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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pastrami from Scratch

Grilled Pastrami Sandwich
We made corned beef from scratch earlier this year for St. Patrick's Day, and specifically saved one with the intention of smoking one for pastrami. I had never tried this before, but I love a good pastrami sandwich. How hard could it be ?

Turns out, fairly simple, and really decadent. I put quite a bit of pepper on the outside of this one, because that is how I like pastrami when I purchase it. We smoked this slow along with all of our other goodies on Labor Day, and I had a hard time keeping my hands off it, as it was the first item off the smoker. 

You could use a store bought corned beef for this recipe as well. The real key here is to soak the corned beef in water for at least two hours prior to getting it on the smoker. You will want to remove some of the salt in which it was originally brined. 

Pastrami from Scratch
1 4 to 5 pound corned beef 
4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (not too finely ground) 
2 tablespoons ground coriander 
1 tablespoon whole coriander 
2 tablespoons paprika 
2 tablespoons garlic powder 
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon dried thyme 
1 cup apple juice, plus more for basting 
Soak the corned beef in water for at least two hours. Remove from water and pat dry. Combine all spices, and generously rub into the corned beef. Place meat on smoker, and smoke at 200-225 degrees for 6-8 hours, until meat reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Place meat in an aluminum pan, add 1 cup of apple juice, and cover with foil. Place back onto the smoker, and smoke an additional hour or more, until internal temperature is 165. Remove from smoker, and from pan, and let it cool completely. Refrigerate overnight before slicing (if you can stand it!). 

For the sandwich: 
4 slices pumpernickel bread 
4 slices swiss cheese 
1/4 cup mayonnaise 
1 tablespoon fresh horseradish 
8 ounces sliced homemade pastrami 
2 tablespoons butter 
Mix together the mayonnaise and horseradish, and spread on one side of the slices of bread. Place a piece of cheese on each piece of bread. Divide meat in half, and place on one piece of bread, top with the other. Melt half of the butter in a pan, and place sandwich in the pan. Spread remaining butter on top of the sandwiches while they are cooking. Flip when they are brown, and brown the other side. Slice in half and serve. 

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