Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Mishegoss Pastróme

When people think of Pastrami they no doubt think of the memorialized version seen on every menu and in every deli. To be honest I thought the same thing until I had a dream about pastrami. Yea...yea, I am not kidding here either I actually had a dream about pastrami. In my dream I was thinking about all the different pastrami's I have had over the years and at times how uniquely different they seem to be. Everyone has their own unique recipe for pastrami and so do I of course (My Pastrami)

While in a blissful dream like state and dreaming about my favorite subject namely food it occurred to me that I could make a nontraditional pastrami using some of the ingredients and flavors I have come to enjoy. Some people might think this is sacrilegious to the pastrami but my retort of course it to ask this question. What is a pastrami? Pastrami by definition is cured meat. So with that I created something new. 

Here's a nice pic of the brisket flat unsheathed from its plastic home. I plan on trimming off the hard fat but leaving the rest.

Here is a copy of the recipe. This recipe will be modified over many times until I get it right of course. If you look closely there is a date in the lower right corner which shows when it was modified last. When I came up with my original pastrami recipe I must have gone through 300 lbs of meat until I dialed in the recipe. I called this rubb citrified pastrami because of the addition of orange and lime peel. 

Since this recipe has some unique ingredients I will discuss them a bit before moving on. 

Coriander- How do I love the. It's reminds of a cool winter morning when inhaled. I use this in a lot of my dishes. From Pastrami to sauces. It's commonly used as whole or ground. Roasting or heating in a dry pan heightens the flavor of course. It's used in curries and and garam masala.

Demerara sugar- This sugar type is cane sugar with fairly large grains and has a pale amber color. It has a pleasant toffee flavor and can be used in place of brown sugar. 

Grains of Paradise- What can I say? I love this stuff and I use it often in place of pepper. It has a peppery taste with hints of citrus.

Orange Peel-  What is it? There are different versions but I like the Orange Peel over at Penzeys. 

Lime Peel- I got it from a company called wholespice on Amazon. Here is the link.......

First thing I did was to assemble the ingredients. I added the salt & Cure # 1 together and applied to every nook and cranny. I took the whole spices and ran them through a electric spice mill, combined them with the other ingredients and coated the Brisket. 

Vacuumed sealed for 21 days in the refrigerator. I flipped it every day and smacked it around a bit too. 

A nice picture after the 21 day cure.

All rinsed off and ready for the Sous-Vide water bath. I plan on using 158˚ƒ for 24 hours. 

Cut in half. I decided to cut it in half......Did you notice how where I cut it? When I finally slice the brisket into slices it will be against the grain. 

All ready for the Sous-Vide....158˚ƒ at 24 hours. 

After the Sous-Vide the Brisket was Cold-Shocked and refrigerated. 

Simple dry rub consisting of Coriander, Grains of Paradise, Orange Peel, Lime Peel, Ginger and Muscovado Sugar.

Hot Smoked during a Rainy extremely windy storm in a propane smoker. Not my first choice. I always prefer Charcoal. Anyhow I used Cherry and Apple for the wood. I finished it off with a homemade Apricot BBQ sauce for the last 30 minutes. 

Review at the bottom of the pictures. 

REVIEW- I was extremely happy with the flavor profile. It had everything I wanted. I wish the fat content was higher. I was really happy with the Sous-Vide temp and time. I normally do 149˚ƒ for 48 hours. The 158 at 24 was awesome. I need to do this again with a traditional Pastrami. 

The propane smoker got away from me a little bit. I was caught in traffic and got home late. A windy rainy storm will cause extra traffic on the road. When we arrived at COSTCO the store lost power and it shut down causing a traffic jam. The mass exodus of customers caused slightly overdone pastrami.

The outside layer of the brisket got just a little overcooked for my liking. Overall I was very happy. I served it with a Daikon Radish salad. 

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.