, and both, when sliced and dressed up a little with mustard and whatever else you want, make for great sandwich experiences.
I used the bigger brisket for the pastrami.
First, I rinsed off the brine and patted the brisket dry with some paper towels, then set it aside to warm up a bit prior to the smoking phase. Next, I toasted equal parts coriander seeds and black peppercorns until they were fragrant.
Then I crushed the seeds with my trusty mortar and pestle and rubbed the mixture all over the brisket.
I let that sit there while I checked on my fire.
And took some pictures of a big piece of charcoal.
I thought it looked cool.
Anyway, once I had nice white-hot coals, I put the pastrami in the smoker for about 4-5 hours – I don’t remember exactly. But you need to bring the internal temp up to 150 F.
And that was it for the night.
The next day I set the smoked brisket on a rack in a pan with about an inch of water. I brought the water up to a simmer, then covered the whole thing and put it in a 275 F oven for about 3 hours.
It smelled soooooooooooo good. That coriander/black pepper combination is fantastic, plus the additional smoked flavor…fabulous.
Isn’t it gorgeous? It’s fantastic, warmed up with melted cheese and grainy mustard in a sandwich…yum!
I have a feeling I’ll need to make more of this soon.
But Bill and I are plowing through it pretty fast.