Beef Pastrami

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 21 days 7 hr 15 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Inactive: 21 days 3 hr
  • Cook: 4 hr
  • Yield: about 4 pounds
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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 beef brisket (about 4 to 5 pounds)

2/3 cup coarsely ground black pepper

Directions

  1. 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. Combine the crushed juniper berries and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Using the palm and heel of your hand, press two thirds 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. Place the brisket in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and place over medium heat. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for two hours. Remove from the pan and cool completely. Slice into thin slices and serve.

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