May 7, 2017 – This is the fourth cure with a cleaned up brisket to make corned beef for Rueben sandwiches. Used the same marinade/cure ingredients. The meat is clearly solid deep red after the cure. Used a lot less rub for the smoke. This cook turned out great. Even when we thawed part of the flat on Oct. 15, 2017, after being vac packed, it was very flavorful with a deep red color. Made great Reubens.
We began with a whole packer brisket at 11.59 lbs (bought for $1.77 per pound at Randalls) and trimmed off all the fat. Trimmed weight was 5.6 lbs total. Added salt and sugar per the Digging Dog Farm’s calculator into 2 pots and heated them to be sure they were dissolved. Once cool added the Cure No. 1. Rubbed the meat with Foamhart’s seasoning at 2x the recipe below.
Decided to eye-ball the amount of rub so just drizzled it on the pile of small pieces and small point (about 40% or so I thought) and the rest was to go on the flat. End up with a lot on the pieces and what you see in the photo on the flat. The pieces looked like twice that dense. Will see if the difference shows up in the taste.
Put the rubbed meat into two zip lock bags with the flat in one and the point and pieces into the other. Poured in the pots of cure+sugar+salt water, squeeze out most of the air and sealed them in 1-gallon ziplocks. Put the two bags on a 1/8th baking sheet and into the wine cooler to cure for 14 days; i.e May 21.
The lighter bag of Point and pieces:
Meat 1042 g
Water 280 g (~4meat to 1 water)
Total 1292 g
From the Cure Calculator:
Cure #1 – 3.22 g
Salt 22.82 g
Sugar – 12.92 g
Meat 1656 g
Water 415 g
Total 2071 g
From the Cure Calculator:
Cure #1 – 5.17 g
Salt 36.57 g
Sugar – 20.71 g
Lesson learned from the last cure was to be sure to alternate the side up. So, this began with the bags’ label up. Will flip, message and put back on tray with label down tomorrow. Repeat daily.
5/21/2017 – Sunday, Ambient temp is 87 and humidity is 55%.
Rubbed in a single batch of Chef JJ’s Pastrami Rub listed below. Click here for his post at SMF.
2T Black Peppercorns
1T Coriander Seed
1T Dry Minced Onion – Had to use onion powder so only added 2t
1T Dry Minced Garlic
1tsp Allspice Berries
1tsp Mustard Seed – Used brown
1tsp Dry Thyme Leaves
3 Bay Leaves, crumbled
1tsp Juniper Berries
All Spices, other than the granulated garlic and onion powder, were whole then a little cracked in the mortar and pestle and lightly toasted in a dry cast iron skillet until fragrant; ~ 10 minutes. When cooled mixed the toasted berries. Rinsed the meat to remove the large pieces of marinade. Rubbed the spices and herbs into the meat. Did not have much to rub on the bottom. Maybe next time grind it all lightly in the coffee grinder so it would shake out. [This is less than JJ calls for but I wanted to have a lot less than the last one.]
12:00 Noon – Put the large piece on the 3rd grate down and the other pieces on the 2nd grate in the MES set at 240 and had coasted up to 250. Smoke is from Lumber Jack Pecan Pellets in the AMAZEN tray. Pushed the tray had against the wall to be as far from the open heat element as possible.
12:30 – MES at 240 and 2nd-grate is at 237.
2:00 – MES reading 247 and grate is 255. Steady TBS that is surely only from one row. So it has not jumped the rows like it has the last two times since I removed the chip tray.
2:35 – Found temps very high (>260) and when opened the door the tray was flaming in all rows. Blew it out and let heat escape. Closed lower vent to only a 1/8″ opening across the center of the chip loader hole.
3:00 – MES has been off for 25 minutes and grate temp is only down to 225. Turned MES on and set at 225 but MES probe as 197 so it began to heat.
4:00 – Pulled meat as no smoke as the tray burned up. Wrapped and put into the oven set at 275.
~6 PM – Chefworks says IT of the thick point is 205. But, the probe did not slip in into any spot so left it in.
~7:30 PM – Probe goes in easier but still firm. Pulled and left wrapped to cool then into refer.