Thursday, June 9, 2005

Apple #78: Pastrami

Today, a friend told me this: "Did you know that pastrami is a process? And that any meat can be pastramied?" I HAD to know more.

That's pastrami on the right, brisket on the left. Pastrami has the tell-tale blackened spices on the outside.
(Photo from Off the Broiler)

  • Pastrami = smoked corned beef. Corned beef is from a brisket, usually beef. A brisket is two pieces of meat separated by a layer of fat. The brisket is soaked in a salt brine, along with some sugar and other spices like garlic, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and coriander. This gives you the corned beef part.

  • Corn is not involved at all, by the way. That word actually refers to a phrase, that one should use salt the size of a kernel of wheat, which in British parlance is "corn."

  • After the brisket soaks for 1 to 3 weeks, then it is put either into a smokehouse or into a home smoker, for about 45 minutes per pound. Comparatively speaking, it doesn't take long to smoke because the soaking process has already tenderized the meat. Once it reaches the essential internal temperature of 165 degrees, you have pastrami.

  • You can make pastrami using turkey, or ham, or salmon, or venison. You can also make a vegetarian pastrami using seitan, which is protein-rich wheat gluten.

This is short ribs that has been pastramied. Or, pastrami made with short ribs.

(Photo and recipe from inuyaki)

  • Once you have pastrami, you can make reuben sandwiches. If you want to get hungry for a reuben, look here.

Howstuffworks, "What exactly is pastrami?"
Ask Yahoo, "What is pastrami?", Derrick Riches, "Pastrami: Yes, you can make your own at home."

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