the appetizer:

The Art of Charcuterie by John Kowalski and The Culinary Institute of America includes recipes like Pastrami (Brined, Spiced, Smoked Beef); Dry-Cured Pancetta; Mousseline-Style Forcemeat; plus articles like Concerns Over the Use of Nitrate and Nitrites.



Pastrami (Brined, Spiced, Smoked Beef)

Makes 1 Brisket, 10 to 12 lb/4.64 to 6.44 kg

  • 1 beef brisket, 10 to 12 lb/4.54 to 5.44 kg (see Note)


  • 1-1/2 gal/5.76 L water
  • 1 lb to 1 lb 4 oz/454 to 567 g kosher salt
  • 5 oz/142 g granulated sugar
  • 3-1/2 oz/99 g Insta Cure No.1
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp/15 mL pickling spice
  • 2 oz/57 g coriander seeds, toasted
  • 2 oz/57 g black peppercorns, toasted, cracked


1. Trim the external fat on the brisket to 1/16 in/1.50 mm thick.

2. In a brining tub, combine the water, salt, sugar, and Insta Cure. Mash the garlic cloves and crush the pickling spice and add to the brine solution.

3. Weigh the brisket and inject the brisket with brine equal to about 10 percent of its weight.

4. Place the brisket in the brining tub and use a plate or rack to keep it completely below the surface.

5. Brine the brisket for 3 days.

6. After 3 days, remove the brisket from the brine and soak it in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and dry the brisket.

7. Grind the coriander and peppercorns to medium-fine in a spice grinder. Rub the spices over the surface of the brisket on all sides.

8. Cold-smoke the brisket for 2 hours. (See Chapter 6 of the book for full information on smoking.)

9. Hot-smoke the brisket at 185 degrees F/85 degrees C to an internal temperature of 155 degrees to 160 degrees F/68 degrees to 71 degrees C. The smoke intensity should be about medium; you do not want it to be too strong. Cherry, mesquite, and hickory are woods that go well with beef products.

10. To finish the pastrami, simmer in water until tender, about 2 hours. It may also be cooled, wrapped, and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. To reheat the brisket, place it in water or stock and reheat to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F/74 degrees C.

Note: Beef plate can also be used in place of brisket.

  • from:
    The Art of Charcuterie
  • by John Kowalski and The Culinary Institute of America
  • Wiley 2010
  • Hardcover, 400 pages; $65.00 (US)
  • ISBN-10: 0470197412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-470-19741-7
  • Reprinted by permission.

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The Art of Charcuterie


This page created February 2011

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