Breaking down the meat is relatively easy. all you have to do is follow the fat line and muscles will separate. You will loose about 30-44% of weight due to fat.
After the muscles are separated you are left with a Flat and the point. Here is a picture of the Point. check out all the beautiful fat. Link to Instructions on Notes and Cure.
Meat trimmed lightly. I remove thick outer fat layer. It was trimmed down to about 1/4 inch. I mixed together the salt and Cure # 1 and rub it into the brisket making sure I got it into every nook and cranny. To bring out more flavor I heated all the whole spices in skillet briefly then ground them in my spice mill to a med grind. I liberally applied rub all over the meat. The meat is all vacuumed sealed up and will be flipped daily for 12-15 days.
I used equilibrium curing instead of excess salt curing. Excess salt curing is a technique where you cover the meat entirely in salt. Equilibrium curing is using exact amounts needed for the cure. "This method would be the Sous-Vide cooking of the curing world". Jason
All Vacuumed Sealed up and will be flipped every day for 14 days. After curing I will rinse the corned beef and apply rub. The Pastrami will be cold smoked for 10 hours. I will Sous-Vide the Pastrami for 36 hours at a 149 degree water temp. After the Sous-Vide I will refrigerate over night (optional) and apply a light rub and Hot smoke again to form a better bark. When I say hot smoke I am talking about 200 degrees or below.
Cured and Rinsed.
Rub applied. I will cold smoke for 10 hours than SV at 149 degrees for 36 hours.
This is what it looked like after the cold smoke.
After the Sous-Vide bath I plunged in ice bath and refrigerated it over night.
The following day I applied a Course Black pepper sprinkling and hot smoked at 200 degrees for 2 hours.
Gratuitous pictures and review below.
Overall it came out great. A whole lot better than the flat. Having the additional fat really helped. Also the 36 hours created a less flaky texture compared to the 48 hours one. If you really like a flaky meat than 48 hours is your magic number. I will try 30 hours next time.
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.