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Sous vide Picanha pastrami


&roid
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Pre-Christmas experiment here - I’m trying out using a Picanha to make pastrami. Not the classic choice but our butcher has started selling this cut recently and I was really impressed by its beefy flavour. Its shape is like a mini brisket with a nice fat cap so hopefully it will turn out well. 
 

The process is:

 

1. cure for a week in the brine

2. sous vide at 63°C for 30h then chill thoroughly 

3. smoke at 225°F (forgive my mixing my units - I’m Celsius for everything but bbq!) for an hour or so

 

I’m just at the sous vide stage at the moment so will report back when it’s in the smoker. 

34A32E89-6856-4B70-B71C-0EAA5505CA27.jpeg

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@&roid 

 

I like everything you are doing here !

 

would you be able at any point to take a picture of the meat

 

so I get a sense of that cut ?

 

on the smoking :

 

I(ve done ' just finished ' corned beef

 

( 48 hr  140 f )

 

cold smoked'd smokes on a weber w a pellet tube 

 

Ive done this in the winter to keep the CB's cool.

 

then rebagged  and Fz .    best sandwich ever had

 

sliced thin 

 

esp the summer .

Edited by rotuts (log)
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I certainly will - comes out around 6pm tomorrow so will show you it bagged up then another once it’s cold and out of it’s wrapping. 
 

Basically it’s a nice even triangular cut, single muscle with a perfect fat cap over the top. 

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4 hours ago, rotuts said:

@&roid 

 

I like everything you are doing here !

 

would you be able at any point to take a picture of the meat

 

so I get a sense of that cut ?

 

on the smoking :

 

I(ve done ' just finished ' corned beef

 

( 48 hr  140 f )

 

cold smoked'd smokes on a weber w a pellet tube 

 

Ive done this in the winter to keep the CB's cool.

 

then rebagged  and Fz .    best sandwich ever had

 

sliced thin 

 

esp the summer .

 

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that Picana, or Rump cap is essentially the butt end of a tri-tip with lots of fat cap still attached. My beef dude basically sells the front part as tri-tip and the back as rump cap. Picana is very trendy now but I'm not big on the fat so I tend to go for the front bit.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Sous vide stage has come to an end, I chilled the Picanha off in an ice bath then opened it up to have a look. 
 

Smoking will have to happen another day as it’s dark and cold and this World Cup won’t watch itself. 
 

I snuck a little slice or two off the edge just to give it a try - nice flavour, not too salty (which I was worried about when I went back and worked out the %s on the brine recipe I used). Texture is quite firm and sliceable but it’s stone cold too… be interesting how it comes out of the smoker. 
 

 

918F6CDE-0C41-45D1-BBB2-055C41A7389D.jpeg

D77E6630-2E43-44E2-94A1-81B3524D5A51.jpeg

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4 minutes ago, Duvel said:

Did your brine use pink salt ?


indeed - 0.6%. It’s kept the meat pink inside, though a blushing pink rather than a deep red. Ideally I’d like it a bit darker - not sure if that is controllable with the amount of pink salt?

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It is … that’s why I asked. Your beef looked quite pale to me. Normally - and to play it safe - you’d want to aim for 0.5% of nitrite. So, if you are referring to 0.6% of nitrite, you are all set. If you used 0.6% of prague powder 1 (which in turn contains about 6.25% of nitrite) you simply salt cured your pastrami (which still is ok, but gives a different flavor profile) …

 

 

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Interesting and good to know… the stuff I’ve used is labelled as Prague powder 1, which I thought was interchangeable with insta cure 1.

 

I was using the brine from chefsteps pastrami recipe which calls for 60g of insta cure 1 in 9000g of water. Are we saying we’d need like 10 or 15 times as much?

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13 hours ago, &roid said:

Interesting and good to know… the stuff I’ve used is labelled as Prague powder 1, which I thought was interchangeable with insta cure 1.

 

I was using the brine from chefsteps pastrami recipe which calls for 60g of insta cure 1 in 9000g of water. Are we saying we’d need like 10 or 15 times as much?

 

I usually dry cure, so I needed to calculate a bit. It seems to be on the lower end of things …
 

How much regular salt do you add on top of that - do you go for a 10% solution ?

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22 minutes ago, Duvel said:

 

I usually dry cure, so I needed to calculate a bit. It seems to be on the lower end of things …
 

How much regular salt do you add on top of that - do you go for a 10% solution ?


here’s the recipe from chefsteps:

 

6DA4DD84-BD81-4DE5-BC77-664175E4DED1.thumb.png.c34875226672965dafd9fb4d8390eea7.png

 

so, ignoring all the flavourings, I make that brine to be:

 

sugar 7.3%
NaCl 4.2% (from the plain salt) + 0.625% (from the Prague powder) = 4.825%
Sodium Nitrite 0.04% 

 

does that sound right?

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3 minutes ago, &roid said:


here’s the recipe from chefsteps:

 

6DA4DD84-BD81-4DE5-BC77-664175E4DED1.thumb.png.c34875226672965dafd9fb4d8390eea7.png

 

so, ignoring all the flavourings, I make that brine to be:

 

sugar 7.3%
NaCl 4.2% (from the plain salt) + 0.625% (from the Prague powder) = 4.825%
Sodium Nitrite 0.04% 

 

does that sound right?


It is a little bit less that that: you’ll end up with 10.09 kg of solution, so sugar is 6.5% and so on …

 

In general, this is a “weak” brine in terms of salt. In Germany usually we shoot for 8-10% of salinity, and since we have only a mixture called NPS (containing 0.5% of nitrite), the resulting brine has also a higher nitrite percentage (though not much). I think as long as you get uniformely pink meat, all is fine …

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Thanks @Duvel - I’m a bit of a fumbling amateur when it comes to nitrite curing so good to sense check it. 
 

I might well try a dry brine next time - do you have some proportions that you use for this technique?

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3 minutes ago, &roid said:

Thanks @Duvel - I’m a bit of a fumbling amateur when it comes to nitrite curing so good to sense check it. 
 

I might well try a dry brine next time - do you have some proportions that you use for this technique?

 

I use 28 g of NPS (again, that is 0.5% nitrite, rest regular salt) per kg of meat. I mix the NPS with whatever else needs to go in (spices, sugar) and seal in a vaccum bag. Leave for [(1 day per cm meat "height") plus two days] in the fridge, turn upside down daily.  

Edited by Duvel (log)
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2 minutes ago, Duvel said:

 

I use 28 g of NPS (again, that is 0.5% nitrite, rest regular salt) per kg of meat. I mix the NPS with whatever else needs to go in (spices, sugar) and seal in a vaccum bag. Leave for [(1 day per cm meat "height") plus two days] in the fridge, turn upside down daily.  


Great, will look into this. How much regular salt do you add per kilo of meat?

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22 minutes ago, &roid said:


Great, will look into this. How much regular salt do you add per kilo of meat?

 

None extra, as the NPS (Nitritpökelsalz) is 99.5% salt and 0.5% nitrite. It's a fixed preparation.

 

The results will look like this ...

 

 

I also found this: cured chuck-eye, dry cured ...

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Duvel (log)
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@&roid the universal cure calculator that DiggingDogFarm created is an excellent tool to determine the quantity of curing salt.  It is located in the tool bar(?) above.  I believe for wet equilibrium brining you input the  weight of the meat plus the weight of the water required to cover the meat.  Unlike most web based calculators it allows you to specify the % nitrite of the curing salt that you are using, the target salt % ( also sugar %) and also can calculate based on desired ppm.   

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So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Looks good👍   I cheat and buy prepared corned beefs after St Patty’s day when they go on sale.   Desalinate the corned beef as they are full of salt, then smeared with mustard and pastrami spices and tossed in the smoker.  Finish over steam in the kitchen oven.   Usually chill and slice the next day.  Outside of a true Jewish deli which there are little around, this meets my expectations of what pastrami should taste like.  

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