In Curing and Smoking Made at Home (Firefly Books, 2012) by Dick and James Strawbridge, readers will learn new ways to smoke their own meat at home. There are a variety of meats and ways to process each variety. Find this excerpt in chapter 6, “Hot-Smoking.”
Pastrami is actually cured beef brisket cooked in spices, hot smoked and then steam cooked. Making your own pastrami is a fairly time-consuming process. However, once you’ve tasted the homemade version, you’ll find that store-bought pastrami just doesn’t compare. Our recipe gives a pastrami that is both sweet and spicy, smoky and succulent.
Follow the brined brisket process and soak for 5 days. Then replace the brine with a sweeter mixture – 400g (13 ounces) each of sugar and salt dissolved in 4 litres (7 pints) of water – for another 5 days. Remove the brisket from the brine and pat it dry with papertowels. Vigorously massage the spice rub mixture into the brisket, trying to get as much to stick to the meat as possible.
Hot-smoke the brisket to an internal temperature of 70°C (160°F). If it is too hot to comfortably touch, you know you are on track, but if you want to be extra careful you can use a meat thermometer. You can smoke the brisket by cooking it in any covered barbecue. Try to keep the temperature low and steady so that the cooking takes as long as possible, and keep adding handfuls of sawdust or wood chips to the fire to keep it smoky. Arrange the brisket on a piece of heavy-duty foil to reduce direct heat and still allow smoke to circulate. Turn regularly and cook for 2–3 hours with the lid on.
Put the smoked brisket on a rack over a deep roasting pan with about an inch of boiling water in the bottom. Build a foil hat around it and pinch the edges together. Keep as much free space around the meat as possible for the steam to circulate. Cook in a preheated oven at 120˚C (250˚F) for 3 hours. After the allotted time, you should be able to easily slide a fork into the brisket. Once ready, slice the meat thinly across the grain while it’s still hot and serve warm, sandwiched between slices
of rye bread.
More from Curing and Smoking Made at Home:
Want to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.
Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!
Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).
Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!