How to Make Beef Bacon - Kosher Beef Bacon, Corned Beef & Pastrami
Recipe type: Curing & Smoking Meats
Beef bacon, corned beef and pastrami are all very similar in the way that they are produced and as a result this episode will cover all 3. The differences between the different meats comes in the way they are finished off and this will be explained as we go.
- 2.4kg Beef brisket
For the Curing
- 2lt + 2lt Water
- 200g Kosher salt
- 140g Prague powder #2
- 15ml Garlic powder
- 4 Bay leaves
- 15g Whole black pepper corns
- 10ml Whole juniper berries
- 90g Brown sugar
- To start, we need to measure out the curing ingredients which include kosher salt, black peppercorns, whole juniper berries, bay leaves, garlic powder, and brown sugar.
- In a separate bowl measure the Prague powder #2.
- Pour 2 liters of water into a pot and all of the spices except for the Prague powder.
- Bring this to boil and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the stove and quick chill the brine by floating the pot in a sink of cold water.
- Once the brine has cooled significantly, add another 2 liters of water to the brine along with the Prague powder. Stir the brine until the Prague powder has dissolved.
- While the brine continues cooling, you can unpack your meat. This is a nice big slab of brisket, or beef belly around 2.4kg in weight.
- By this stage the brine has cooled completely. Pour it into a large food safe container and add the brisket.
- Due to the high content of salts in the brine, the meat will float. You need to weigh it down beneath the surface of the brine using a bowl or plate.
- Put the lid on the container and transfer this to your refrigerator for 7 full days to cure.
- After the curing time remove the meat from the brine and wash it thoroughly under cold running water. You will notice how firm the meat is, along with amazing rosy pink tinge that is the hallmark of well-cured meat.
- Now, if you want corned beef this is where you will simply simmer the meat in water until the internal temperature reaches 67c or 152f.
- For beef bacon and pastrami we're going continue with the process.
- Dry the meat using a clean dish towel then place it on a rack in your refrigerator for 24 hours to air dry.
- This drying process will make the meat more receptive to the smoking process.
- Fire up your smoker. I am using the Smoke Daddy Vortex in this demonstration. I have the extreme left hand burner running to provide heat.
- Place the meat on the right hand side away from the direct heat, close the barbecue and allow this to smoke for around 3 hours until the internal temperature of the meat is 67c or 152f.
- This will give you beef bacon, at at this stage all you need to do is wrap it and refrigerate it. Although the bacon has technically been pasteurized, it does still require slicing and frying.
- All you need to make pastrami is to steam or simmer the meat until the internal temperature reaches 67c or 152f. This steaming is normally only carried out a few days after the smoking process, which allows the smoke to really penetrate the meat.
- And there it is, beautiful smoked beef bacon.... one step further than corned beef, and one step short of pastrami.