Pastrami Test 1, Day 1

Making pastrami, or at least trying to, with Charcuterie as my main resource.  If you want the recipe, go buy the book.

Picked up a 5.47lb USDA Choice Brisket with about a 1/4″ of fat on it.  Not gonna trim it leaner, although sometimes they say to have about 1/8″.  The guy at Huntington Meats said, “Hey, if you like it fatter, leave it on.”

Picked up the spices at Whole Paycheck.  Mostly WF’s “cheap” brand, 365, but of note… the only pickling spice I could find was from a brand called Spicely that doles it out in tiny 1 TBsp boxes.  I was trying to open the baggie of spices gently, but like an idiot, I ripped it and spilled spices all over the place.  The recipe is supposed to call for 20g of it, but when I put it on the scale, I only had 13g of good stuff left.  THIS IS WHY YOU ALWAYS BUY EXTRA!  Doh.

So I’ve boiled the brine and I’m letting it cool down to room temp, but I don’t know if I should do it with the lid on (making it take forever) or with the lid off (and possibly letting something foreign join the party).  I’m playing it safe and leaving it covered, but I imagine it’ll be a few hours beofre it gets down in temperature.

The irony is not lost on me that I’m posting about making a fatty pastrami on the same blog that I went on and on about lowering my cholesterol and living healthier.  Maybe this is a sign that I need to get back to that.  We’ll see how my cholesterol is next week.

Anyway, so the brisket’s gonna sit in my fridge for 5 days.  It was probably a bad move to do it on a Saturday night, but it was the only day I had enough time to get everything together.  Hopefully the 5-day incubation period isn’t a hard number and it can take an extra day in there.  If not, what should I do with it?  Rinse it off and let it sit?  Where are the answers to these important questions, Ruhlman?!?  I guess I’ll find out if it’s too salty when I eat it.


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