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Grey Pastrami

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    Grey Pastrami

    I live in Massachusetts where this time of year every great butcher shop has vats and vats of corned beef. Most people see that as an add on to their St Paddys celebration, I see it as a fast forward button on throwing some pastrami on the smoker.

    The problem is here in Mass all the butcher shops leave out the nitrate as New England style corned beef is the Gray corned beef.

    Has anyone ever made a pastrami starting from a gray corned beef? If so how was the final result?

    as always if there are food safety concerns about corned beef without nitrates going through the pastrami transformation, I guess I'll hear those too!


    The color will make no difference to the taste. Safety-wise, I'd never cure meat without the nitrates for any length of time, but 3-4 days should be fine. Will there be some small safety risk? Sure, but come on, how many times have we bought a steak on Thursday and eaten it on Sunday?


      Rickgregory is right. It won't be 'preserved' without the nitrite, it will be simply pickled/corned/spiced is all. As long as you use it in a reasonable amount of time it's no different than a fresh brisket.


        If it’s safe for corned beef, why would it not be safe for pastrami? The only difference is the cooking method (boiled vs rubbed and smoked). It’ll have a slightly different taste than a cured product but otherwise should be fine



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