pastrami photo by carmen troesser


6 cups water
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
4 oz. (about ½ cup) pickling spice
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. Insta Cure No. 1 (optional)
24 oz. amber ale
1 6- to 8-lb. brisket (the point, if available)
3 Tbsp. black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. juniper berries
2 Tbsp. mustard seeds
1 Tbsp. white peppercorns
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder


• In a large stockpot, bring the water, salt, brown sugar and pickling spice to a boil over high heat until the sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat and let cool. Add Insta Cure No. 1, if desired, and stir to dissolve, then add the beer.

• Submerge the meat in the brine. Refrigerate 3 days.

• Rotate the brisket and stir the brine. Submerge and refrigerate another 2 to 4 days.

• Remove the brisket from the brine and pat dry. Discard the brine.

• Preheat a smoker to 225 degrees.

• Place the peppercorns, juniper berries and mustard seeds in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground, then place in a small bowl. Add the garlic and onion powder to the bowl and mix to combine. Rub the spice mixture all over the brisket.

• Smoke the brisket 8 to 12 hours, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the brisket reaches 180 degrees.

• Let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

Tags : Sandwiches , Brisket