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This is gonna be a fun thread, the weekend after Nan and I got married we went to Katz's Deli in NYC... It was wild even in mid afternoon there. They're famous for their corned beef and pastrami, fall apart tender. Also famous for that cute scene in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY... you know the scene ?!?!? Anyway I decided to make pastrami and after looking on the Cookshack Forum and watching how others made it I came up with Mike's Pastrami... Look out.

Mis en place

3 lb corned beef (they're on sale !!)
2 tbls whole peppercorns
2 tbls corriander seeds
1 tbls juniper berries
2 tbls pickling spices
1 tbls mustard seeds

1 large sweet onion THIN sliced
1/2 cup stock or white wine

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup ketchup


Remove corned beef from bag rinse well and then pat dry. Take all dry spices and grind fine in a spice mill, apply the rub VERY generously everywhere. Place meat in a zippered storage bag - place the bag in a 13 x 9 pan, place another 13 x 9 pan on top of it and weigh down with 2 heavy cans (tomatoes, beans, whatever). The weight forces the spices into the meat and helps tenderize it a little quicker. Setup your smoker with about 2 oz cherry wood and 2 oz red oak. Remove meat from bag and place on middle shelf of the smoker. Smoke at 250 for 3 hours until the internal temp of the meat is 150. Remove from smoker. Now take a very large piece of heavy duty foil and place the sliced onions in the center, then add the stock and then lay the smoked meat on top. Now mix the finishing sauce up and pour over the entire brisket - seal that baby up VERY well and place the foil packet in one of your 13 x 9 pans and steam cook in the oven at 300 for about 90 minutes internal temp of the meat should get to 175. Now remove from oven and let meat rest 1/2 hour. Then open the foil pour all juices and onions into the 13 x 9 pan. THINLY slice against the grain (on the bias) the meat and lay the thin slices back into the juices so all are in the juices. Seal very carefully with a new piece of foil and hold in a 250 degree oven about 2 hours. The meat will be even more fall apart tender when it is time to serve. Serve on light rye bread with spicy mustard, dill pickle slices and sweet potato chips. Nappe some of those amazing juices over the meat too. This is a 5 Paper Towel Meal...


When you have time watch this Food Wars video on Best Pastrami in NYC, very good...

Who won ?? You'll have to watch Part 2

Edited by bigmike&nan - Today at 4:33 pm

Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude,
for the battle is not yours, but Gods. 2 Chronicles 20:15


Yeah its all your faultt too... Ok dinner was delayed while the boss brought home some New York Rye bread. Here's the sandwich which was really awesome, that rye with some spicy mustard, sweet potato chips and an adult beverage. Hope you like it looking at it as much as I liked EATING IT !!
Not sloppy just tasty. Well yeah it was a 5 Paper Towel Sandwich. LOL


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Looks great Mike. It's a good season for pastrami.

I'm currently doing the same with 2 corned 6.5 lb. briskets with pastrami spices under weights (3 foiled bricks) to be smoked on Saturday. When finished, they'll be refrigerated overnight with the weights then steamed on Sunday. I'll repeat the process on Monday to make "Rachel's" for an NCAA Finals party.
Thanks fellas for the encouragement. I've been doing more looking around while snacking on pastrami sandwiches (5 paper towel worthy) and found this great clip about Katz's and while the owner and chef there were talking they said most "corned beef" isn't slow pickled, it's injected and put in a tumbler" - here you listen and watch too as the food there is really very, very awesome.
Yeah Pags, I watch and rematch those videos, you realize these fellas are really very serious about what they're doing when they do it the old way - the way their great grandparents did it when they brought the method over from the old country... Kudos.

I spend a lotta years in Chicago as a teen and learned to really love a lot of the good deli stuff they had. So my bride (this is 5 years ago) couldn't wait to take me to Katz's on our honeymoon. We sat near Harry & Sally's table and I got up and ordered my corned beef sandwich.I had to wait while the cutter was working on a guy ahead of me who ordered pastrami. The cutter could tell I was really into it and trimmed up about a 1/4 lb. of pastrami and put it on a small plate for all of us to sample. WOW !!
When he got around to doing my corned beef sandwich (think about it ONE POUND OF TRIMMED MEAT) he cut away so much gorgeous corned beef to get down to what he thought was sandwich worthy. Everything he cut away went into a bin. I wanna buy one of those bins full of meat and make corned beef hash or hand pies !!

I don't get the excitement about Katz's. It is touristy, highly overpriced, loud and the people aren't nice.Secondly, the hand cut technique is contoversial. I prefer the thin-cut (2'nd Ave.Deli) or Chicago style. The thick cut doesn't allow the brisket to melt in your mouth and is too chewy. Thin cut is much more tender.

But that's me. They are one of a few deli's left that do their own brining and corning. That is essential. I grew up in Chicago and I know like here. the deli is a dying breed.Does anyone know if Kaufmann's in Skokie still corns/brines their brisket?

I finally made it to Slyman's Deli recently in Cleveland. It was very good but not outstanding. Worth a stop if you are ever in Cleveland. Not a destination stop.

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