Beef Pastrami

TOTAL TIME: 511 hr 15 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive Prep: 507 hr
Cook: 4 hr
 
YIELD: 4 pounds
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 6 bay leaves, crumbled
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons whole juniper berries, plus 1/3 cup crushed juniper berries
  • 16 cups (or 4 quarts) water
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) beef brisket
  • 2/3 cup coarsely ground black pepper
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Directions

In a small mixing bowl, combine the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, garlic, and whole juniper berries. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine the water, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and add dry spice mixture and steep for 1 hour. Place the brisket in a glass or plastic container. Pour the seasoned brine to cover the brisket completely. Cover and refrigerate for 3 weeks, turning the brisket every couple of days.

Preheat the smoker according to the manufacturer's directions.

Remove the brisket from the marinade, and pat dry. Discard the marinade. Combine the remaining 1/3 cup crushed juniper berries and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Using the palm and heel of your hand, press 2/3 of the berry and pepper mixture into the brisket. Press the remaining mixture into the other side. Place the brisket in the smoker and smoke for about 4 hours. Remove from the smoker and cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Slice into thin slices and serve.
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