U.S.D.A. Choice Brisket was on sale for $1.99 a pound so I thought it would be great to do a Corned Beef and a Pastrami Style Brisket. I NOTE this recipe is NOT what you’d receive from a deli. Deli Corned Beef and Pastrami is made with Nitrates. The Nitrates do give a more familiar taste and they also turn the meat that attractive pink color. I’ve been reading up on preserving corned beef and pastrami and I’ve been convinced to change my recipes some because I’ve been taking a dangerous chance on the meats preserving with only using Morton Kosher Salt. I’ve just been lucky so far………..Well I figure my luck could run out so I tweaked my recipes slightly and I’m trying a different method of letting the meat brine only five days to cure and just simmering the meat till tender because that is safe. OMG>>>>>>This is much better and easier……….It’s better because the meat never gets too salty and I don’t have to spend a whole forking day trying to get the salt out……..and it’s moist and EVEN MORE DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!! In case you didn’t know Corned Beef and Pastrami start out the same. Then the difference is that I simmered the Corned Beef with the usual braising vegetables. I didn’t smoke my pastrami because I don’t have a smoker and my BBQ is very difficult to keep steady at a low temperature. I simmered the pastrami till tender and after it was chilled dried it off and applied a thin coating of molasses and then applied rub. A standard rub is just a 50/50 mix of ground coriander and black pepper but I happen to have my leftover rub from last time (I kept in the freezer) I’ll include that recipe for you but it makes more rub than you need and whatever is left over you need to keep frozen for next time if you like. I got 22 four oz. portions. You might get more because I cut off more fat than most people would. Leftovers freeze well.
Ingredients for at least 22 servings
1 whole brisket (about 14 pounds)
3 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup pure honey
2 Tablespoons juniper berries
10 Tablespoons coriander seeds
2 Tablespoons allspice berries
2 cinnamon sticks – in halves
2 Tablespoons whole cloves
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
8 Tablespoons black peppercorns (tellicherry…they taste better and aren’t flat like regular ones)
1 Tablespoon ground ginger
21 garlic cloves – smashed and chopped some
4 hot dry peppers torn in half
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
2 chile pequin (this is really optional…..I don’t expect you to run out to buy these but I recommend you do because they are very good peppers that add layers)
20 oz Diamond Brand Kosher Crystal Salt – I read that Diamond Brand is far superior to Morton for curing…..(Morton Salt is a great salt but for this Diamond Crystal is better) Diamond Crystal also differs salt wise and per ounce is less salty tasting so it does measure DIFFERENT they have a different salt density.
1/8 cup paprika – rub
1/8 cup smoked paprika – rub
6 Tablespoons whole coriander – rub
4 Tablespoons dark brown sugar – rub
6 Tablespoons black peppercorns (tellicherry) – rub
2 Tablespoons yellow mustard seeds – rub
1 Tablespoon white peppercorns – rub
17 garlic cloves chopped fine – rub
1 Tablespoon Szechaun peppercorns – rub
2 teaspoons dark molasses – for RUB to stick on
1 carrot – rough chopped for corned beef
1 parsnip – rough chopped for corned beef
2 celery ribs – rough chopped for corned beef
12 garlic cloves – smashed and rough chopped for corned beef
Make the brine. Combine the sugar, honey, juniper berries, coriander, allspice, bayleaves, cinnamon sticks, cloves, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, ginger, garlic (21), hot peppers, liquid smoke, chile pequin, and Diamond Kosher Salt with three quarts of water. Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce to simmer. Let it simmer for a about an hour. After an hour this mixture needs to be cold before you use it. So let it cool on the counter till it gets almost cool and then let it finish in the refrigerator or you can add a glassful of ice cubes to it to get it to be cold.
Get the brisket out of the wrap and trim off all the hard fat. I tried off about 4 lbs of fat till it looked like this. (if you are smoking or using the bbq you’d want to leave more fat on) You also need to pierce the beef all over with a meat fork so the brine can cure the meat.
I cut the brisket in half because I knew I wanted one part as a corned beef and the other Pastrami style.
I then put both pieces in a cooking bag in a big roasting pan and set this is my back refrigerator for FIVE days.
Set the oven for 266 degrees F
On day five I rinsed off the briskets and the one that will be pastrami style I put in the roasting pan fattier side up and filled it as much as I could with water (about 3/4) and covered it tightly.
For the corned beef I added standard roasting vegetables. One carrot, One parsnip, 2 celery ribs, 1/2 onion and about 12 garlic cloves all chopped up. This pan also got filled about 3/4s with water and covered very tightly with foil.
In the 266 degree oven they went.
The smaller corned beef (it was 4.9 pounds before cooking) took 5 hours to be very tender.
The slightly bigger beef (to become pastrami style) was 6.12 oz before cooking and took about 7 1/2 hours at 266F degrees. YOUR TIMIMG WILL DIFFER because each brisket is unique.
We are not done yet……but all the hard stuff is done.
The pans have to cool …………liquid meat and all on the counter.
When they are cool then you can remove the meats and blot them off. The corned beef is done.
The pastrami style brisket you can coat lightly with molasses and then apply the rub (rub was already toasted and ground some) all over the beef.
Refrigerate. I NOTE this isn’t deli meat and is NOT packed with preservatives. You can keep some in the refrigerator for a few days but leftovers should be portioned and frozen.
Suddenly I have furry friends in the kitchen.
I don’t think the color is too bad…..The grain runs different ways so you need to watch how you slice. You want to cut against the grain.
I served with toasted rye bread, my east coast style slaw and some unique Russian Dressing I just whipped up from Kewpie Mayo, dijon, Italian Bomba Calabrese and Prepared horseradish sauce and smoked paprika.
The beef was warmed up sliced on a small covered sheet pan at 200 degreeF oven for about 15 minutes. The meat turns really WET and juicy.
Much easier than the last few times and even better Whoo Hoo! Deleting old recipes……for pastrami and corned beef……This is it! …….Forking Good!