Saint Patrick’s Day is a good excuse to fire up your smoker for Smoked Pastrami this weekend. For this recipe I’m taking a Corned Beef brisket flat and turning it into fresh Pastrami.
I picked up a 4.5lb flat from my local grocery store this week to start the process. First you want to get most of the salt out of the corned beef for Pastrami.
Place the flat in a large plastic container and cover it with cool water. It’ll need to hang out in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours, and the water needs to be changed every 4 hours to remove the salt.
Once we’ve removed most of the salt, the flat is ready for a good rub.
Pastrami Rub Recipe:
- ½ cup Restaurant Ground Black Pepper
- ¼ cup Sugar in the Raw
- 2 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Ground Coriander
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
Combine these ingredients in a bowl and place in a dredge shaker. Pastrami needs a good bit of rub, so don’t hold back when applying it. You want a heavy coat on all sides of the flat. Let it hang out at room temperature while the smoker comes up to temperature.
Today I’m firing up The Big Green Egg for this smoke but you can use any smoker set up for indirect cooking. Run the pit at 275 degrees and add a few chunks of Pecan and Cherry www.grillewood.com to the hot coals for smoke.
When the grill stabilizes at 275⁰, place the flat on the cooking grate and close the lid for 3 hours. At this point it will have absorbed plenty of smoke flavor and the bark should be just right. The internal will be somewhere around 160-165⁰.
Now it’s time to tenderize the Pastrami, and we do this by creating steam. You’ll need a ½ size aluminum pan and a cooling rack. Sit the rack in the bottom of the pan and pour in 2 cups of beef broth. The liquid should cover the bottom but not come over the rack.
Place the pastrami flat on the rack and insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and continue cooking. The target internal temp is 202⁰ and it’ll take about 2 more hours to get there.
When the alarm goes off remove the Pastrami from the pan and place it directly on the cooking grate. It’ll be really hot, so you’ll want to wear some nitrile gloves with cotton liners. The steam softens the bark, so it needs about 15 minutes back on the grate to dry out.
Now the Pastrami is fully cooked but it needs to rest a little while before slicing. Just let it hang out on the cutting board for 20-30 minutes. You can cover it loosely with foil but don’t wrap it tight.
Slice the Pastrami across the grain with a sharp roast carving knife and cut it into whatever size slices you prefer. I like it very thin, so I can pile it high on a sandwich.
A Smoked Pastrami Ruben paired with a pint of Guinness is sure to bring you the “Luck of the Irish” on this Saint Paddy’s Day!