Saturday, 19 March 2016

Pastrami



Recreating those little nuggets of deliciousness that you can usually only get from expensive delis is so satisfying - especially since you can put your own spin on it. And since I moved to my new house, charcuterie like salami and prosciutto is a little more difficult as I no longer have the right environmental conditions to air dry. Luckily I can still play around with making things like roasted peppers and rillettes.



This isn't the first time I've made pastrami, previously I've made duck pastrami which turned out pretty well. But this time I'm sticking to the traditional beef pastrami, though cooking it with a different method - in a pressure cooked. This means that it can be cooked in 30 minutes, rather than the 3 hours it takes in an oven. Unfortunately, it's not possible (as far as I know) to hot smoke, so I've added some chipotle chilies to try and impart some smokey flavour. Next time I'm going to experiment with liquid smoke added to the brine.

For the brine:

1.8g water
200g red wine
2tsp black peppercorns
3 cloves
1 star anise
1tsp dried chili flakes
1 chipotle chili,
1tsp fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
1tsp coriander seeds
200g salt
75g sugar

For the beef:

1.5kg beef joint, brisket or silverside
10g black peppercorns, coarsely ground
10g coriander seeds, coarsely ground
5 onions, peeled and halved

Add the water and red wine to a pot and thrown in the brine spices, salt and sugar. Bring it up to a boil then allow to completely cool.

Untie the beef and trim off any scraggly bits, then place in a container and pour over the brine. Make sure that the beef is totally submerged - I used a tin can to weigh it down.

After 5-7 days, remove the beef and pat dry with paper towel. Combine the the ground coriander and black peppercorns and rub into the meat. Try to get as much of it to stick to the beef as possible.


Arrange the onions in a single layer in the pressure cooked and add enough water to come about half way up the onions. Place the beef on top and cook for 30 minutes.

Slice copious amounts and enjoy in a nice thick sandwich with sourdough or rye bread, mustard and pickles.


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