This was a result of one of those “AHA!” moments you may hear me refer to once in a while. I can’t remember where I heard it, but the revelation was that pastrami is smoked corned beef! The first attempt or two were something less than stellar but, eventually, I got there. Early attempts consisted of full roasting for the first hour or two and then reducing the heat. Nope. Not this time. Here’s how it works and boy, is it simple.



  • Pepper, coarse grind preferred, a.k.a., resaurant grind
  • Smoker bag (for beef, as opposed to seafood)
  • Corned beef brisket


This is a corned beef brisket, not the plain, flat cut brisket used for smoked brisket. This is the kind you find around St. Patrick's Day. You can usually find it any time.

Remove the corned beef from the package, rinse well and throw the seasoning package away.
Season liberally with pepper. If you don’t have coarse ground pepper (also called restaurant black pepper), regular pepper will work fine.
Place the peppered brisket in the smoker bag, seal, place on a baking sheet and gently turn up the edges. Place in a pre-heated 220º F oven. Next, find something to do for the next 4 or 5 hours.
Cut the bag open from the top. Be careful. There will be steam and hot liquid inside.
You may or may not be able to slice this thinly without shredding it when its warm, especially if your knife isn’t sharp. To be on the safe side, refrigerate for at least 3 or 4 hours or overnight if you can stand it. You do not need a machine to slice it. I just do that because I can. Santa was kind enough to bring me this slicer a few years ago and I LOVE it! Enjoy! Remember, no matter how or when you slice it, slice against the grain.

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