After the meat sat in the brine for 3 or 4 days, it was time for the fun parts of making the pastrami- the rubbing, smoking, and roasting, transforming the meat into tasty sandwich contents!
Here’s what our meat looked like after the brining was completed. At this point, I rinsed and dried the meat, and discarded the brine.
Next, I rubbed the meat with a mixture of ground black pepper and ground coriander seeds, to prepare the meat for its time in the smoker. The meat spent a few hours in the smoker. I can’t remember exact durations, as I was busy working on other items between feeding my fire and checking temperatures. I really should write this stuff down next time.
Here’s what the brisket pieces looked like when I took them out of the smoker. You can see a bit of that pinkish hue that the meat has taken on. Click on the photo for a larger view.
The last cooking step in making the pastrami was to slow-roast it in the oven, covered, on a rack over some water. I let this go for between 3 and 4 hours. It may have only needed three, but again, I was working on other projects, and the more tender, the better! Here’s what it looked like after the roasting.
There was some significant shrinkage in size as fat was rendered out during the roasting. Here’s what the meat looked like on the inside:
Again, click on the photo if you would like a closer view.
I let the meat cool, then refrigerated it overnight before slicing it. Here’s what we ended up with:
This plate was for a party. I served this with cocktail rye, condiments, and vegetables so that guests could make little sandwiches. This was very well received. I’m glad I have half a brisket left over, so we can save some for later in the summer, in case a reuben craving strikes. Any recommendations for the best kraut to go with home-cured pastrami?