Last month I made corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots...a favorite comfort meal of ours.
Today I smoked some corned beef...the first step in making pastrami out of it. First, I rubbed all sides of the corned beef with a mixture of ground juniper berries, black peppercorns, garlic powder, and salt...then wrapped in plastic wrap and tossed in fridge for 28 hours. I rigged up my own "stove-top smoker". Those are hickory chips. I put a large piece of foil over the above chips and platform..poked holes in it then put the beef down on top. Then I wrapped it all tightly with more foil...turned up the burner! I let it smoke for about 30 minutes.
After smoking it...I added a bit of water (discarded the chips, etc) and let it cook at 240 degrees for 4 hours...covered.
I then tried to cut it thinly and then put it back in that lovely, smokey au jus. I needed a real meat slicer. It was okay...but not really good pastrami. I might try it again one day...from a beef brisket....but that means curing it for 13 DAYS before smoking it. Whew!! Now I know why Jewish Deli's are dying! Some of those East Coast deli's pile a pound of pastrami between two pieces of rye. Pastrami-making is NOT for sissy's. We did have a sandwich with stone ground mustard on Jewish Rye....I didn't hate it!
That little bit of "pastrami" took me 2.5 days to make and it cost me (not including my labor) about $16.00. Don't gripe the next time you pay over 10 bucks for a deli pastrami sandwich!