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Anonymous Modernist 16497

[Modernist Cuisine] Beef Cheek Pastrami (6•121)

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Hello. I'm making the pastrami for the first time and was wondering a couple of things that don't seem to be specified in the book.

1) What kind of wood is recommended for this recipe? I used Hickory, and it smells right to me, but I'm no expert at smoking things. So, I wanted to hear what's best.

2) I am using boneless short rib for this recipe and wasn't sure if my Jaccard(sp?) meat tenderizer was necessary. I know they discuss these in the beginning of the book, but almost seems redundant when you are cooking for 72-hours... then again, it could only help to get the brine/smoke/rub flavors into the meat, huh?

Thanks in advance for the help! sf-smile.gif

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I am making this recipe right now as well, I am in day 2 of brining at present. I am making it for our 3rd food event at sector 67 in Madison, WI. I have to make enough for 30 or so people, so I am using larger cuts of meat, as the short ribs that I could find were small presliced packages. It looked like tritip roasts were well marbled yet large enough to feed a group. I used a fork to make holes for the brine to reach the insides quicker in one of the tritips, but left the second one alone. I also bought a spoon roast and am turning it into pastrami as well. I will brine for 4 days or more and then smoke and cook. The questions that I also have are: What kind of wood, I was thinking hickory or apple., and how long should I souse vide the tritip? I'm leaning toward 2 days at 144f , instead of 3 days, as it may turn out mushy and to give the meat an extra day to brine because they are larger cuts of meat. Does anyone think it is necessary to go to 3 days? Also, is it necessary to use 15g of instacure #1 as the guy at the sausage shop said it is generally enough for 11kilos of meat when they are processing. Is it overkill?

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Maxmojo,

There should be no need to Jaccard the meat. I also did short ribs and they came out fantastic. Be forewarned that the "smoke" aroma could permeate out of the bag into the water bath. I also used a combo of apple and cherry, but I think that any wood will work.

CJM,

I would think that the 15g is based on the amount of brine that they recommending on making. I followed the recipe, and would say that it did not affect the final product. Also, I do not think that it will turn out mushy based on the amount of salt and cure that is in the brine.

RED

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1. I use hickory too. It‚’s good!

2. There really isn‚’t a need to jaccard before a 72 hour cook. The meat will get plenty tender in the sous vide bath.

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I smoked the pastrami using hickory smoke for 4 hours, and I used 2 charges of wood shavings in the electric smoker. I then placed them in vacuum bags with the boiled/skimmed/cooled brine and sealed them. I then placed them in the souse vide bath at 144 degrees F. This morning I looked in at them and the water had darkened and smelled smokey. I was worried that one of the bags had leaked, but when I held them up there were no leaks. I don't know what happened. Could there be a smoke byproduct that can leach through the plastic bag into the water? Very strange.

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CJM,

I had the same issue and my bags did not leak. It will continue to leach though the bags until you pull them. I guess one could double bag them? The smoke aroma was obnoxious to me coming out of the bath. I kept changing / swapping baths when it got too strong. The came out just fine by the way... Here is an image of it.

DSCN0918_zps206da81a.jpg

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Thanks for all the insight guys. Mine came out really good as well. The smoke flavor did happen while Sous Vide'ing. I liked it but boy it tested my self control! I wanted to rip into those bags well before the 72-hour mark. Hickory seemed like a good choice, flavor-wise, but it also seems to be the popular choice. Anyway, thanks again! Happy cooking!

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