Air Dried Pastrami?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by everydaygourmet, Mar 9, 2015.

  1. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Had an idea and am planning to try air drying pastrami (think Bresola) and have searched here and on other charcuterie groups I'm a member of also searched the ole inter-web and haven't found ANY info / how-to / don't-do-this-because etc.


    Has anyone here tried it before? have any experience / success / failures?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  2. luc_h

    luc_h

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    An idea is neither good nor bad until someone gets sick.

    Basturma is another example of a dried cured beef.:

    I found this video of Egyptian pastrami (unsure if it's actually dried)



    Seems you'll need lot's of salt.

    If you can meet a water activity of 0.85 or less then any food is considered shelf stable.

    here are a couple of references for fermented sausages you should consider before you attempt:

    http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage-types/fermented-sausage

    http://www.meathaccp.wisc.edu/validation/fermentation.html

    http://www.meathaccp.wisc.edu/validation/assets/GMP Dry Sausage.pdf

    Luc H.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  3. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Very hard to find good Romanian pastrami today  A lot of places are not using "plates'' which the cut of meat used was called years ago . Today they use bottom rounds cut to look like plates if not handled correctly and sliced paper thin its like shoeleather
     
  4. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Thanks for the responses, am familiar with fermenting sausages and Bastirma beyond sounding phonetically similar to Pastrami, they have very little in common. Bastirma is the tenderloin or round, hung and dried in a casing of fenugreek and garlic, among other spices. Pastrami, however, is made from corned (cured) beef Brisket that is smoked. Looking for the texture of Bresola with the taste of Pastrami.
     
  5. luc_h

    luc_h

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    I use this reference to familiarize myself with Bresola: http://andhereweare.net/2014/02/make-bresaola.html/

    in this other reference they refer to pastirma as the ancestor of pastrami which was a Turkish pressed, cured dried meat: http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/06/...ami-smoked-meat-katzs-schwartzs-mile-end.html

    It seems pastir and bastir have similar origins meaning to press (to cure).  Basturma or bastirma have the same origins as pastrami so I wasn't way off on that subject.

    so my conclusion is to make any air dried (unfermented, uncooked) meat, including basturma, you need lots of salt on the surface, some hanging time is required and surface seasoning is optional.  The idea of salting meat was probably inspired from mummification since it does the same thing i.e. preserve dead muscle tissue from decaying.  In essence your idea is actually going back in the historical source of pastrami.

    Is it your intent to cure (Prague salt, nitrite) your pastrami? if yes, there is a fair chance your meat may brown or grey because the reducing potential of the meat deteriorates with time.  You will probably need to add erythorbate, ascorbate or vitamin C which is how pastrami is made commercially but I get the feeling that you may be trying for something authentic non-commercial.

    Good luck

    Luc H.
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  6. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Thanks Luc_H!,

    appreciate the history and "family tree" but looking for someone that has tried this and what they learned and the success and problems encountered but again I certainly appreciate your responses.
    Cheers,

    EDG
     
  7. chef0069

    chef0069

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    Like Chef Ed said, it's a cut called the Plate, not the brisket, that makes the best pastrami. You need that layer of fat in the middle, makes it ooze with richness. Also, that cracked coriander rub, I sliced many working in Kosher Deli's in NY. Got to steam them.
     
  8. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    Thanks guys, am familiar with the cut you refer to, think I'm leaning toward the round.
     
  9. chefbuba

    chefbuba

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    Round does not have enough fat. I use this pastrami, it's the navel and damn good. Lots of black pepper, coriander & mustard seed. Perfect amount of smoke.

    Beef Navel

    What were you thinking, Eye of Round?