Author Topic: Just ruined 8lbs of eye of round to make pastrami.  (Read 1522 times)

ARmike

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Just ruined 8lbs of eye of round to make pastrami.
« on: November 24, 2020, 11:08:21 PM »
I used Pork Belly's recipe to brine for corned beef, eye of round for 5 days.  I smoked low 175 to 150 IT and I had salt licks.  Even made the rub with his recipe exact.  I am a medical professional and can follow recipes and procedure. 
When removing from brine, patting dry, applying rub and taking to smoker, I had this inkling.  After all the smoking and resting and then carving I got Lot's pillar of salt. 
Thought to myself.  Wait a minute, if one has to take an already corned beef and soak it for one or two days to remove the excess salt, why wasn't this step in there?.  Bingo, and it was tough.
I have smoked eye of round following Tony's rib roast method and got very good results.  This was horrific.
What did I learn. 1) do not jump in to a new method with more meat than you need to test run. 2) Assimilate your previous "good" experiences with the new "way" and correlate them.  If they don't jive be, in the immortal words of Elmer Fudd, "shhhhh be very, very, careful. 
Oh, I will try again but not the method I used.
Well I have to go throw out 8lbs of meat.  I was going to feed it to the monster German Shepard next door but was afraid I would send the poor beast into kidney failure and he is hell on coyotes.
Mike from Mountain Home, AR
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old sarge

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Re: Just ruined 8lbs of eye of round to make pastrami.
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 11:45:09 PM »
I ruined a butt once by oversmoking and produced a creosote bomb.  Very disheartening.  Tossed it.  We learn from our errors.
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Pork Belly

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Re: Just ruined 8lbs of eye of round to make pastrami.
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 08:23:21 AM »
Sorry for your frustrations, I have never had a bad meal with that recipe. However I've only made pastrami once, I usually make corned beef. The one time pastrami adventure was with Bison Eye of the Round. I am guessing I cut the brine time due to the size of the meat, they weren't huge.

I went back and reviewed my posted recipe which was taken directly from my edition of Charcuterie by Ruhlman. In it the salt content was 2 cups. In the recipe I read today online posted by Michael Ruhlman, it calls for 1 1/2 cups kosher.

I do know measuring different brands of kosher by volume gets different results by weight.

Also I found this note attached to Rulman's online recipe.
     
*A note about the salt: The salt level is not hugely critical here because itís basically boiled, and the excess salt moves into the cooking liquid. You can weigh out 12 ounces here if you feel better using a scale (approximately a 10% brine). Or you can simply make a 5% brine of however much water you need to cover (6.4 ounces per gallon). When you cook it, season the cooking liquid to the level you want your meat seasoned. Another option is wrapping the brisket in foil and cooking it in a 225įF oven till tender, but do this only if youíve used the 5% brine.

I suggest you use the meat to season a few pots of beans, if it hasn't hit the trash can already.

I have modified my original posts on corned beef and pastrami. I changed the salt content to the 1.5 cups Ruhlman now recommends and attached his note about salt content to the pastrami post. Hopefully that helps the next guy.

« Last Edit: November 25, 2020, 08:35:18 AM by Pork Belly »
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ARmike

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Re: Just ruined 8lbs of eye of round to make pastrami.
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 11:23:14 AM »
The salt content is hugely critical, when smoking the meat.  A typical corned beef from the store must be soaked for 24 to 48 hrs to remove the salt prior to smoking.  This recipe just said cook as you like smoke etc.  I did not know that the salt penetration with self brining was going to be so drastic.  This is where the post and recipe fails. 
If one is going to smoke the newly brined meat one must soak the salt out of it.  So one must ask.  If you are going to smoke the meat after "corning" it maybe just maybe not add but a table spoon or so of salt to the bath not two whole cups of the stuff.  I think the spices are what is important for the flavor.
I shall research brine recipes for "smoking" meat not boiling meat.  I would change that sentence in the recipe to avoid future problems.  Maybe others aren't as literal as me and have avoided this issue. Unfortunately I did not.
Will update since I am quarantined for the next week.  All I got to do is cook.
Mike from Mountain Home, AR
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barelfly

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Re: Just ruined 8lbs of eye of round to make pastrami.
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 06:25:57 PM »
The salt content is part of the Corning process. There are some good articles you can read on Amazingribs.com about this process, using a calculator to help with wet brining and such.

But, yes, the soak is always apart of what I have done when making pastrami. Iím sure Brian didnít mean to set you on that path. Ruhlman is a great writer and producer of many great recipes. I have one of his charcuterie books, everything has been spot on. Iíve also read a few of his books where he was shadowing in the culinary school, was a fun read.

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