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Pastrami Rub Spices

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    Pastrami Rub Spices

    Silly question here, but figured I might as well ask.

    Just pulled a corned beef out of the deep freeze, to make my first ever pastrami, using Meathead's "Katz" pastrami recipe from the free side. The rub recipe calls for whole peppercorns, whole coriander, and whole mustard seed. I have the coriander and mustard both whole and powdered - but only ground black pepper.

    The recipe notes say you can use only ground, but do I double the amount, since it calls for 2 Tbsp ground pepper and 2 Tbsp peppercorns, or just the 2 of ground? Or are you guys gonna tell me to get off my rear and go to the store for more spices for my already overflowing pantry?

    #2
    I would never use whole versions of the spices in the rub. Nor would I use a powdery grind. I do coarse cracked pepper and coriander seed. 16 mesh, same basic grind as you'd use on brisket. I don't add mustard seed but if I did, same thing.

    Comment


    • jfmorris
      jfmorris commented
      Editing a comment
      I have a moderatly course ground black pepper. I crack the coriander and mustard seed in a zip lock bag, using a rolling pin on the counter. For some reason, we've been married 31 years and I can only think of having peppercorns in the house a couple of times, or a grinder for them.

    #3
    I think it's going to be worth getting the whole peppercorns, and then crack them. Or get some cracked peppercorns if available. Any form of ground black pepper is just going to be too "peppery." <- I can't believe I just typed that last sentence, btw.

    Comment


      #4
      When I make that rub, I use both the ground and whole amounts, but grind the whole ones a little finer than "cracked" in a coffee grinder.
      For things like the pepper, if all you have is ground, I would probably use 3T and not 4. One tablespoon of whole peppercorns is going to be a lot less by weight than already ground. If that makes any sense.

      Comment


      • FishTalesNC
        FishTalesNC commented
        Editing a comment
        Exactly what I do as well.

      #5
      Use whole spices, toast them briefly then mortar and pestle is my go to.
      Find a good butcher that doesn't overdo the corning, so you don't need to muck around with the soaking.
      Just dry brine with spices overnight and smoke it through to temp. I find the carry on with the steaming process next day doesn't seem to add much value, but that's probably just my Neanderthal palette haha

      Comment


        #6
        I use freshly ground pepper and coriander in my rub but don’t leave any whole. I bump up the amounts of ground by about half to offset the lack of leaving any whole.

        Being black pepper is one of the primary flavors in a pastrami, I think fresh cracked peppercorns are important as they have a much bigger flavor than the pre-ground stuff

        Comment


          #7
          I’m the guy who says: it’s going to spend half a day over the smoke. By the end, it isn’t going to matter.

          I use all ground spices, and 4T black pepper. The last time I made pastrami, a couple months ago, it didn’t look black enough and I added a couple more T. It came out fine. Great, in fact.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            YES! Finally the great Mosca comes to my rescue!

            I *may* pick up peppercorns if I go to the store in the next several days - this 4 pound frozen hunk of corned beef will take a couple days to thaw - but if I don't, will roll with the ground that I already have. I have *SO MANY* spices in the pantry - probably 50-60 bottles of stuff - many of them big ones from Sam's - I hate to go chasing after more right now.

          • Mosca
            Mosca commented
            Editing a comment
            I’ve been watching Jacques Pepin videos on You Tube. It is so liberating to hear him say, with his French accent, “If you don’t have (whatever), it doesn’t really matter, use (something else).

            I go back and forth between fresh cracked pepper and coarse grind McCormicks. But any time I use pepper in a rub, I use the coarse grind. There’s no way I’m going to stand there grinding pepper for 15 minutes, to rub on something that’s going to smoke for hours and hours.
            Last edited by Mosca; January 26, 2021, 07:00 AM.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            I tend to agree with you. I love the look of the bark with the coarse grain but who really likes biting into a partial piece of peppercorn or coriander seed and have it ram into your gum? Frankly for convenience sake, and just my personal eating pleasure, I've gotten away from the whole seeds, looks be damned.

          #8
          Pickling Spice 13 Whole Spices Blend Great for Corned Beef | Etsy
          Pickling Spice 13 Whole Spices Blend Great for Corned Beef, Pastrami with Free Muslin Bag & Recipes

          The whole kit under $7.00 keep it simple. Comes with instructions.
          It is the above posts and responses that expand in BBQing. A new addition to my BBQ bucket list.
          Last edited by bbqLuv; January 26, 2021, 08:21 AM.

          Comment


          • rickgregory
            rickgregory commented
            Editing a comment
            That's for the corning stage. For smoking, all you really need are pepper and coriander seed.

          #9
          When you say 'ground pepper', are you talking fine or coarse? Coarse is ok. Fine ground pepper will give you a significant;y different feel. While I get that you're smoking it for hours, this recipe and Katz style pastrami relies on the pepper and coriander being very prominent, not background notes.

          If you have a need for cracked pepper you can use a coffee grinders to get it - the cheap blade stuff will work fine but will give you some coarse, some fine.

          So, up to you but I'd not use fine ground pepper if that's all you have. Preground coarse? Works just... uh... fine.

          Comment


          • jfmorris
            jfmorris commented
            Editing a comment
            It's a coarse grind. I don't like the fine powdery grind even for table use.

          • rickgregory
            rickgregory commented
            Editing a comment
            Yeah then I'd just use that. The fine stuff wouldn't give you the same flavor and feel. As long as your stuff still has that peppery aroma and flavor, save a trip to the store.

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