Saturday, June 21, 2014

Pastrami Muscovado

Pastrami Muscovado
Last week I dreamt up a recipe for Duck Pastrami that was over the top. I received so many accolades that I had to try it on Beef. This is almost the exact recipe I used for the Duck with the exception of a minor tweak in the Muscovado sugar. I called it Pastrami Muscovado because the addition of this sugar puts it over the top and deserves to be part of the recipes name.  

The recipe is very simple. Just click on the box to the left and it links to my notes. 

When I woke this morning I was not planning on making Beef Pastrami but while at Costco I could not resist. This is such an easy recipe. All you have to do is measure out all the ingredients and apply them correctly to the meat. 

I cut off the hard pieces of fat first then I used a Jaccard Tenderizer to pierce the meat. Piercing the meat will help with salt the and cure absorption.

I combined the salt and Cure#1 and rubbed it into the meat thoroughly getting into every nook and cranny. 

I took the whole spices and herbs, (Bay leaf, Grains of Paradise, Coriander, Juniper berries, Whole cloves and mustard seeds) and placed them in a dry pan and applied a little heat to them to bring out their essential oil. I then grounded them up in a spice grinder. 

I combined the the ground up spices with the remaining ingredients and applied them to both sides of the meat thoroughly. 

All Vacuumed Sealed up and will be flipped every day for 21 days. On May 9, 2014 the Pastrami will be cold smoked for several hours, than SEMI-Hot smoked at a temp of 150 degrees. I will then Sous-Vide the Pastrami for 48 hours at a 149 degree water temp.

After 21 days the Brisket is fully cured.


This is my Rub RECIPE for the Pastrami. 

Full coated with Rub recipe above. The Brisket will be cold smoke for 4 hours (average temp outside was about 62 degrees). I used Apple pellets and the A-MAXE-N-PELLET-SMOKER.

Now on to the semi-hot smoke. I wanted to impart a hotter smoke flavor to the meat and wanted to raise the temp up slightly so I filled the water reservoir up with a bucket of ice and water. I used old fashion charcoal and apple wood to smoke the meat. Temp fluctuated between 150-175 degrees. After 4 hours I pulled the meat off. Now getting it ready for 48 hour water bath.  

All smoked and ready for the SOUS-VIDE.


This is what it looked like after 48 hours. 

I wanted to cut into it right away but it was late and I had to get to bed. I submerged the vacuumed sealed bag into an ice bath for an 2 hours to bring down temp than had the wife toss in ice box. 

Some final thoughts. It turned out great. I will probably reduce salt from 3.56% down to 2.75% and raise sugar from 2.8% to 3.5%.  All in all it turned out very good. Here is the however, if you plan on steaming the pastrami the salt content is fine. The steam extracts some of the salt but a reduction to 3% is probably needed. 

I want to stress the importance of steaming. It releases excess salt and makes a good pastrami an exceptional one. 

I will admit though I favor a bark that is not soft. But how on earth do you do this if you Sous-Vide....Ahhhh it came to me. How about this. 

  • Cure
  • Coat the outside with a thin layer of spices.
  • Cold Smoke
  • Semi-Hot-Smoke at about 170-190 degrees for a couple of hours
  • Sous-Vide
  • Another thin layer of spices
  • Semi-Hot-Smoke to create a better bark. 
  • Steam to perfection
Maybe add some Muscovado sugar to dry Rub and cut back on the Grains of paradise? Maybe Pastrami Muscovado part 2 is in order.

Note 1: My suggestion above about the additional smoke after the Sous-Vide to tighten up bark worked well.  

Note 2: The addition of Sugar in the rub turned out great too.
Note3: Next time I will try with the following. Sous-Vide first, then Smoke??? This may help eliminate a step.

Update 05/09/2017- After trials and misgivings about time and temps I think I have finally nailed down the temps and times. That being said I think I have made well over 250 lbs of Pastrami to reach these new numbers (explains waist line too). Drum roll please... 142 f for 40-44 hours. Ta-da..... The lower temp ( 148 vs 142 f) and the lower time (48 vs max 40-44 hrs) produces a moister better textured Pastrami. Update Cure and Rub HERE and Latest Pastrami HERE.