I’ve been making homemade pastrami for years. I make what is commonly called ‘cheater’ pastrami, or ‘fauxstrami’ since I don’t start with a brisket, brine (or ‘corn’) it for ages and then smoke it. I cut to the chase and start with a corned beef brisket. The end result is absolutely fantastic. I load up on corned beefs any time they are on sale. My relatives and neighbors absolutely love it when I make pastrami. It’s a huge hit.
I took a slightly different approach than my traditional method and I’ve found this way to be even better than the old. You still get that slight peppery bite, but the pastrami-like flavor seems more pronounced and further penetrates the meat than when I use a more coarse spice grind.
- 1 corned beef brisket (try to get a flat one that is consistent in thickness, such as a corned beef brisket flat)
- 2 tablespoons (plus more, if needed) yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 3-4 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
- Rinse and dry the corned beef.
- Whisk together the mustard, brown sugar, coriander and allspice. You want the mixture to be slightly wet so that it adheres to the meat. If it does not, add a bit more mustard and mix.
- Rub the mixture all over the brisket, then cover completely with the ground pepper. Place in a large resealable bag or wrap tightly in foil and keep in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, fire up your smoker for 225-250 F. Place a chunk or two of light fruit wood in the smoker (I used cherry). Cook the brisket for at least 8 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 195 - 205 F.
- Remove, wrap in foil, and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Thinly slice the brisket against the grain using a meat slicer or sharp knife. Serve.