Lamb Pastrami

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Lamb Pastrami

Post by markjass » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:14

Without a doubt venison is my favourite meat. Lamb comes in second. Over the past 2 years I have eaten little lamb as its price is astronomical (driven by the export market). With the high NZ $ the price has come down. I want to make some lamb pastrami. I have spent time searching on the web and got a few ideas. Any one made it. In the past I have made some dry cured beef pastrami so that will be my starting point for my beef pastrami.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 15:39

Hi Mark,
If you go to "Hyde Park" and click on "Our Member's Recipe Index", you'll find 17 lamb recipes under "Lamb". Our ol' pal "Dave Zak" has a couple of recipes in "lamb" and I believe one was even for lamb prosciutti. Dave is a friend of mine and he really knows his stuff. Twist his arm and he might answer a few questions for you. If you want to check out his photo, click on this link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=4967

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
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Post by markjass » Fri Dec 28, 2012 00:28

Thank you for your help. Thank goodness for the net. Without it and peoples willingness to help I would not have got as far with sausages etc. In fact I would may not have started. What makes this hobby exciting is there is so much to learn.

Mark
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Post by markjass » Fri Dec 28, 2012 09:47

The recipe for the dry cure I am working on looks like this at the moment:

For every kg of lamb (butterflied leg)

Salt 72g
Pepper 4.2g
Cure #1 2.5g
Suggar 25g
Garlic 7g
Corriander 10g
Cumin 10g
Rosemary not sure, but think fresh would work best
Fennel ??2g

As for the final rub no idea yet

Mark
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Post by markjass » Thu Jan 03, 2013 03:06

I am going to start with some background. Twice I have used a 20-30% salt brine when making bacon out of pork belly. I have cured it for 10 days and also for 6 days. I have found the bacon came out unbelievably salty. The first time, and all subsequent times that I used a dry cure it worked perfectly.This has put me off using brine cures for meats.

Some advice required from those who dry cure meat. I used a boned lamb leg for the pastrami. When I have used pork belly to make bacon I only cure it for 5-6 days, soak it for a couple of hours and leave it for up to two days before smoking it and then baking it (I have not finished making my MK4 smoker yet).

The idea for the soaking is to get rid of excess salt. I notice that in the book they suggest dry curing the beef pastrami for 10 days, then drying it off in the oven and finally smoking it. This is different to how they make brine cured pastrami. They was the meat, soak it and then apply a fresh rub and then smoking it. I realize that oven drying is a quicker version of drying the meat in the fridge.

Thoughts:

Apart from lamb leg anyone suggest any other cuts of lamb that I could use?

Is there going to be much differences between curing for 10 as opposed to 5 days. Will the meat be a lot saltier if it is cured for 10 days?

Should I follow the book or wash the rub off, let it sit to dry in the fridge and apply a new rub before smoking?I was thinking of the same when making my lamb pastrami. My concern is that if I apply a fresh rub how much salt should I put in. This is to stop the lamb becoming too salty?
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Post by ssorllih » Thu Jan 03, 2013 05:14

Mark, I have had success with a carefully measured 2% salt and cure plus other seasonings rubbed into and on the meat and then keeping the works in a zipper freezer bag for about 4 to 5 days per inch of thickness. Then drying without rinsing. then smoking. For pork section up to about five pounds this has worked well for me. I am sometimes moved to use a brine cure for chicken, and always for salmon.
There is a large volume of exudate in the bag after the third day but that is reabsorbed after the fifth day.
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Post by markjass » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:01

While smoking the lamb, what internal temperature should I use. Do I use the standard temperature for a lamb leg. I am thinking of heating it until it is medium. If I am eating cooking lamb roast I go medium rare.
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Post by redzed » Sun Jan 06, 2013 19:16

Mark, pastrami is not a roast. The meat has to be cooked thoroughly so you need an IT of well done, no less than 72°C. There is an excellent recipe for beef pastrami in the recipe section of this site provided by the Marianskis. I would follow the smoking instructions provided there.
http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/hams-other-meats/pastrami
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Post by markjass » Mon Jan 07, 2013 09:59

Thank you. The dry rub recipe that I have used for the lamb is based on this one. Whilst pastrami is not a roast it is cooked to the same internal temperature that well done roast beef is. Obviously safety is a number one priority. I wonder how much of things like pastrami are based on tradition. ie. Traditionally pastrami is made of cured beef and is smoked until it is well done. I wonder if the well done is a tradition which developed out of a need for saftey.

Now days we can eat beef from blue to well done. I wonder if the change is technology, breading, type of cut and health and safety based at butchers and meat works (look at pork for example). . Personally I do not like blue meat, but enjoy medium rare meat. Tradition is nice, but is it always a necesity. That is one reason why I am going to use lamb. The others include the fact that it is my favourite meat (apart from venison and duck) and that the NZ dollar is high against the US dollar. In NZ lamb has been much more expensive than beef. With the high NZ dollar less lamb is going to the export market and its price has dropped dramatically. Having said this it is still not cheap.
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Verdict to salty and rubbery

Post by markjass » Tue Jan 08, 2013 07:14

The pastrami was to salty and rubbery. I notice that the instructions in the book are different to the ones on the web page. In the book no mention is made of washing the dry cured rub off the meat. In the book it it is said to go to step 3, perhaps I should have gone to step 2.

That would fix the saltiness of the rub (when I cut the rub off the saltiness of the meat was how I wanted it). .

As for the dry dense/tough rubber like texture: While the pastrami was curing I pressed it with a heavy weight (1 - 1 1/2 kg, to heavy?, when I have made bacon from pork belly I do not press it and it's texture is the right density). I cold smoked the pastrami for two hours and then placed it in the oven, baked it at 90 degrees it took about 4 1/2 hours to reach an internal temperature of 72 degrees C.

Next time I will
1) use the same dry cure
2) Not press the meat while it cures
3) Wash the rub off for a couple of minutes
4) The rub that I would then apply for smoking I could omit the salt or dramatically reduce the amount
5) need to think about this may bake it until it reaches 68 degrees.

Any one have any thoughts?

Mark

Ps. I tried the pastrami and hour and a half ago and my mouth is so salty that I am going to brush my teeth.
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Post by Cabonaia » Tue Jan 08, 2013 23:56

Hi Mark - Consider a shorter cure time. The longer the meat cures, the saltier it will get. You can soak your current pastrami in water to get the salt out. Try soaking for one hour, then let it sit for several hours (overnight?) to equalize. You may want to do the soaking by degrees, so you don't take too much salt out of it. I've soaked oversalty bacon before and it worked well. The smoke flavor remains.

Hope this 2 cents helps.

Cheers
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Post by redzed » Wed Jan 09, 2013 06:59

Mark, I feel bad that I did not see your original recipe before you went ahead with the project. 72g of salt per kg. is double the amount usually used in dry curing solid muscle meats. Most recipes that I could find specify 28 to 40 grams per kilo. So that was the cause of the saltiness. Where did you get that recipe from?

Whether you wash or simply thoroughly brush/wipe off the salt and spices after curing is a matter of personal choice. Experiment and do what works best for you. Just remember to rest the meat in the fridge for a couple of days after removing the curing ingredients so that the salt equalizes and the meat dries.

On the Polish site of WD there is a recipe for smoked mutton. Not called pastrami, but it resembles the traditional Romanian pastrami. The meat was cured for 3 weeks, cold smoked for several days and then dried in a cool and slightly drafty place.
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Post by markjass » Wed Jan 09, 2013 07:38

The recipe is based on the book by the Marianski's and on their web page.

On the web page it states. Pastrami may be dry cured. For 1 kg (2.20 lb.) beef use:

Salt, 72 g, 4 Tbsp.
Cure #1, 2.5 g (1/2 tsp)
Cracked black pepper, 2 tsp
Coriander seeds, 5-1/2 tsp.
Brown sugar, 5'1/2 tsp.
Garlic, 2 cloves, finely minced

In the book it gives two values 20g and 72g. The book also say's 10 days for a 1 kg beef brisket. This sounds a long time to me. I should have trusted what worked when I use a dry rub for bacon and I cut down the curing time that is suggested in the book.

Unfortunately there are other editorial typos in the book. In the past I have adjusted for them. This time I do not know why I missed it. I remember thinking which value the 20 or the 72 grams (20g did not seam enough as I use 30-35g when dry curing bacon). I then checked the recipe on this site and it only mentions 72 grams.
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Post by ssorllih » Wed Jan 09, 2013 15:42

I have found that when I cure bacon if I apply 2% salt and wait for the exudate to be reabsorbed that the salt levels are satisfactory for me. Some instructions call for more salt but allow for the exudate to drain away. That will result in a drier product and will also carry away some of the salt. I have not tried that method. When the cross section is quite thick more time is required for salt penetration/migration to the center.
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Post by redzed » Thu Jan 10, 2013 01:50

Unless there are underlying reasons, 72g per kilo is out of an acceptable range. Even air cured products don't require that much salt.

Perhaps CW can review and comment, and if the measure is indeed an erratum, it can be corrected by the webmaster.
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