Well hello internet!
This post is a little unusual, because i am not actually cooking pastrami right now. But i did! this past summer! and man oh man was it delicious!
Heres what made me think about it:
today i decided to bite the bullet and spend 17 dollars on a Reuben Sandwich from Katz’s Deli.
i eat maybe one of these a year.
but they are the most delicious thing probably ever.
it made me remember, that i can actually make this myself! it just takes a month…
Heres how i did it.
4 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons dried thyme
12 bay leaves, crumbled
4 teaspoons whole cloves
1/2 cup minced garlic
4 teaspoons whole juniper berries, plus 2/3 cup crushed juniper berries
32 cups (or 8 quarts) water
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cup kosher salt
1 (8 to 10 pound) beef brisket
1 1/3 cup coarsely ground black pepper
In a bowl mix the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, garlic, and the whole juniper berries. in a giant pot – big enough to hold 32 cups of water! Mix the Water, the Sugar, and the Salt, until everything is dissolved. Remove from heat and add in the spice mixture from the bowl. let it steep like tea, for an hour (or until the water is no longer hot! if the water is hot when you put the brisket in, it will start cooking the brisket)
Place the brisket in a glass or plastic container – (like a 5 gallon bucket!) Pour the brine over the brisket until it is covered completely. Cover and refrigerate for 3 weeks (YES 3 WEEKS!), turning the brisket every couple of days.
Get your smoker going. follow what ever instructions come with it.
Remove the brisket from the brine, and dry it. At this point you can get rid of the brine!
Next Take 2/3 cup crushed juniper berries and 2/3 cup of ground black pepper and throw it in a bowl. (i used a coffee grinder to grind both the juniper berries and pepper corns into a nice chunky mixture)
Take this mixture and start rubbing it into the brisket, like your giving it a massage… Really get it in there you know?!
anyways, make sure the whole thing is covered in the pepper mixture.
Place the brisket in the smoker and smoke for about 1 hour per pound. so 8 or 9 hours. Remove from the smoker and then place in a steamer, and steam it for another hour.
The steaming is the secret step to make it deliciously juicy.
heres the finished sandwich
on rye bread
with sour kraut,
and swiss cheese
As a native Montreal-er Jack, we have smoked meat…very similar. I would never make my own brisket, but you are correct: the sandwich is specatacular! I checked out the farm website – really nice…I knew you must've come from good stock! Have a great day!