Pastrami (Slow Smoked Corned Beef Montreal Style)

I used to buy corned beef from the grocery store in the bag, boil it for 3 or 4 hours, and then eat it.  Good and delectable for sure, but corned beef can be made into something so much more.  This recipe is a way to take corned beef in a bag and take it to another level, similar to the smoked meats found in Montreal.  For this I used my Big Green Egg to first smoke and then steam the meat.  It’s usually an 8 hour process minimum, so plan ahead.  Notice there’s no need to salt the meat…

1 3 to 4 pound uncooked corned beef in a bag
4 large chunks of hardwood (I like to use mesquite)

Spice Mixture:
2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp mustard seeds

2 Hours Before or the Night Before:
Remove the corned beef from the bag and wash it to remove the brine and blood.  You can take the spice mixture that came with it and toss it – we’ll be using our own spices.  Pour 1/2 the spice mixture on plastic wrap, cover with the corned beef and then top with the remaining spice mixture.  Fold the plastic wrap tightly over the meat and allow it to cure overnight in the refrigerator.

1 Hour Before Smoking:
Remove the corned beef from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.  Soak the hardwood chunks in very hot tap water.

3 Hours of Smoking:
Light the charcoal in the smoker in the center using a small fire stick.  Arrange the chunks of wood in the smoker so they’ll burn throughout the smoking – stage them so that they’ll sequentially burn from the center ring of the fire.  Smoke for 3 hours at 200 – 225 degrees.

After 4 hours
Wrap the meat in foil, increase the heat to 250 – 275 and continue to cook until the meat falls apart, up to 5 hours of time!

Chile Verde Sausage – 4lb Batch

I’m a chile verde addict and a sausage addict, so I thought it would be a good idea to combine the two addictions.  These sausages taste great grilled or smoked and make a great accompaniment to some good old southwestern beans and rice.

4 lbs pork shoulder
1/2 lb bacon (I used Oscar Meyer)
2 tbsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp hot sauce (I used Crystal)
1 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp granulated garlic
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 large bunches cilantro
8 tomatillos
5 poblano peppers (medium)
5 cubanelle peppers (mild)
2 onions

1 cup potato flour


Grind the pork and bacon together on a medium grind. Sprinkle the salt and pepper on the meat. Set aside and chill.

Purre the tomatillos in a food processor along with the spices and salt. Add the cilantro and lightly pulse.

Set oven to broil and char the onions, poblano peppers and cubanelle peppers. Allow to cool. Peel. Dice into small pieces and add to the blended tomatillos. You should have about 4 cups.

In a large bowl, combine the meat, potato flour, and 4 cups of the tomatillo mixture. Blend well and stuff into sausage casings, tie off at lengths the appeal to you.


Excited about this plant in my garden. A crushed up leaf has an exotic smell that brings me back to a great taste I just can’t remember. This post is more of a place holder so that I don’t forget the plant’s name.

Also called Papaloquelite porophyllum ruderale or macrocephalum. An herb, similar to cilantro used in Mexican cooking.

Gonna drop some of this in the next batch of salsa…

UPDATE: Beware using too much of this herb. Start with an amount no larger than the size of a quarter in your dishes.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Captain Crunch Cookies

The addition of Captain Crunch Cereal and marshmallows make these cookies unconventional and fun to eat.  Try some other cereals!  How did yours turn out?

3/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups Captain Crunch Cereal & more for finishing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Melt the butter the butter and then combine with the peanut butter, vanilla, and milk.  Beat in the eggs one at a time.  Add the salt, brown sugar and white sugar.

Combine the flour and baking soda, stir into the creamed mixture. Stir in the rolled oats, marshmallows (optional) and chocolate chips.  Finally, add the Captain Crunch cereal and lightly stir.

Form into large round disks, about 6 to a normal greased baking sheet.  Press in some extra Captain Crunch into the tops.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 17 minutes.  Move to a wire rack and allow to cool.