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Thread: Phrank's Ultimate NY Pastrami Recipe

  1. #1

    Default Phrank's Ultimate NY Pastrami Recipe

    This is a labor of love and takes time but is well worth it.

    Day 1 – Making the Brine:

    4 quarts water
    3 1/2 tablespoons black peppercorns (do not use ground pepper)
    1/3 cup pickling spices (I use “Hoosier Hill Farm Pickling Spice” that I bought on *
    1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 cinnamon stick, crushed
    1 1/4 cup kosher salt
    3 tablespoons Prague Powder aka pink salt/sodium nitrate (“Hoosier Hill Farm” from **
    1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup powdered dextrose (I got this on also)
    1/4 cup honey
    5 garlic cloves, minced
    Optional - 2 teaspoons crushed juniper berries, I don’t like them but I see a number of recipes that use them so try it if you like
    * (if you don’t use the pickling spice then you can use: 3 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds - 2 tablespoons mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves - 1/4 teaspoon ground mace - 1 bay leaf, crushed…but the pickling spice is easier)
    ** if you don’t want to use nitrates you can use 1/2 cup of cream of tartar to help maintain that pinkish color in brined meats…but I’ve haven’t tried this yet

    Grind peppercorns and pickling spice in a spice mill to make them course, not fine. Put all ingredients in a large pot and bring the brine to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and keep stirring until the salt and sugars are dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer the brine to a sealed container large enough to hold it and the meat (which will be added later) and refrigerate overnight (I use a plastic 5 gallon bucket w/ a lid for my container that is used for food only…I clearly mark the bucket that it’s for food only so no one uses it for anything else)

    Day 2 – Brine the Meat

    1 Whole Brisket – Separate the flat & the point & trim the fat to your desired thickness but not under 1/4”...I like to go about 1/3”. Cut the flat and the point portions in half…this should give you 4 briskets that are about 3 – 4 lbs each (I go big with this. You can just use just one 3 – 5 pound brisket but I like using the whole brisket and cutting into fourths and after the brining is done putting the other three briskets w/ a bunch of the brine into my vacuum sealer bags…seal and freeze for a later day)

    Add the meat into the brine mixture and seal making sure that the meat is completely submerged in the brine. I use a heavy glass lid from a Corningwear baking dish to weigh the meat down to keep it submerged. Use anything heavy that’s glass, a plate works well too…do not use anything metal to weigh down the meat.

    Keep this sealed in the refrigerator for 7 days. After 7 days, Congratulations! You now have Corned Beef

    Day 8 – Desalinate

    Take as many pieces of the brisket that you are going to cook now and submerge them in Cold Water and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (this will take out a lot of salt but not the flavor) Seal any unused brisket in a vacuum sealer w/ some of the brine and freeze for a later day. When you thaw the frozen brisket later on be sure to desalinate that too.

    Day 9 – The Rub (this will be enough for two of the briskets…double if you plan on doing all four)

    1/2 cup dark brown sugar
    1/4 cup Sweet Hungarian Paprika (once again can buy on
    1 tablespoon sea salt
    1 tablespoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon garlic powder
    1 tablespoon granulated onion
    1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    1/2 tsp ginger
    1/3 cup black peppercorns (do not use ground pepper)
    1/4 cup coriander
    Optional - 1/3 cup juniper berries (crushed)

    Grind peppercorns and coriander in a spice mill to make them course, not fine. Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well using a wire whisk.

    Take the desalinated meat out of the water and pat dry with paper towels. Now rub all this goodness onto the meat. Be sure to cover the sides and ends. Leave no surface of the meat unrubbed. Leave a little bit of the rub left over for the next day. Wrap rubbed meat in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours (you can let it sit for up to 48 hours if you like)

    Day 10 – Smoke

    Take meat out of the fridge and let sit at room temperature for a few hours (you do not want to smoke cold meat right out of the fridge). Rub the remaining rub onto the meat.
    Put the briskets, fat side up, into your smoker with 2 – 3 ounces of your favorite wood (I use 2 ounces of Olive Wood Chunks and 1 ounce of Apple Wood Chips). Smoke for 4 hours at 225 degrees. This should get the meat’s internal temp up to 160 degrees. Remove meat from smoker and boy does it look good. (you will be tempted to try some which you can but the meat is still tough and doesn’t have its full flavor. I suggest being patient but if you must then try some but the flavor will be better later on)
    Let the meat cool and wrap in foil or put into a sealed Tupperware container. Let this sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

    Day 11 – Steam

    Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Put the brisket, fat side up, on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Add 2 cups of water to the pan and tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil (be sure the wire rack is high enough that the water doesn’t touch the meat). Steam for 4 hours, this should get the internal temp of the to around 200 degrees (do not use a thermometer while steaming because you want to keep a tight seal around the pan with the foil…trust me after 4 hours it’s done)

    Now you can put the meat on a cutting board and hand slice it with the grain of the meat and enjoy now…the Katz’s Deli method. Or you let it cool and wrap in foil or put in the sealed Tupperware container and let it sit overnight and harden a bit if you plan to slice it thin in a deli slicer (my preferred method). If you go my method then when making your first sandwich you can use a bamboo steamer (or any other steaming method you choose) to steam the meat once again for one of the best hot pastrami sandwiches you have tasted.

    Serve on your favorite bread and don’t forget the mustard. Now it’s up to you to figure out what else you want on your sandwich but for me it’s just Pastrami on Rye w/ Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard. Heaven!!
    Last edited by smokin'; 04-16-2014 at 02:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Plano, Texas


    OMG! That IS a labor of love! WOW
    Remember: If it weren't for marriage, men would go through life thinking they had no faults at all

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