House-Brined and Smoked Monty’s Beef Pastrami

Recipe by Chef Michael Barrera, Townhouse, Birmingham

March 15, 2016

Ingredients

Pastrami Brine
  • 1½ gallons water
  • 1¾ cups brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1.2 ounces Insta Cure No. 1 (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 (5-pound) first cut Monty’s beef brisket
Pastrami Rub
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 whole juniper berry
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • 4½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • 10 teaspoons coarse salt

Instructions

Place water in an extra-large stock pot; add remaining brine ingredients and heat until the sugar and salts are dissolved. Refrigerate to cool completely.

Place brisket into cooled brine, cover and place back into refrigerator, fully submerged, for 7 days. Flip brisket and stir brine each day.

Lightly toast all rub spices except sugar and salt. Grind toasted spices and combine with reserved brown sugar and coarse salt; set aside.

Remove brisket from brine and pat dry.

Coat brisket liberally with pastrami rub; place in smoker on middle rack with a pan of water on lower rack. Smoke for 12 hours at 225°. Remove from smoker, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight.

Remove pastrami from refrigerator and sliced to desired thickness. Assemble sandwiches on a large brioche bun topped with warmed pastrami slices, a slice of provolone cheese, chopped giardiniera (pickled vegetables) and shaved black radishes. Slice in half and serve.

Yield: approximately 20 (4-ounce) sandwiches

Chef ’s Note: If a smoker is not available, prepare brisket with this oven method: Place 4 cups of water into the bottom of a roasting pan with rack. Place brisket coated with rub, fatty side up, on the rack. Allow brisket to come up to room temperature before roasting—about 2 hours. Heat oven to 300° and cover roasting pan with a double layer of aluminum foil. Place brisket in preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes per pound of meat or until the internal temperature is 200°. Cool completely and slice.

Ingredients

Pastrami Brine
  • 1½ gallons water
  • 1¾ cups brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1.2 ounces Insta Cure No. 1 (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 1 (5-pound) first cut Monty’s beef brisket
Pastrami Rub
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 whole juniper berry
  • ½ teaspoon ground clove
  • 4½ tablespoon brown sugar
  • 10 teaspoons coarse salt

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