Pastrami Part II

So you’ve read Part I – the cheating pastrami. But how do we make one from scratch? Read on. Its an additional step to the process but yields a milder more well rounded pastrami. Quite how authentic it is I don’t know, I’ll have to get the New York and try one one day. This was also served as  Ruben sandwich of course.


  • 5kg of beef brisket
  • 200g salt
  • 100g sugar
  • 2 tsp curing salt (pink salt)
  • 5 cloves of garlic (blended or crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice


  • 2 tablespoon toasted peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds

Pickling Spicespices.jpg

  • 2 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoon all spice
  • 1 tablespoon mace
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger.


  • The first step here is to create the pickling spice. Toast the coriander, pepper and mustard o bring out the flavours but be careful not to burn them. Then, combine with the rest of the pickling spice ingredients and blend to a course powder. This can be stored for future use.
  • To prepare the brine, you combine the salt, water, sugar, garlic and pickling spice and simmer to dissolve and distribute the flavours. This won’t take long. Allow this to cool and then refrigerate.
  • Once cold you can add the brine and brisket to a container, making sure to completely cover the meat. I allowed this piece to brine for three days before smoking.spices 2.jpg
  • When you are ready, remove, rinse and dry the brisket. At this point you apply the coriander and pepper rub to form a good crust around the pastrami.

From here the process was basically the same as in Part I. The pastrami was cooked using Sous Vide for 6 hours at 60°C and then smoked for four hours. However the product  was much more refined. The brine used here was milder than the commercial corned silversides and gave a more well rounded flavour. One of the key differences is actually the cut of meat. Corned silverside in Australia is not made from brisket and is a very lean cut of meat. The brisket itself has a higher fat content which renders out in the cooking process. This rendered fat is really the key differences and adds an extra layer of flavour to the finished pastrami.

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