Last month, right after St. Patrick's Day, I was at the grocery store and corned beef briskets were on sale for a ridiculously low price. I grabbed two of them, not sure what I was going to make but knowing that if nothing else, I'd make my Honey Mustard-Glazed Corned Beef and have a bunch of leftovers. Then, unexpectedly, the weather got really nice and I started looking longingly at my smoker/grill sitting outside. I looked up recipes for smoked corned beef, and that's when I discovered that smoked corned beef is basically pastrami. There are a few other steps involved, but not many. I decided I had to make pastrami, and dedicated both briskets to the cause. I mainly followed the technique from this recipe at amazingribs.com, as their recipes and techniques have yet to let me down when I'm smoking things. There was a little bit of trial and error, mainly because I used my pressure cooker for the steaming step so I wasn't able to monitor the temperature of the meat and didn't steam it long enough the first time around. The end result was amazing, and I can't wait to make this again.
- 4 pounds of uncooked corned beef (homemade if you want, store-bought is fine)
- 4 Tablespoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- Put the corned beef in a pot slightly larger than the meat and cover it with cold water in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Make the rub by blending together all the spices. Rinse the meat, and while it is damp, apply the rub liberally, about 4 tablespoons per square foot of surface, and press it into the surface to help it adhere.
- Put in the fridge for a minimum of 2 days. Don't wrap it. The rub just sticks to the plastic wrap. (see notes)
- Preheat smoker to 225°F.
- Place meat on the smoker and cook until it reaches the stall at about 150°F.
- Remove from smoker and steam for an hour or two, until heated through to 203°F.
- Place meat under broiler for a few minutes if desired to firm up the spice crust on the outside.
- Look at the meat and notice which way the grain is running. Cut it by hand in thin slices, about 1/8" thick, perpendicular to the grain.
- Serve and enjoy!
Once I put the spice rub on, I let it sit just while I was firing up the smoker and getting it up to temp. While I'm sure the flavor would be slightly better letting it sit for a couple of days, it was pretty dang good even without the wait.
I served mine as sandwiches with Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and a nice deli mustard on rye bread.