Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Smoked Corned Beef - Pastrami!

With St. Patrick's Day just around the corner all the talk is of 'Corned Beef & Cabbage'. Now this may sound a bit sacrilegious but I am in no way a fan of the way these two food items are prepared for this holiday.
So Not A Fan Of Boiled Meat! Sorry, but that is the way I feel. I know it can be done without leaching all the flavor out and some folks do like it.
This month Restaurant Depot has Corned Beef on sale from a few different meat purveyors. I stopped in and picked up a sixteen pounder from Dunphy & Cork. Ah yes, 16 pounds of goodness ready for some serious cooking. No Dunking It Into A Cauldron Of Boiling Water!

Here it goes, how we did this beautiful hunk of meat on the Weber Smokey Mountain!
Smoked Corned Beef – 
We Can Call This Homemade Pastrami!

1 16 Pound Corned Beef Brisket
Yellow Mustard
Course Grind Black Pepper

The morning before cooking the brisket, it is time to start a little prep. First we took the brisket out of the package and rinsed it off in the sink. There was almost zero trimming to do, as Dunphy & Cork ships out a hand trimmed piece that is ready to go.
After rinsing we want to take out some of the brine that goes into making corned beef. To do this we will be soaking the beef in water for 12 hours, with fresh water changes every few hours. 
The brisket was placed in a brand new, never used plastic five gallon bucket and then was covered in fresh water. The lid was placed on the bucket then the bucket was placed in a large cooler with a few ice packs. Now this is the first time trying this method out and so far it was pretty easy.
Yes, I soaked the meat in water! No problem, I am not cooking it in water - hehehe.
So, after the 12 hours had gone by the beef was removed from the water and patted dry. Then it was placed on a cooling rack over a large baking sheet and put in the fridge, uncovered overnight.
Sixteen pounds of brisket sure does take up a lot of real estate in the fridge, so beware!
On Sunday morning the WSM was set up with Kingsford and a few apple wood chunks. The water pan was filled half way with sand. On the lower rack there was a aluminum pan to catch any drippings.
While the smoker was coming up to temp the brisket was slathered with plain yellow mustard and then a nice coating of course ground black pepper was applied. That’s it, just mustard and pepper. The beef was placed on the top rack, fat side up.
The WSM was holding steady at 245 degrees through the entire cook. The only time the lid was lifted was at the four hour mark to insert two temperature probes. We are looking for a cook of about 6 hours and an internal temp of 165 degrees before we pull it off.
Almost like clockwork the brisket arrived at 165 at 6 hours and 10 minutes, very nice!
The beef was taken off the smoker and wrapped in three layers of heavy duty foil, then put into a towel lined cooler for a rest. The resting time is something that can vary and as we do this cook again we will try different times. The main thing is to resist slicing into the brisket too soon, give it some time to redistribute its juice while it continues to cook in the foil.
This particular brisket was in the foil a little over 4 hours and was still nice and hot when unwrapped.
During the slicing there was a lot of sampling going – wow this was GOOD! Great aroma, awesome look and the peppery goodness that you think of when you are enjoying pastrami! We sliced some up for the neighbors, who are always pleased to get some tasty tid bits.
Out of a sixteen pound brisket there was just over ten pounds of cooked weight. Then while slicing and tossing some of the remaining fat there was just under nine pounds of damn good eats.
Some of the brisket was cut into cubes to be ground for use in some recipes we are working on.
This was so good I think we are going to smoke up another one this weekend!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day Everyone!

   Here are two links to check out.
   The Mad Meat Genius  - I pretty much followed this method.
   Weber Virtual Bullet - A great resource for the WSM

Ready To Go!

Yep - Sixteen Pounds!

Have To Have A Little Fat!

Nice Beef!

Slather On The Yellow Mustard!

Peppered With Pepper!

Use The Course Grind!

Ready To Smoke!

After Four Hours!

The Aroma Is Amazing!

Unwrapped & Ready To Slice!
One Word - Yum!

Check Out That Color!

Now That Is Some Good Eats!

Just Can't Stop Sampling!
Can't Ya Just Taste It!

A Plate Of Great Taste!

As Always, Thank You For Reading!