Here’s the lowdown of what Test 1 is and why I’m doing Test 2 concurrently. I was reading through various websites that Pastrami is nothing more than black pepper and coriander crusted, smoked Corned Beef. After seeing that concensus, I whipped out the ol’ Charcuterie book and proceeded to prepare a Corned Beef, as detailed in the book. For some reason, it had never occured to me to look up Pastrami in the book, but while the brine was cooling down I skimmed through it and lo and behold, a separate listing for Pastrami, which has a different recipe/brine than Corned Beef. So Test 2 is the actual Pastrami recipe which adds dark brown sugar and honey, and calls for less pickling spice.
Since I didn’t start this one until 9PM, I couldn’t let the brine cool all the way down to room temp before I stuck it in the fridge to chill. Hopefully that won’t have any significant effect on the result. Anyway, I’m considering doing an actual Corned Beef on Saturday since I have the proper Corned Beef preparation just chilling in the fridge. Depends on how many people are gonna be around to eat I suppose.
This preparation only calls for 3 days in the brine, so this will be ready on Saturday as well. Still didn’t get an answer from Ruhlman after I posted a comment on his blog, although I did ask it on a more dated post (it was the most recent one, but it had been a few days since he had posted it). Maybe I’ll hit him up on Twitter.