Friday, September 4, 2009

Wagyu Pastrami

My first try at the Pastrami recipe from Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie. I had purchased a brisket to cure and smoke, but while I was at Cumbrae I spotted a wagyu tri-tip steak (the pure breed Wagyu is raised on their own farms!). I've had this wagyu cut before as a grilled steak and it was so marbled and had such amazing fat distribution that I figured it would make an amazing pastrami. I probably would have never tried this had it not been for Ruhlman himself posting on his blog about his Short Rib Pastrami.

I also had some Tamshire (a cross breed of Tamworth and Berkshire pork) bellies curing. So the smoker did double duty. I was glad to have had enough room in the smoker for the bellies & the pastrami. I used mainly apple wood for the duration of the smoke but I pulled the bellies out and loaded in some hickory to finish off the pastrami.

After I was done all the smoking everything was cooled down and vacuum packed to be dealt with until today. I setup my slow cooker to heat up and steam the pastrami to finish it off. I put some water in the bottom and elevated the meat so that it wasn't submerged in the water, let it go on low for 6hrs and came home to an unbelievable and powerful smoked meat smell!. I had to slice some right away and K. had grabbed some Rye bread earlier from Harbord Bakery so we were ready to Fress our sandwiches. The sandwich blew me away, it was gone so fast and all I can say is it was awesome! At first we tried them simple, just some mustard, from Montreal of course (made using some Quebec Maudite beer as well). Then we dressed it up further with some sauerkraut from Moishes.

I was so glad with the final results and in the end felt so rewarded with the outcome. It was a long process with most of it taken up with the wait, for the brine/cure, for the smoke, for the steam... like all good things... they take time.

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