The other day I was listening to CBC Radio and the topic of discussion was the great delicatessens of North America. There was talk of Montreal smoked meat sandwiches, the historic delis of New York City, and the decline of the number of delis and the expertise and dedication needed to run them.
At that point I decided I should gain some of that expertise myself. I consulted my Charcuterie book, then stopped in at the Cowichan Valley Meat Market and picked up a 5+ pound piece of trimmed brisket. I was determined to make a nice piece of pastrami. Later that evening I created a brine and stuck the brisket in it for 4 days. At noon today I pulled it out of the brine, rinsed it, dried it, and rubbed with some toasted black pepper, coriander and cumin. On to my Traeger smoker it went…for six hours.
I was looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, but after 6 hours I had only made it to 130. I think it had something to do with the fact that the temperature outside was hovering around the freezing mark, so I pulled it off the smoker, wrapped it in foil and finished it in my convection oven at 300F with my never-fail meat probe watching the internal temperature for me.
Here's most of our dinner…Reuben sandwich with rye and flax bread from True Grain Organic Bakery, my own dill pickles and frites made in the T-Fal Acti-Fryer I'm testing out right now. More about that later, but everything was yummy. Now, what to do with 5 more pounds of pastrami???
Oh, and I'd love to make my own sauerkraut as well…