Continuing the pastrami project from yesterday, I took my foil wrapped hunk of beef out of the fridge. It had some liquid, which you can see on the western side of Ms. Beefers. She looks eerily like Australia.
The liquid was like smokey, liquid pastrami juice. Good sign. Albany John came peering through the kitchen window like a hawk ready to snatch Ms. Beefers from my hands. I gave him a peace offering of pastrami juices, which seemed to appease him.
I am hoping the liquid is more from condensation as a result from being thrown into the fridge straight from the pan, and less from moisture leaking from the roast itself.
I used the rice cooker to steam Ms. Beefers for a little under an hour:
I had to cut her up a bit to get her to fit in, but she steamed up very well. The pastrami seasoning was sticking well to the outside, and stayed that way throughout steaming. The rice cooker is a good gentle way to re-heat and steam food. More moisture was introduced to the meat, which seemed slightly dry from sitting in the fridge all night.
Doesn’t she look great?! Really lean – most of the intramuscular fat has melted away enough to leave it tender and moist, but not overly fatty. There was just a bit of fat on the surface of some pieces, but they were very tender and soft – not like squidgy blobs of fat or anything.
I sliced her up very thin. I’d only had about two Irish Car Bombs at that point, and my Irish Car Bombs are 1/2 cups of guiness and 1/3 shots of bailey’s, so knife work wasn’t completely out of the question. And I’ll be honest – I get sweaty in the kitchen, so uh… yeah. All that booze tends to get worked out of my system as soon as I start, oh, you know, moving and breathing.
Slick and his lady came over to join us for St Patty’s day as well. Thank god – so much meat! Everyone liked the peppery outside and smokiness of the meat.
And since we’re not complete heathens, Albany John cooked up a more traditional corned beef & cabbage dinner with oodles of cabbage. Crock pot like whaaat?
After cooking for 6 or so hours on high, the meat was nice and tender and gave off tons of fatty liquid. Cut across the grain and soon in tummies.
Now, I wasn’t super excited with how my pastrami originally tasted, but after comparing it with Albany John’s traditional corned beef, it did have much more smokey intensity and was leaps & bounds less fatty. It was also less salty – the 1 hr soaking definitely helped, especially because it shrank a bit.
I still ate more slices of my beef than the Mister’s. Corned beef is just so intensely flavored with salt and fat that I just can’t eat a lot of it. I think I had one slice of traditional corned beef and 4-5 thin slices of my own. So maybe I ate the same amount in total, but oh well. I like it, I just bitch out really quickly when I eat it. And I can wolf down a bag of chicharrones. Go figure that one out. Must be the texture.
We also had bread & butter, an amazing amount of cabbage, one potato each (we were running low on potatoes), and tons of mac & cheese shells. It was a lot of food. But hey, if I have people over, I want to make sure they are gonna get FED. We were all really happy to eat such tasty food. Slick told me cigarettes taste great after eating meat. I’m not really going to test that theory out, but hey, I learned something. Don’t even ask about what the kitchen looks like. I’m hoping we can just put a tarp or something over it and forget it exists until racoons, badgers and squirrels start taking over.
From what I’ve been seeing online, I think I’m going to double up the recommended amout of wood chips to 4 Tablespoons to increase the smokey flavor. I ordered 7.5 QUARTS of wood chips online yesterday (a variety) and can’t wait to try them all out on the smoker! (BTW, it’s a Nordic Ware kettle smoker)