Home cured pastrami

Yield: 12 Servings

Measure Ingredient
6 pounds Beef brisket
½ cup Salt
1 teaspoon Saltpeter
4 tablespoons Black pepper; coarse ground
2 tablespoons Brown sugar
3 tablespoons Mixed pickling spice; or
1 tablespoon Coriander seeds
2 teaspoons Ginger; ground, optional
1 clove Garlic; finely chopped, optional or
1 tablespoon Dehydrated onion flakes; optional

*NOTE: Saltpeter (potassium nitrate) gives the characteristic red color to cured meats and also acts as a preservative. Be not afraid of nitrates; they are absolutely necessary for the proper cure.

Mix the Salt, saltpeter, spices and sugar together and then rub into the Beef forcing it into the meat.

Place the seasoned meat in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Place in a tray large enough to hold it. Refrigerate and turn the bag over once a day so that the meat seasons evenly. Let the meat cure for seven or eight days.

Remove the meat and drain the liquid that accumulated. Save the solid seasonings and discard the liquid. Rub the solids back into the meat. Or discard the marinade and roll the brisket in a ¼ cup of coarsely cracked peppercorns.

Use a needle to run a string through the meat. Tie the ends of the string together. Suspend the meat on the string and let it dry in a cool, dry, breezy place or use an electric fan for 24 hours. Hang the meat in a smoker and smoke for 3-4 hours at about 150 to 160 degrees To prepare, cover with water and simmer until tender as for corned beef, about 3-4 hours. The length of cooking time depends on how long it was smoked. Or roast meat in a 300 degree oven about 3½ to 4 hours, basting frequently with the pan juices. Serve hot or chill. It will keep for 1 week or longer stored in the refrigerator and can also be frozen.

An eye of round may be also treated this way. Goose and turkey breast are also delicious prepared by this method.

Adapted from a number of sources. Jim Weller Posted to MM-Recipes Digest by "Rfm" <Robert-Miles@...> on Sep 26, 98

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