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Make Goose Pastrami At Home

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Nov 27, 2012 7:20PM

Photo credit: Chicagoist/Chuck Sudo

Chicago BBQ restaurant Barn & Company hosts monthly "pitmaster" dinners that focus on a specific meat prepared in different styles. For the restaurant's November pitmaster dinner Nov. 28, chef and "BBQ life coach" Gary Wiviott invited me to his kitchen a couple weeks back as he made a test batch of goose breast pastrami, along with other charcuterie fashioned from chicken, turkey and duck.

Wiviott had high hopes for the goose breast pastrami but wanted to get his recipe locked down early, perfect the steps in the pastrami making process and keep costs down—goose breasts are pricey and Wiviott had to account for wholesale costs and the weight lost during the preparation.

Wiviott and I tasted out three different pastrami rubs of varying spice and heat level before he came upon the one he decided to use for the goose breast. This one is a fine balance of spice and kickass heat that should appeal to a wide range of pastrami enthusiasts, from novices to stunt eaters.

As a home charcuterie enthusiast, I've already penciled this in for a holiday party project. Curing meats is a nice thing for a home cook to have in his bag of tricks and this pastrami recipe is simple to make. It also gives backyard barbeque enthusiasts an excuse to break out their Weber Smoky Mountains in the cooler months.

Goose Breast Pastrami by Gary Wiviott

Pastrami Cure:

450 grams kosher salt
425 grams dextrose
75 grams pink salt

Pastrami Rub:

70 grams cracked black pepper
35 grams cracked coriander
15 grams garlic powder, fine
15 grams onion powder
15 grams guajillo pepper
7.5 grams brown mustard seed, cracked

Day One:

Crosshatch Goose breast skin. Apply cure. Place in pairs flesh side to flesh side in non reactive container. Refrigerate for three days.

Day Four:

Rinse Goose breast. Liberally apply Pastrami Rub, working into skin slits. Reshape goose breast, no loose flesh, no visible skin slits. Smoke at 180° (I use a wood mix of 80 percent hickory, 20 percent apple) for 3 hours. Target terminal temperature is 160°. If not there after three hours increase smoker temp to 200° to finish.

Cool, wrap in plastic wrap. Weigh down/press. Refrigerate for three days.

Day Seven:

Unwrap, slice thin, eat, enjoy.