Instant Pot Pastrami
Instant Pot Pastrami
- For The Pastrami:
- 2.5 – 5 lb corned beef brisket (these can be found pre-packaged in the meat section. I used a point cut but a flat cut is fine too)
- 1-2 tbsp of liquid smoke (optional)
- 3 tbsp of black pepper
- 2 tbsp of ground coriander
- 1 tbsp of paprika
- 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp of onion powder
- 1 tsp of rubbed sage
- 1/2 tsp of ground mustard powder
- For The Sandwich:
- Rye/Pumpernickel Swirl Bread (or any bread of your choice, but I strongly suggest a Rye)
- Russian Dressing (I think Ken’s Steakhouse makes the best bottled Russian dressing)
- For The Sides:
- Pickles of your choice (as a side, of course)
- Coleslaw (also as a side)
- Magical Macaroni Salad (as an even more awesome side)
Make my Magical Macaroni Salad as a great side to go with it!
Trust me, while others may disagree, you totally don’t need to smoke this to make it a pastrami. The corned beef brisket serves as the perfect base and it’s really all about the seasonings and letting it sit in the fridge for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days dressed in the seasoning and hugged in foil before cooking in the oven and serving.
To the above point, if you want a more smokey flavor, add 1-2 tbsp of liquid smoke and brush it onto the brisket once it’s rinsed just before you add it to the Instant Pot. OR if you want a lighter smoked flavor, simply just add the liquid smoke to the water in the pot instead of brushing directly onto the brisket.
Due to the two-phase cooking process, the cook times remain the same whether you use a 2.5 lb or 5 lb corned beef brisket.
To reheat any leftovers, simply place the slices on a plate, cover with a paper towel and pop in the microwave for 30-45 seconds OR add the trivet and 1/2 cup of water to the Instant Pot, place the meat on the trivet, secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” for 0 (yes, zero) minutes and quick release when done.
Other ideas for leftovers are to make pastrami egg scramble/omelettes and/or pastrami hash – all wonderful!
If you wish to cure your own pastrami, get a brisket between 2 – 5 lbs and rub the following generously on both sides:
- Morton Tender Quick Salt (make sure the entire brisket is totally coated in this first)
- 2 tbsp of dark brown sugar
- 2 tbsp of black pepper
- 1 tbsp of garlic powder
- 1 tbsp of ground coriander
Place the rubbed brisket in a Ziploc bag large enough to hold it, get the air out, and place in fridge for 6-7 days, turning the brisket over each day.
After 6-7 days of curing (and flipping) have passed, take the brisket out of the bag and rinse off the curing rub thoroughly under cold water as it will be unpleasantly salty if you do not. Fill a large container with cold water and soak the brisket, completely submerged for 4 hours. The water must be changed every 30-45 minutes.
Once above process is complete, dry thoroughly with a paper towel by dabbing and proceed to Step 2 of the recipe’s instructions.
- After removing the corned beef brisket from the package, rinse it off under cold water for 1 minute (we want all of the brining agents removed as they’re super salty). If it came with a spice packet, discard or save it for something else as we won’t be using it here. DO NOT cut any of the fat off the brisket. It is key to making a super tender, juicy and flavorful pastrami! If using the optional liquid smoke for that smokey flavor, brush it onto the brisket now (totally optional and not a dealbreaker) Note: If you wish to cure your own brisket, see the yellow “Jeffrey Sez” section of the recipe).
- Place the trivet (handles facing-up) and 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot. Rest the brisket on the trivet fat-side up (we do this so the fat courses through the meat, providing extra wonderful flavor)
- Secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 60 minutes
- While the corned beef brisket is cooking, mix together all 8 of the dry spices in a bowl until well-blended and then transfer onto a large plate and spread it out
- When the pressure cooking is done, allow a 15 minute natural release (meaning you do nothing for 15 minutes) and then follow with a quick release. Use the handles of the trivet and transfer the brisket to a plate and let cool for 10 minutes. Dab the brisket with a paper towel to sop up excess liquid and LEAVE THE FAT ON IT!
- Transform that corned beef into a pastrami by rubbing it in all the spices on the plate so it’s completely covered and then securely wrap in foil and place in fridge for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days. This allows the corned beef to truly undergo a metamorphosis into a pastrami! (Even without smoking it)
- When ready to serve, remove from the pastrami from the fridge and, while still wrapped in foil, allow it to come to room temperature for 1 hour (this isn’t mandatory, but is strongly suggested as it will make for an even more tender pastrami)
- Pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees. Open the foil around the pastrami with the fatty side facing down (the top of the pastrami should be fully exposed and not covered with foil at this point), creating sort of a cradle/wall around the perimeter of it to keep any fat or seasonings from dripping while cooking.
- Once the oven is heated, place the foil-bottom pastrami directly on the middle oven rack (not resting on a baking sheet) and place a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack to catch any fat drippings or spices that may fall off the pastrami will cooking. Cook for 60 minutes and then place the pastrami on a cutting board, discard the foil and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
- With a good knife, cut into thick slices (like how Katz’s does it) and serve on some Rye or Rye/Pumpernickel swirl bread with some Russian dressing or just eat on its own with some pickles, coleslaw and /or my Magical Macaroni Salad on the side!