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Brisket 3 Ways - Pastrami, burnt ends, bacon

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    Brisket 3 Ways - Pastrami, burnt ends, bacon

    My biggest brisket effort ever.
    If I get this right, it will be a trifecta of my favorite brisket flavors.
    Homemade cured and smoked Pastrami using the recipes found on Amazing Ribs.
    Awesome Corned Beef, and Copycat Katz’s Deli Pastrami Rub.

    The burnt ends, and beef bacon will be cut from the point after smoking and cooked again, my way. 😋
    I want to do all 3 cooks and present on the same day to showcase a briskets versatility.
    I needed a large point and thick flat and found just what I need after pawing through a bunch at a local farm-to-market. 16# packer.
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    Trimmed the fat to 1/8” or less on the whole brisket.
    I decided to cut a 4# square from the flat to cure for the pastrami.
    I left the some of the flat on the point so it would cook slow, but trimmed down to bare limits.

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    I re-wrapped the Point very tightly, no air! and put it back in the fridge.
    The point will chill very cold, but not frozen, for 7 days while the flat cures.
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    Flat is soaking, and I’ll be back next week for the cooks.

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    Here is the finished cure. Water is red, but clear. Very light meat smell. All good. Note that I threw in some crushed red peppercorns with the brine. Why? They were there.

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    After dumping the brine and rinsing the meat, I added fresh water and some ice to cool it quickly. Back in the fridge for an 8 hour soak. Then I will season.

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    Back in 8 Hours or so. 😎

    Did this yesterday. Just catching up. Rub is applied. I did not use whole cracked pepper or coriander b/c those pieces get wedged in my teeth. I used double the powder. Now that I think about it; I Hope that using all powder is not overpowering. I am going to cook on Monday, so 1.5 days, even though the recipe calls for 2 days at least. Maybe that will work itself out.

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    Although this pastrami flat looks and smells wonderful, I keep looking at that Point. Hmmmmmm... Monday will be epic. 😎

    Last edited by Johnny Booth; October 12, 2021, 05:52 PM.

    Wow, looking forward to this. I've always wondered about beef bacon, but haven't ever found belly - so you're going to do bacon from the point?



    • Johnny Booth
      Johnny Booth commented
      Editing a comment
      I probably should not call it bacon b/c I don’t cure the Point, just a regular smoke to around 200f.
      There is often leftover brisket and I noticed that some points can be very fatty.
      I put aside a 1/2 of a cooked point a while back. When I took it out to re-heat it, it just looked like bacon. So I cut it thin and fried it crispy. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had with brisket.

    The Cook:

    ​Pictures of my setup.

    Serial#50 Franklin BBQ, Coal Powder-coat.
    PK360 - Grey Powder-coat.
    Covered wood rack for pre-cut splits.

    The only modification to the offset was this 4-way vent on the top of the stack.
    The un-vented stack was smoking the screen and the white beams.
    This also allows me to put up the big umbrella if it rains, or is too hot.

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    The cook. Target smoker temps above 250, averaging 275.

    I start with a full chimney of hot coals and then add a couple of large splits, 3-4” wide and 7” long, to get things going. This smoker requires a bed of coals and burning wood fire. The balance of coals to splits is similar to large offsets. Under operation, I use ~ 2”x2”x7” splits. The rest is a discussion for another channel.

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    The meat. The start, Pastrami on the left and Point on the right.
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    .....a few hours into the cook.

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    I wrapped the pastrami in foil at 150f, about 4 hours.
    I wrapped the Point in pink paper at 165f, about 6 hours.

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    The Pastrami finished quickly after I wrapped it, at about 6 hours.
    Here it is fresh off the smoker. We tasted it, but it was late, so rest for 2 hours and chilled overnight.

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    The Point was still going for another 5 hours. More on that later.

    Here are the money shots of the pastrami.

    I sliced it thin and steamed it for about 10 minutes to heat it up.
    My wife made an artisan rye bread.
    The meat was moist, tender and FULL of flavor.
    Highly recommend trying the recipe.

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    Next Post Tomorrow on the brisket.


      The pastrami looks outstanding! And yes I am like you in that I double the rub recipe while leaving out the cilantro and coriander (tastes like soap for the wife). Well done!

      I am also quite curious to see this beef bacon.
      Last edited by STEbbq; October 12, 2021, 06:41 PM.


      • Joey877
        Joey877 commented
        Editing a comment
        I get the soap thing as it is apparently genetic. People either like cilantro or despise it depending on their genetics. There's just a lot of coriander in that rub so your comment surprised me. I'm sure it's still good, though!

      • STEbbq
        STEbbq commented
        Editing a comment
        Joey877 at least in the US, cilantro are the leaves and stalks of the plant while coriander is the dried seeds. So, you gotta leave both out.

      • Joey877
        Joey877 commented
        Editing a comment
        I knew they were the same plant but somehow never connected the fact that people who had that genetic predisposition to cilantro would have the same reaction to coriander. That's because I'm nowhere near as smart as I would like to think I am...

      Great write up so far, I'm looking forward to reading the finale!


        Here are the shots of the burnt ends. We don’t like to soak them in bbq sauce and re-smoke. Rather we fry them in their own fat until they are crispy. Only takes about 10-15 minutes to make.
        Before Frying:
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        then I deglaze with beef broth and a little bbq sauce to soften them up and glaze them.
        for this batch the Ends soaked up about a cup of beef broth, and about a 1/2 cup of bbq sauce.

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        The frying seems to add some durability so they don’t fall apart. They come out like candy, soft and rich, full of beefy flavor, with a nice carmalized crust and the bbq glaze for a little sweet and spicy candy coating. 😋

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        Here is a shot of the Point after slicing off a nice hunk for burnt ends off both sides.
        This is how I discovered the ‘bacon’ idea.
        Looking at it, it is easy to see how a thin slice would fry up, and how tasty that would be.
        I will post some pics of our breakfast tomorrow.

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          Wrap up:
          Ambitious cook, and I had to split it up into multiple days due to a tough work schedule.
          While the brisket was outstanding...they always are; and at the same time could always get better.

          I normally cook a full packer brisket until the flat is about 200 and feels like butter. That probably means that the point, especially where it meets the fat, is most likely 195 or under. In this case, I used the flat for pastrami, and so the point separate from the flat, and so caused more fat to render. Great for fresh slices, but not as fatty and rich as I like for burnt ends and ‘bacon’.

          if you noticed the deep and wonderful bark, I attribute that to cooking with wood and fire, and particularly the Franklin.
          The high flow draft, and clean burning wood fire allows perfect conditions for producing a lot of smoke flavor, without any bitterness from dirty smoke, or over-smoked flavor. I wrap in paper because the bark will actually become over cooked and dry due to the convection, but not because I am afraid of too much smoke.

          The other thing I notice about the Franklin is that while the thermometer, and my temp probes, reflected an average of 275f, it cooks like the temp is 225-250. Things seems to always take longer than I anticipate; but everything still tastes great.

          So the taste was excellent as always, but more fat is always better.

          Here is the bacon:

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          • STEbbq
            STEbbq commented
            Editing a comment
            So you slice the brisket and fry it with some butter for the bacon?

          • Johnny Booth
            Johnny Booth commented
            Editing a comment
            STEbbq. No butter. The Point normally has enough fat to fry the beef. The fried beef just about melts in your mouth. Per my notes, I rendered a little too much internal fat on the point during the cook. Next time I will cook to 190f rather than 200f in hopes of more fat.

          Epic prep and cook. This was such a fun topic to read. You've got some great eats there.

          That homemade rye bread must have put the pastrami sammies over the top.

          Congrats on your excellent cook despite the work schedule.




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