The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke
CLOSE TO KATZ’S PASTRAMI
Date:July 7, 2016 Favorite:Sandwiches Viewing:Click on THUMBNAIL to bring up larger image with captions. There will also be controls for manual or self running slide show. Learn More:ClickHERE to jump to additional Info about this recipe.
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Info:Katz’s Delicatessen in New York City has the reputation of having the best pastrami. I have been there several times and I can’t say I’ve had any better…until today that is. This is Meathead Goldwaith’s reverse engineered take on the recipe. His recipe gives you some flexibility in terms of both time and degree of difficulty. He gives you instructions for both brining your own beef brisket or using a store bought corned beef. I took the store-bought route. Something this good deserves the best ingredients, so I bought my corned beef from the butcher. I got a 5# piece from the flat from one of their USDA Prime Grade Corned beef briskets. The second choice was whether to serve right away or refrigerate the smoked beef for 3-5 days after it reached the 160 degree plateau point. I chose the second route. The corned beef was desalinated for 10 hours in a pan of cold water the refrigerator, after which it was rubbed and returned to the fridge for 2 days. This helps to set the spice rub. Then I smoked it at 225 for 10 hours using some cherry woof for smoke flavor. I smoked it until it plateaued and reached 160 degrees. At this point I let it cool one hour and placed it in the fridge. Four days later I steamed it in my Dutch oven for about two hours until it reached 203 degrees internal temperature. At this point it went under the broiler for 5 minutes to crisp up the bark. After a 5 minute rest, it was sliced 1/8” thick with my electric knife and served. Cutting right to the chase: this was the best pastrami any of us had ever tasted. The bark was very spicy and in-your-face. The meat was moist, tender and juicy with great flavor from the beef and the cherry wood. This was perfect pastrami. Now some might say it was not “Picture” Perfect due to it’s natural beef color. This comes from not using sodium nitrate. Traditionally this preservative is what gives the corned beef a bright pinkish red color. But as many have said: What piece of fully cooked beef has a naturally occurring red color? None. Nobody eating this cared. To me this seemed even better than what I had on my visits to Katz’s. I think the difference is my version was served fresh the second it was done. I have a new favorite pastrami recipe and my guests are still talking about the pastrami days later.