Cook 21, March 16, 2009

by zydecopaws on March 16, 2009

img_0301On the grill:

  • Quick Pastrami (Corned Beef Brisket)
  • MOINK Balls

I will be out of town for St. Paddy’s Day tomorrow and the wife needed her annual corned beef fix.  I convinced her that smoking a corned beef brisket up as pastrami would be the next best thing.  This is a first for me, so I figured WTH, might as well try some MOINK balls to go with it.  For the pastrami I had a number of references available online.  The two best that I found were at the Virtual Weber Bullet and a timely post by our friends over at BBQ Addicts.  Both give great detailed instructions that are easily followed; my only hope is that I can somehow do justice here to my adaptations of their recipes.

img_0303But first, for those of you wondering what MOINK balls are, think Beef = Moo, Pork = Oink. Put them together and you have MOINK.  Essentially these are frozen meatballs wrapped in bacon, sprinkled with your favorite rub or spices, smoked until almost done, and glazed with your choice of sauce prior to the last 15 minutes or so of cooking.  The total time for todays MOINK was 2 hours, give or take a few minutes.  Instructions will be posted to the recipe section later this week, but you really have about everything you need to know to fix these in the second sentence of this paragraph.  Today’s batch (my first, so no longer am I MOINK virgin) was glazed with some Columbia Empire Farms Mango-peach Pepper Jelly.  These were so good that we were hoping they were too spicy for the kids to eat when they got home from school.  And don’t let that picture fool you; they weren’t burnt, just very brown.  The bacon was just at the edge of crispy and the flavor was incredible.  As it turned out, the kids arrived home from school and the MOINK balls disappeared from sight.  The only complaint I heard was “where did the MOINK go?”

img_0305The pastrami turned out pretty good, although a bit salty for my tastes.  It only soaked for about 3 hours prior to cooking; next time (and there will be one) I will soak it overnight to get more of the salt from the curing process out of it.  Once soaked, the brisket got rubbed with a mixture of ground black pepper, ground coriander seed, and granulated garlic.  From there it went on the WSM and cooked at a lid temperature of between 225°F and 275°F for about 4 1/2 hours until the internal temperature of the meat averaged 165°F when poked in several locations.  I would have preferred to keep the lid temperature of the smoker at 225°F for the entire cook, but a combination of that darn thing called JOB (you know, that thing that pays the mortgage) and the wind conspired to prevent me from checking and adjusting the temperature more frequently.

Once off the grill, the pastrami was wrapped in foil and put in a cooler to rest (I guess it was tired) for about 2 hours.  This allows the cooking process to continue, and also helps the juices permeate the entire brisket.  From there it was slice and serve.  Some ate it plain, others had it on some pub buns I found hiding in the freezer.  I added some nice swiss cheese and dijon mustard to mine to make up a real tasty sandwich.

Vital Statistics:

  • BBQ Start time: 10:30
  • Meal time: 18:00
  • Temperature:     41°F
  • Dew Point:     37°F
  • Humidity:    85%
  • Wind:    SSE at 5mph
  • Daily Precip.:    0.06in

Today wasn’t as windy as yesterday, and I managed to get the smoker lit between raindrops without too many problems.  The morning started out overcast and progressed into sun breaks followed by more clouds, rain, and more sun breaks.  Overall another typical March day with no real reason to not cook outdoors…

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