Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pastrami for Superbowl

I decided about two weeks ago that I was going to attempt to make some pastrami from scratch.  I started with a fresh brisket from a local organic farm near Atlanta, Georgia called Riverview Farms  I have gotten fresh produce and meats from them before and have been very pleased.

I started by doing my research on pastrami recipes and realized this was a very long process.  We need to first make corned beef.  Corned beef is made by curing the meat either with a brine or dry rub.   I decided to use a brine.  My wife was not pleased that I was taking up a whole shelf in the refrigerator for over a week to let is soak in the brine. She also thinks we may die from food poisoning.  She is not much on history of food processing before we had refrigerators.

Recipe for Brine
About 8 pounds of beef brisket
1 gallon water
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 Cup of Morton's Canning or Pickling Salt
1 Packet of Dill Pickling Spice
3 Whole Garlic Cloves Crushed
1 Tbls Peppercorns

 After seven days in the refrigerator I removed and rinsed it with cold water and then refilled the container with fresh cold water and I sliced a potatoe to include in the water to draw out the salt. You do not want your meat too salty before cooking.

 After two days more of soaking and changing my water three (3) times I was ready to start the cooking process.

I then rinsed a final time and patted dry with paper towels.  I then applied a light coat of cooking oil on the outside.  I then applied the rub in a thick layer over the entire corned beef.

Recipe for Rub
4 tablespoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder

I then smoked it with mesquite wood chips until it reach the temperature of 190F.

We then wrapped it in aluminum foil to let it cool.   We will refrigerate until tomorrow for Superbowl Sunday

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pork Rub Recipe

This rub can be used for pork, brisket, chicken and just about anything:

3/4 Cup Paprika
1/4 Cup Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Cup of Sea Salt
1/4 Cup of Turbinado (raw) Sugar
2 Tablespoons Chili powder
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons of Onion Powder
2 Teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper

Makes about 2 Cups of Rub.  I store this in mason jar and use as needed.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hans' Brisket Mop Recipe

12 Ounces of Your Favorite Beer
1/2 Cup of Cider Vinegar
1/2 Cup Water
1/4 Cup of Canola Oil
1/2 Medium Onion Finely Chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
3 Tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce (Lea & Perrins)
1 Tablespoon of Hans' Brisket Rub

Hans' Brisket Rub Recipe

1/4 Cup of Raw Sugar (Turbinado)
1/4 Cup of Sea Salt
1/4 Cup of Freshly Ground Pepper
3/4 Cup of Hungarian Paprika
2 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon of Chili Powder
2 Teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Bershire Whole Pork Shoulder

Berkshire pigs or Kurobuta (meaning Kagoshima black pig) pork is known for its marbling and flavor.  I purchased my whole pork shoulder from Snake River Farms.

The ordered the pork shoulder at the same time that I got my Wagyu Briskett to reduce the shipping costs per item.  I put the pork shoulder in freezer and stored it for about a month.   I decided to cook it for my birthday.

I used my standard pork rub (insert link to recipe) and mustard and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. 

The next day starting around 7:00 AM I setup my BGE for indirect grilling with lump charcoal and applewood chunks.  I used two drip pans due to size and my remote temperature gauges to monitor meat and smoker temperatures.


I then smoked it at between 220-260 degree for nine (9) hours.

I took the meat off at 180 internal meat temperature and wrapped it in Aluminum foil and a towel and placed it inside a cooler for two hours to let it rest.  I then pulled all the meat apart.



My happy two-year old with the Bone.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Easter Brisket for Family and Friends

I decided to order another Snake River Brisket for Easter and I am sure glad I did as it turned out awesome if I do say so myself.  A friend of the family was having some family come in town for Easter and wanted to cook brisket for the occasion.  Her father was skeptical that she would be able to cook such a large piece of meat.  I offered to cook it for her so we split a brisket for the holidays.

The marbling was amazing


Brisket Beef Rub  (See Link for Recipe)
Beef Rub with Beer Mop (See Link for Recipe)

I applied mustard to the entire brisket and then I applied a generous portion of my homemade rub and let rest overnight in the refrigerator.  The next morning at around 5:00 AM Friday morning I setup the Green Egg for smoking.  I prepared some hickory chucks by soaking them in water and fired up the BGE.

I waited until the temperature got up to 250F and I setup the BGE for indirect cooking.  The plate setter with the legs up, two aluminum drip pans.

XL Size Green Egg Setup with Maverick Wireless Temperature controls

Thursday, March 29, 2012

What is Kobe Beef?



Kobe beef is meat that comes from Wagyu cattle in the Kobe region of Japan.   The Wagyu breed of cattle is recognized by most international authorities on beef quality as being the breed which produces the highest quality meat in the world.[1]  In a manner similar to other protected appellations in food and wine production, the term Kobe can only be applied to beef which is finished in Kobe, Japan.  The high quality cattle have been exported from Japan and introduced to breeders around the world, with the greatest degree of success in breeding and maintenance of the quality and integrity of the breed being obtained in the United States, followed by Australia.[1,4]  The remarkable flavor and tenderness of the meat, when properly prepared, allow it to command asking prices of over $200 per pound for the highest grades.


The Wagyu cattle that produce the highly prized meat were introduced into Japan in the second century as work animals, used in rice cultivation.[1,3]  The mountainous topography of the islands of Japan resulted in small regions of isolated breeding, yielding herds that developed and maintained qualities in their meat that differ significantly from all other breeds of cattle.  Resulting herd isolation and the distinctive feeding techniques put in place because of the limited land availability have lead to distinguishing features that make the meat both superior in marbling and in the ratios of unsaturated versus saturated fats.[10]  In 1635 the Shogun restricted all importation of cattle along; with the famous travel restrictions that were put into place.[1,3]  From 1868 until 1910 importation of foreign cattle was legally allowable, but was limited in  practice.  Following 1910 the ban on cattle importation was reinstituted.[6] The breed was initially introduced into the United States in 1976, in the form of two Tottori Black Wagyu and two Kumamoto Red Wagyu bulls, which were then interbred with Angus cattle. [6] Between 1993 and 1994 38 additional purebred Wagyu were introduced into the US. [6] Breeding programs took advantage of the naturally high fecundity of the Wagyu, yielding a significant growth in the population by the turn of the century.


The emergence of the prion driven[7] and incurable disorder of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly referred to as Mad Cow Disease, led to Japan instituting a ban on the importation of American beef in December of 2003, although no beef imported into Japan had tested positive.  The ban was subsequently lifted in December of 2005 with the specification that no brain or vertebral matter was to be included in the shipments.[12]  BSE is rooted in the brain and spinal tissue, which is why this specification was made.  In December of 2006 the ban was again reinstated.  The US counter banned imports of Japanese beef which led to growing development of Kobe style beef raised in the US.  As of January 2009 bans on both sides against beef imports have been rescinded.  Japanese importers now take advantage of the lower prices of American beef and are importing cattle which are less than 20 months of age.  Wagyu cattle breed in the US are also being imported into Kobe and consequently meet the guidelines for Kobe beef.  The demand for American beef is high in Japan, with an annual $1.7 billion in imports prior to the series of bans, while the imports to the US from Japan were limited to under $1 million annually.[12] These numbers will likely be mirrored in current imports.


The Wagyu themselves are subdivided into five major breeds, the Japanese Black is the breed which is raised in Kobe.[2,3]  Kobe style beef in other regions can be raised with any of the five Wagyu breeds, whose most marked differences are in their coats.  The breed does not exhibit horns, a trait unusual in cattle.  The most significant difference between Wagyu and the Kobe and Kobe style meats derived from them compared to other breeds of cattle is the type of fat present in the meat and the distribution of that fat.  The presence of significant ratios of oleaginous fat versus saturated fat and the high percentage of both Omega 3 fatty acids and Omega 6 fatty acids, combined with an evenness in marbling unmatched in any other cattle, yields a meat that is not only significantly more tender and flavorful but also much lower in cholesterol and saturated fat than the meat of other breeds of cattle.[10]  The fats in Wagyu also have a significantly lower melting point, 7 degrees Celsius; which means the fat literally melts in the mouth.[11]

Wagyu vs Kobe

As is the case with all other food and wine products that are appellation protected, there are differences between Wagyu and Kobe.  The term Wagyu is the name of the breed of cattle from which the beef is obtained, and the quality of this breed is the highest of any cattle.  The term Kobe specifically refers to the region in Japan from which Kobe beef comes.  Other appellations in Japan have similar reputations for the quality of their Wagyu beef and Kobe style beef that is produced outside of Japan is recognized as being of such a superior quality to other beef that producers use the Japanese scale to rate their meat.  The breed has had over 1800 years to develop the qualities for which it is famous and those qualities are being passed on to future generations of cattle.  The unique gene that is in part responsible for the quality of the marbling has also been isolated and identified as thyroglobulin on chromosome 14, so science has found one of the causes for the superiority of the meat.[5]


The methods used in raising the cattle do everything in order to maximize the innate qualities that exist in the breed.  The cattle are fattened or finished significantly longer than those that are destined for the meat departments of most supermarkets.  Where cattle yielding meat that will be graded as choice or select by the USDA are fattened for 120 days, Wagyu are fattened for a minimum of 300 and up to 600. [2] The lean to fat ratio is further enhanced to take advantage of the natural predisposition to superior marbling by the use of only four components of feed; corn, alfalfa, barley and wheat; and by allowing no use of hormones, antibiotics or animal by products in the feed. [10]

Quality and service

The techniques used in raising the animals yield meat that is vastly superior to that of typical beef.  Roughly 90% of the Wagyu beef raised as American Kobe Style is rated as USDA Prime, while for all other breeds combined the proportion that meet the high quality standard for Prime is only 2%.[2,5]  The Japanese scale for judging the quality of the meat is essentially 12 levels within the USDA Prime category. The all natural vegetarian diet that is free from all additives and animal by products, combined with the proclivity to even, snowy marbling, results in a lean to fat ratio that is significantly superior to other breeds.[10] The tenderness of the meat and the richness of the flavor evoke comparisons to foie gras.  Preparation of the meat must be done allowing for the unique characteristics, especially relating to the types of fat present in the meat.  While the beef typically available in American supermarkets contains high proportions of saturated fat and can be cooked more slowly and for longer periods these techniques destroy the qualities so highly prized in Kobe and Kobe style beef.  The higher proportion of unsaturated fats means that the meat is ideally served raw to rare.  It is the ideal choice for steak Tartare, beef Carpaccio and very rare steaks.  The perfect technique for a steak of Kobe style beef is to heat a cast iron pan until it is extremely hot and then only sear the outside of the steak, leaving the perfectly marbled center a ruby red and snowy white.[9]  Long cooking times will result in the succulent fat that distinguishes the high quality of the meat melting, with all of the flavor and tenderness remaining in the pan, rather than on the plate.