This month, I am featuring deli style recipes in the Diner News. I tried my hand at making real cold cuts-- smoked turkey, pepperoni and this beautiful Pastrami. I say it is a cheater version because it relies on starting with corned beef. That way you get to skip the brining step. Woohoo. The other cheat is the smoke flavoring. If I had a smoker, it would be great, but I don't. I do have 5 hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon to let this bake. Lots of time, not much labor for this recipe.
I can't claim it is my own invention. I owe this recipe to Chef John at Foodwishes.com. He has a video that explains how he does it. I deviated a bit, though not much. Watch his video to get the idea. I cooked mine a little longer at a slightly higher temperature. I cut back on the pepper a bit too. I was out of smoked paprika, so I used regular and added some smoked salt, but I had to be careful not to make it too salty--gotta be careful with cured meats. It will be completely worth it to get the smoked paprika. Hubby was not willing to go to more than one supermarket to find that one little bottle of dark red powder. Maybe I will add a little liquid smoke to the mustard when serving this. That will do it. I love making flavored mustards anyway.
Here is my version, a feature in this month's Diner News.
"Tastes Like the Deli" Homestyle Pastrami
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
Rinse the corned beef and pat dry. Rub olive oil into the surfaces of the meat and place on foil.
Mix all of the spices in a small bowl and rub evenly on all sides of the corned beef.
Fold up the foil, wrapping tightly. Flip over, fold side down, on another piece of foil and wrap the
meat tightly again. Wrap a third time to assure a tight casing of foil.
Place on low in a crockpot or oven at 250 degrees for 5 hours. Remove from the pot or oven and let
cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight still wrapped. The next day* thinly slice the cold
meat across the grain.
I was going to have company tonight, and planned on serving bites of this as a build your own appetizer with small bowls of sauerkraut, mustard and pickles. Now my guests can't come, so I am sad. Guess it is movies for our entertainment tonight. Good enough. I guess I can share it at our family get together tomorrow. We will eat then all head out to see Les Miserables. (except the poor radio Dad who works all holidays) Happy New Year everyone!