Earlier today I was cooking up some mystery meat on the WSM and messing with my Twitter followers. I neglected to take pictures before the foil went on, so I sent out the following picture with a “guess what’s cooking” query.
All sorts of guesses were made, from birdies to fishes and tofu to wild game. Who would have thought that something like pastrami would have been so hard to guess?
I was attempting to replicate pastrami the Pigdog and I were fortunate enough to have when we were in the Bay Area last month. As a result, I did some research in The BBQ Brethren Forums for pastrami by Marty Leach. Along with pastrami, Marty also makes some fantastic custom wood handles for various BBQ grills; if you get a chance check out his website and see some of his work.
At any rate, I (mostly) followed instructions I found in one of his posts. Unfortunately I didn’t follow them closely enough, as he referred to pastrami made by Thirdeye (another BBQ Brethren, recipe and instructions here) and I followed those and took the briskets off when the temps were at 170°F internal rather than letting them cook in the foil for 4 hours as Marty suggested. The first pastrami wasn’t as moist as I wanted it, and was a bit on the tough side. But it didn’t stop me from making Reuben sandwiches on the BS Keg with it…
After slicing the first brisket, I put the second one back on the WSM for another few hours. Based on the tenderness and juiciness of the second one, I’m pretty sure that had I followed Marty’s instructions the first time around the results would have been comparable to what he served at the pre-Bash party.
And although those Reuben sandwiches aren’t worthy of very many appearance points, they sure tasted great. I’m looking forward to making some more later with the tender pastrami.