As with all cured meat, there was a bit of time that elapsed from when I put the meat in the brine, and when it was ready for eating. When last we left the pastrami, it was going into the brine for a few days. Here’s what it looked like when it got out of the brine:
Not particularly appetizing, eh? Well, after I dried it and rubbed it with more black pepper and coriander seeds, it got put on the smoker, where the magic started….
I left it in the smoker for a very long time, as heavy smoke is what you want with a pastrami. This shot was taken after about two and a half hours, I’d guess.
Here is a picture of the result, when I cut it with the grain, which shows the lovely red color, if not its best side. Pastrami really needs to be cut across the grain, to prevent it from being too chewy.
After a little exercise on the slicer, I got lots of lovely ribbons of delicious smoky meat, which makes terrific sandwiches. Here’s what I did for lunch today:
I had mixed up a fair amount of what I’ll now call 10,000 Lakes Dressing, since I’m in Minnesota, and it’s not exactly the 1,000 Island dressing that is customary on a Reuben, and I didn’t have any sauerkraut.
The 10,000 Lakes Dressing is essentially a mixture of four ingredients: mayonnaise (Hellman’s), ketchup (Heinz), sweet pickle relish (HyVee house brand), and creamy horseradish (can’t remember the brand name, little round jar) in a mixture that seemed to taste right to us. It’s a bit sweet, a bit vinegary, and with just enough kick to make it unique without clearing your sinuses.
I suppose I could have put something green on the sandwich for better photography, or for crunch, but I have to say I like it by itself this way. I wish I’d had two briskets instead of only one, as we’ve managed to eat most of the pastrami in just a little over two weeks.