Patience + Meat = Pastrami

Brisket from B & A's cows in Houston County, MN

I’ve never been a patient person, as so many of my relatives and friends have told me.  I like to remind people that I was born two months early, so my impatience goes all the way back. The fact that I have any at all now is progress, don’t you think?  It does seem a bit funny that a person this impatient could have an interest in quilting, which is time consuming, with very delayed gratification, and meat curing, which also requires patience, in varying degrees, depending on the recipe and the amount of curing or drying time required.  Maybe it’s the planning and anticipation that I really like.. the scheming, the ideas….  maybe I have more patience than I thought.

I’m going to be doing some meat processing with some friends on Saturday, so I decided to brine this brisket.  After 3 days in the brine, we’ll smoke it on Saturday, and it will be transformed into pastrami.

I got the brisket from A & B, friends from church who raise beef on grass in Houston County, MN.  It’s a bit smaller than some briskets I’ve seen, but I expect it will be very tasty.  I know A & B’s animals have good lives, and I know the meat processors, who are also doing the pig I’ll be picking up tomorrow night after work.

Bubble bubble, salt and sugars

Here is the brine, which is steaming, after dissolving the sugars and salt in the water.  This brine is a variation of the Polcyn and Ruhlman pastrami brine, with my own pickling spice mixture, and Maine maple syrup instead of honey.  (I guess this is a vegan brine, since there’s no honey.)  Ayuh.  I’ve got nothing against bees, or their produce.  I’ve just got a whole lot of maple syrup, thanks to the generous gifts of my Aunt E and my Mum this holiday season.

the brine, without the steam fog

Once the brine is cool, in goes the meat for its 3 day soak.  Then it gets massaged with peppercorns and coriander, and then it will get smoked.  I’d love to tell you how this turns out, but I guess you’ll have to be patient with me.

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4 Responses to Patience + Meat = Pastrami

  1. Beef Seestah says:

    Our maple syrup gifts are usually spent on pancakes… This year we’re branching out a bit. Love, love those gifts from Mum and Aunt E!!

  2. Jennifer says:

    We would usually save them for waffles, but we’ve got a bit of a syrup backlog to work through, so it’s Maple Bacon we’re making on Saturday.

  3. Mine just went in the brine tonight…

  4. Jennifer says:

    Excellent! Will you be posting photos when yours is done?

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