From a processor’s point of view there’s only a tad difference between corned beef and pastrami.. Both are corned (or pickled) by curing in a salt brine for a week or longer. To make corned beef, the brisket is removed from the brine and simmered in a hot water bath until it’s tender. To make pastrami, it’s removed from the brine and smoke cooked.
5 lbs beef brisket (2.27 kg)
1/2 cup pickling salt (154 g)
2 tbsp Prague Powder #1 (34.2 g)
1 1/2 tsp garlic granules (5.1 g)
1/2 cup powdered dextrose (68.6 g)
2 quarts chlorine-free water (1.9 L)
1 1/2 tbsp Hungarian paprika (10.8 g)
2 tbsp coriander, ground (10.2 g)
2 tbsp coarse black pepper (15.6 g)
1. Trim the fat on the bottom of the brisket to about 1/4” (0.65 cm) thick.
2. Combine water, salt, Prague Powder, garlic powder and dextrose in large crock; stir well to make brine solution.
3. Spray pump the trimmed brisket with the freshly mixed brine solution to equal 10-15% of the original meat weight.
4. Submerge brisket in brine solution, place heavy platter on top of meat to keep it submerged, cover crock, refrigerate 7 days.
5. Turn brisket over and stir brine every other day and as this action will aid in the even distribution of the brine solution.
6. Remove brisket from brine solution, place in a large heavy pot, add pickling spice and enough fresh water to cover the meat.
7. Bring water to a quick boil, lower heat, and simmer 3-4 hours or until brisket is fork tender.
8. Pastrami is fully cooked and ready to eat at this time. It can be served hot or cold.
It’s best to apply the pastrami rub mixture starting with the fatty bottom, then move to the sides and top. The flat portion makes the best pastrami.