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Pastrami
Total 5 days (includes brining and cooling times)
Active 45 mins
Makes 1 full brisket (about 10 servings)
TIP: Use whatever combination of spices you want for the brine and rub. If you don’t have the spices, you can buy a jar of pickling spice mix at the grocery store.
Special Equipment
a pellet grill or smoker
Special Equipment
a pellet grill or smoker
Ingredients
  • For the Brine
    • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon juniper berries
    • 1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
    • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
    • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    • 2 teaspoons whole pink peppercorns
    • 9 whole cardamom pods
    • 6 large bay leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1 3/4 cups fine sea salt
    • Two 2-inch knobs fresh ginger, sliced or crushed
    • One 8-pound piece of brisket, fat trimmed
  • For the Rub
    • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
    • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
    • 1 tablespoon brown and yellow mustard seeds
    • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
    • 9 whole cardamom pods
    • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt
    • 2 tablespoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    Directions
    1. For the brine: Place a medium skillet over medium heat. To the warm pan, add the allspice berries, cloves, coriander seeds, juniper berries, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, red pepper flakes, pink peppercorns, cardamom pods, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick; toast, stirring often until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the spices from the skillet to a shallow bowl and allow to cool slightly, about 1 minute. Crush the spices using a mortar and pestle until coarsely crushed.
    2. In a large saucepan, combine the spice mixture with the brown sugar, sea salt, ginger, and 1 gallon of water. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
    3. Place the trimmed brisket in a 2-gallon baggie and pour the cooled brine over the meat. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and seal tightly. Place in a container just in case any leaks occur. Brine in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days.
    4. For the rub: Place a small skillet over medium heat and add the fennel seeds, cloves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, black peppercorns, and cardamom pods. Toast over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and crush the spices using a mortar and pestle until finely crushed. (This step can also be done in a spice grinder or high-speed blender.) Transfer to a small bowl and add the brown sugar, salt, onion powder, ground ginger, and garlic. Mix well to combine.
    5. Remove the brisket from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse the brisket well and soak in fresh water, replacing the water every hour, for 3 hours.
    6. Preheat a pellet grill or smoker to 250°F.
    7. Remove the brisket from the water and dry well. Apply the rub to the brisket liberally. Place the brisket on the pellet grill and cook with the lid closed until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, 3 to 4 hours. Remove the brisket from the grill and wrap it in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Return the foil-wrapped brisket to the grill, close the lid, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 200°F, 1 to 2 hours.
    8. Remove the brisket from the grill, wrap in a large clean towel, and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour. Slice and enjoy!

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