Pastrami report

Posted by DTM on November 09, 1997 at 21:16:54:

Well I guess it is time for a pastrami report. I sort of put together a
collaboration of my recipes, forum advice, and net stuff. A little
background first. Pastrami originated in Romania and the word is actually a verb hence I pastramo; your pastramas; or he, she, it pastrama. In other words it is the act of pastrama'ing something which is usually some type of meat. I have read that the Romanians make pastrami from beef, lamb, goat, and geese. Obviously this was a method for preserving meat prior to the invention of the frig and must be defined as Romanian BBQ. Having a hankering for a hot pastrami sandwich I used our collected info and decided to cook up some. So here's what we did:

10 lbs. meat (we used boned venison hindquarter)
Cut into 3 to 4 lb chunks
Make a brine of:
28 oz. water
1.5 oz Morten's tender quick
2 T brown sugar
1 t garlic powder

Dissolve all the ingredients in the water. You may want to boil the water to make sure everything dissolves, but make sure the solution is refrigerator cold before your proceed. Inject the meat with the brine at 1" intervals both horizontally and vertically (I bought a horse syringe and big bore needle from my vet for $4)

Make a rub of:
1/4c Morten's Tender Quick
2 T brown sugar
3 T black pepper
2 T dried parsley
1 T dehydrated onion
2 T sea salt
1/2 t ground cloves
3 T picking spices
8 cloves minced garlic (I read the Romanians use cups of garlic)
Mix all the ingredients well and rub the stuff into the meat covering all surfaces.
Place the meat chunks in a zip-loc and squeeze out the air. Put the bags in a big pan and refrigerate for at least 3 days. Turn the bags over a couple of times a day.
On smoking day remove the meat from the bags, rinse off the rub and soak the chunks in fresh water for one hour to remove the excess salt. Pat the meat dry and put on a cake rack to totally air dry.
Grind black pepper, whole coriander seed, and brown sugar to a coarse texture at a ratio of 3:1:1. I used a molcajete, a Mexican mortar and pestle made of granite, the best dried spice grinder I've used. Anyway, rub the entire surface of the chunks heavily with the mixture so that a crust will form when smoked.
OK, fired up the W bullet. When totally grey added 5 maple and four pear fist sized chunks. Let it catch, filled the water pan with whatever sounded good at the moment (beer, left over bourbon and apple juice mop, V-8 juice, probably some more) and threw on the meat. Smoked it at 220 F for 6 1/2 hours to an internal temp of 155 F.
Sliced the chunks on my Rival paper thin and still warm. We had a deli party with about 25 folks. Dark rye bread and dark beer. It really was great. Served Elizabeth's beer butt chicken on the side and a few grouse we bagged that morning (another BBQ story).
So thanks Dave for the tips. I love it when stuff you taste in your mind turns out even better.