Tuesday, August 27, 2013


This week's DIY projects are three.  Four if you count the pastrami.

Say what?

I had 6 or 7 Roma tomatoes.  Cut them in half, put them cut side down in a pan in a 150 degree oven for 10 hours.  It really should be longer, like overnight.  At $1.79 a pound for the tomatoes, this is still half price compared to what you buy in the foil pouch or plastic box or whatever.  You don't have to skin or seed Roma tomatoes and besides, they're the ones you really should use in cooking.  You spend money on a slicing tomato, you should slice it on a sandwich or in a salad.

I bought 3 pieces of deckel at the kosher butcher's, about 2.5 lbs each.  One I cut in half.  Half is in the freezer for the next time I make cholent.

The other half I rubbed with a mixture of kosher salt, sugar, and potassium nitrate (not sodium nitrate, have to watch my BP) and it's curing in a glass baking dish.  In a week I'll soak out some of the salt and smoke it with hickory shavings in my hot smoker, just for flavor.  (Hot smoking does NOT preserve meat, you need a cold smoker for that)  It will be about half the price of the kosher smoked cured thin-sliced beef that the store also sells.  The recipe for the curing mix is on-line.

The other two pieces are pickling in the fridge.  In 2 weeks, when they're done, I'll boil them both to tenderness.  Then I'll cut one into packages for the freezer.  The other I'll rub with a mix of coriander and pepper and smoke with alder shavings for pastrami, and package for the freezer.

This will save me $5 a pound over the deli counter corned beef and pastrami, so about $25.

Good food for less money, that's what DYI is about!

© Patricia Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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