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Old 05-20-2007, 06:41 PM   #1
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Isn't a smoked corned beef now Pastrami?
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Old 05-20-2007, 07:40 PM   #2
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Well if you couldnt taste no smokey flavor..you needed more smoke. As far as the smokering might have noticed the smokering go from one side to the other..thats why corned beef normally look pink to red throughout its width and breadth. If you looking for a red smoke ring on something that is already in the vicinity of the right color..its called embellishing..i.e. trying to guild the lilly etc. This goes against the laws of man and God...dont even make me quote Physics here. Nearly any kind of marinate..brining..soak etc will interfere with the production of a smoke ring. It screws up the chemical parameters for a shallow well defined smoke ring formation. See? Whew.

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Old 05-21-2007, 04:33 AM   #3
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You won't get a smoke ring as it's corned. This was the last one I did a while ago.
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:34 AM   #4
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kind of hard to seea smoke ring when the meat is already pink.. don't worrry about it..
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Old 05-21-2007, 06:32 PM   #5
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Bad idea. Too salty. As the Tlingit people say.. Oy. Feh.

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Old 05-21-2007, 08:33 PM   #6
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If you smoke corned beef you get pastrami, if you try it and find it too salty the first time, try leaving it in a bowl in the sink and run the tap with cold water just fast enough to turn the water out of the bowl in about an hour, leave it in there for two - three hours. or corn your own beef for 10 days instead of 3 weeks.

Smoke the corned beef for 45 -60 minutes / lb.

When you take the smoked corned beef out of the smoker, put it on a cooling rack in a pan with a cup and a half of water, lid tighthly with foil, put back on the smoker for 2 more hours.

Take it out and cool it down, slice it up and eat it, this will now have a taste and texture closer to commercial pastrami.
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Old 05-21-2007, 10:12 PM   #7
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It all gets pretty defintional. In other words only have whatever meaning we give them.

But if you're comparing "Jewish delicatessen" corned beef and pastrami, pastrami is NOT smoked corned beef.

Corned beef takes on a lot more salt and "cure" during the brining process. It is cooked by steaming. Traditionally it is made with the flat only, and trimmed fairly lean. Or, as the saying goes, "not too fat."

Pastrami is also cured and brined, but not made nearly as salty. After the brning it is dry rubbed with a sugar and spice (lots of pepper) mixture before smoking. Finally it is smoked. Pastrami can be made with the point or the flat. In the last forty years, or so, fat has gone out of fashion, so "high end" pastrami is usually made with the flat.

Because the brisket fat cap doesn't render and isn't particularly palatable, meat must be fairly closely trimmed before being pastramied (yes, it's a word), if you want to get flavor on both sides. I go for an 1/8" trim, taking it down almost to the meat, leaving plenty of streaks of red. That's okay though. Because it's been brined it will stay fairly moist. And because the bark isn't important, there's no problem with wrapping after you've got enough smoke in it. The wood of choice is cherry.

The traditional method is to smoke, then finish in the oven. A lot of barbecuers consider this heterodox to the point of anathema. Personally, I subscribe to the "whatever works for you" school.

One thing that's for sure, when you carve, cut slices as thin as will still hold together. Of course, carve against the grain. This brings out the play between the rub and the meat, as well as making for a more tender bite.

SoEzzy's suggestion about soaking the salt out of a corned beef is valid. However, be aware that the long brine and cure has altered the brisket's cell structure and that in order to get the salt out, you are further diluting the meat's natural juices -- already diluted in the brine. In other words, you can do it and even do a pretty good job of it if you're REALLY jonesing for a brined brisket to make pastrami. But, you can do a much better job from scratch if you've got access to decent brisket and the time to cure.

The one time it really makes sense if you've picked up a ton of high quality buck a pound brisket during the St. Paddy's Day sales. At some point you've got to think seriously about moving it out of your refrigerator and freezer. Yes, even the ones in the garage and on the patio. Unfortunately that point comes at the same date you've eaten enough corned beef to last a life time.

JB has my pastrami recipe and is threatening to make some long before I'm going to get around to it again. So we should hear something reasonably soon.

Not too lean,
Rich
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Old 05-22-2007, 08:29 AM   #8
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I do them all the time. Soak it first for 24 hours and change the water a few times. Then use a rub that doesnt have a lot of salt in it. You wont get the smoke ring because of the Corned process. I put mine on a slicer and make pastrami out of it. LOVE THAT STUFF.
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