Is your supermarket discounting that corned beef after St Patrick’s Day? Here’s how to turn it into delicious pastrami

A few years back a chef friend of mine shared a pro’s tip with me. Pastrami is actually smoked corned beef. If you wait until after St Patrick’s Day, you can often pick up several pounds from your local supermarket on sale for as little as $2 a pound.

Here’s all you need to do to turn that discounted meat into really delicious, deli-quality pastrami:

How to Make Pastrami

Supplies Needed
  • 2-3lb Corned Beef Brisket (preferably on sale!)
  • ¼-cup whole pepper corns
  • ¼-cup whole coriander
  • Smoker or BBQ with a smoker box

Making the Pastrami

  1. Mix together your whole peppercorn and coriander and crack it coarsely using a mortar and pestle, a grinder or the bottom of a heavy skillet.
  2. Remove your corned beef from the package, rinse, pat dry and place in a shallow tray or pan.
  3. Sprinkle your cracked pepper and coriander over the corned beef, thoroughly coating all sides.
  4. Set up your smoker for an initial cold smoke (under 90°F) and place your corned beef in your smoker.
  5. Cold smoke the corned beef for 1 hour. This is where the meat will pick up that great smoky, spicy flavor.
  6. At the end of the hour bring your smoker up to 200-225° and hot smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 140°.
  7. Remove the pastrami from the smoker and allow to cool completely before wrapping and placing in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Eating the Pastrami

  1. Heat your oven to 200°
  2. Pour about an inch of water into a shallow pan and place the pastrami in the pan.
  3. Place the pan in the over and allow the pastrami to steam for 1-½ to 2 hours.
  4. Remove from the pan, slice thin and serve on rye bread with plenty of onions and a good, spicy mustard.


Corned beef sprinkled with pepper and corianderCorned beef after smoking = Pastrami!