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The Brisket and Me

June 27, 2015

So today I cut up my brisket, a little more than I intended to.

The plan was to take a 6.2Kg brisket and cut about 2kg off it for pastrami, leaving the rest for Texas brisket.

The Brisket Packer joint is a complex joint, made up of two muscles, the flat and the point, separated by a layer of fat. I intended to cut the pastrami piece from the flat end, and actually identified it correctly, initially. Then I hesitated, thought I’d got it all wrong, and reversed the joint on the board before the cut.

Only after I’d made the cut did I realise that I had cut off the point end, and there was a big vein of fat running through my pastrami. I started to trim, and then it all went very wrong.

Except it didn’t. This was always going to be an experiment, as this was the first chance I have had to handle a proper packer brisket. So I ended up with a thin bit of brisket, and lots of trimmings. So what, it’s all edible!

I then took the remaining piece of meat and cut it in half. With a little bit of fat trimming, the middle section was exactly what I wanted for Pastrami, and it still left a 2kg+ piece for Texas BBQ.

lXvTe4bSo what I have ended up with is:

  • A 2kg slab of brisket, which I have rubbed with salt, pepper and a little paprika.
  • A 1.2kg slab of brisket, which I will be turning into pastrami. I am very happy with this piece.
  • An 800g piece of brisket, which I will also be turning into pastrami, although it may be a little over-trimmed.
  • 800g of “trimmings” which I have cubed and vacuum packed for the freezer, in two packs; against future slow cooker meals.
  • 1.4kg of fat

All in all, I am not that unhappy with that, for the 50 quid I spent. I am going to end up with a shitload of BBQ, some pastrami, and two beef stews, each capable of feeding 2-3 people (depending what I add to them).

The Texas-style will sit in its rub overnight, and go on the smoker tomorrow. The pastrami will go into cure tonight, and be ready for cooking in about 4 days. The frozen brisket will be good for a few months.

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