Saturday, June 14, 2014

Veal Navel Pastrami

Veal Navel Pastrami
Before writing this blog on yet another Pastrami I tried to answer a predictable yet old question about the Ethical Objections to Veal? If you're curious click the link. 

Belly, Navel or Plate it's all the same to me meaning it's all good.  So what is Pastrami? Pastrami is just cured meat

It's my goal to make as many pork charcuterie replicas as possible and the caveat of course is to use Biblical Kosher animals only. What makes this one so different? Ahhh...it's the meat I am using. I am using the delectable Veal Navel or belly (plate) as some call it. 

I was able to special order this Veal Belly at Stewart's Meats in Yelm WA. It cost $140.00 bucks for this delectable piece of heaven. If you add in the Gas and toll I am sure it's closer to $160.00 bucks for this hunk of meat but it's all worth it. I will be able to make a Veal-Cetta, Veal Pastrami and a Veal Stock from this belly. 


First time working with Veal plate. Very easy and pliable to work with.




Here is a picture of both sides of the Veal. It still has to be broken down. 

Some great pics of meat being broken down. 


Section of bones. 



Bones, bones and bones!!! Breaking everything down for a Veal Stock. 




Lots of scraps for my stock.







My scraps all sealed up for future use. 









This section will be used for my Veal Navel Pastrami.








This section will be used for the Veal-Cetta. 
 instructions and notes
This is an interesting recipe and one I have been working on for some time. In this version I decreased the salt from 3.56% to 2.7% and increased the cloves from .20% to .25%. I am hoping these adjustments will be a grand slam. I combined the salt and Cure#1 and rubbed it into the meat thoroughly getting into every nook and cranny. 

I took the whole spices and herbs, (Bay leaf, Grains of Paradise, Coriander, Juniper berries, Whole cloves and mustard seeds) and placed them in a dry pan and applied a little heat to them to bring out their essential oil. I then grounded them up in a spice grinder. 



I combined the the ground up spices with the remaining ingredients and applied them to both sides of the meat thoroughly. 


All Vacuumed Sealed up and will be flipped every day for 14 days. After curing I will rinse the pastrami and apply rub. The Pastrami will be cold smoked for several hours, than SEMI-Hot smoked at 150 degrees. I will than Sous-Vide the Pastrami for 24 hours at a 149 degree water temp. Note: with the brisket I Sous-vide it for 48 hours. This is veal and is more tender. After the Sous-Vide I will refrigerate over night (optional) and apply a light rub and Hot smoke again to form a better bark. When I say hot smoke I am talking about 180 degrees or below. 






The Temp out side was about 65 degrees. I used Apple pellets and the A-MAXE-N-PELLET-SMOKER.   I filled the water reservoir up with a bucket of ice and water. I used old fashion charcoal and apple wood to smoke the meat and of course using my Smokey Mountain Cooker makes it easy. The temp fluctuated between 175-200 degrees. I cold smoked for 2 1/2 hours and hot smoked for 3 hours.



All cooked and ready for a 24 hour Sous-vide.









Sitting in the water bath. After the 24 hour water bath I will chill it down in a ice water immersion. It will sit in the refrigerator over night. I will than give it a light coating of Rub and hot smoke at a very temp to create a great bark. 

Ok, all done smoking. Ready for the steam bath.





Of course I am using a commercial steamer. It will be done when a knife can pierce through the meat easily. 


All done. A thing of beauty.
Final thoughts are on bottom of page. Perfection all the way!!



This is the fattier section of the plate Pastrami. Amazing!!!!


Final thoughts: One word AMAZING!! One of the most tasty pastrami's I have ever made. I will not change a thing. Every step was perfect!!! The texture, the taste was to die for. Flavors not too pronounced or muted by the long Sous-vide process. The salt content this time was perfect. As you recall I reduced it a bit.

To recap all the steps to pull this off:

  • Buy Veal Plate
  • Prepare Belly and get spices and herbs in order.
  • Vacuum Seal and cure
  • Rinse
  • Fold and shape into desired shape
  • 36 hour rest in cooler
  • Apply Spices and sugar and Cold Smoke for 2-3 hours
  • Semi-Hot-Smoke at about 150-170 degrees for a couple of hours
  • Sous-Vide at 149 degrees for 24 hours. 
  • Ice bath for 3 hours
  • Refrigerate at least 24 hours
  • Apply another thin
    layer of spices
  • Semi-Hot-Smoke to create a better bark. 
  • Steam until tender
  • Slice thin
  • Eat until content


Opinions- Now having made Pastrami over a dozen times using plate, duck, and brisket I have become somewhat of an aficionado on the subject. Having brined and dry cured many pastrami's I would have to say my preference is dry curing. It produces a better flavor transfer and you have better control over salt percentages.