On my recent trip to the store, I noticed that the pastrami being sold is made from top round. Pure sacrilege if you ask me! Pastrami should be juicy and fatty–not lean. I set out to cure some of my own, using a slab of short ribs:
I deboned it and applied Morton’s sugar cure with crushed black peppercorns, crushed coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika:
I had planned for a 10-day cure, but work and life (or rather an extreme lack of balance between the two) led to a 3 week cure:
I rinsed the slab off and let it soak for 24 hours, changing out the water every 6-8 hours:
The slab was then left to “mellow out” in the fridge for a few days:
I’m thinking the heavy marbling will work wonderfully for some decent pastrami.
I prepared a rub for the pastrami, using black peppercorns, crushed coriander, garlic powder, onion powder:
I also threw on some hard boiled eggs and par-boiled red potatoes. I didn’t get any shots of the smoker action, but here are the after shots:
The short rib pastrami was placed in a slow cooker (on top of an aluminum pan, punctured with holes) with several cups of a beef broth, water, and au jus mix, and left to steam for hours:
In the meantime, I checked on my smoked pale ale brown mustard I made the day before. I cold smoked some yellow and brown mustard seeds (for 8 hours, stirred once an hour):
Some of the smoked yellow and brown mustard seeds were ground into powder, while 6 tbsp was coarsely ground:
One half cup of Sierra Nevada Torpedo pale ale and some rice vinegar was added to the mustard powder, along with course ground brown and yellow mustard seeds, and left to mellow out for 24 hours in the fridge:
This was some good stuff.
The smoked deviled egg potato salad was prepped. I mashed up the egg yolks with some mayonnaise, mustard, and relish, then added the chopped smoked potatoes, and egg whites:
I took a taste and then quickly put it in the fridge because I was about to get medieval with the stuff.
The pastrami hit a higher temp than I had planned (205 F). It was super tender and juicy, and couldn’t be cut on the slicer, so I cut it by hand:
Piled it on some Pugliese bread with the smoked pale ale mustard and some provolone cheese:
I stuck the sandwich in the panini grill to get it all nice and toasted:
The next day the meat was able to be cut on the slicer, and I cut it paper thin:
This stuff just melted in your mouth–turning into a small pool of pastrami goodness with absolutely no effort. I made a pastrami melt, using texas toast and white american cheese:
Those sandwiches were so good it didn’t make any darn sense.
Since pastrami has Romanian origins, I figured a Romanian dessert was in order. Going with the whole “deli” theme, I choose Romanian cheesecake. I started the dough for the cheesecake:
oil, milk, and sugar, brought to a boil and then slightly cooled:
This was then mixed with flour, baking soda, and an egg, and rolled out into two 8×8 sheets:
The batter for the cheesecake consisted of ricotta cheese, eggs, powdered sugar, lemon zest, smoked vanilla bean seeds, smoked butter, and smoked semolina flour:
The pan was lined with parchment paper, and the first layer of dough was laid down, and covered with the batter:
The top layer of dough was placed onto the cheesecake:
After 40 minutes, the cake was done:
Once it was cooled, I sifted some powdered sugar on top:
Dessert is served:
This cheesecake was not the cheesecake I was used to–which was a very refreshing change. The crust was almost cookie-like, but not very sweet. In fact, the dessert as a whole wasn’t really sweet. It was light and creamy, and flat out delicious. Can’t beat the hint of smoke the smoked ingredients added either.