224 hours serves 8-10

Brisket Pastrami Sandwiches

Homemade pastrami is actually very easy to make. If you leave yourself enough time and make sure you have the right equipment on hand it’s a fun project, especially if you have a little more time around the house over the holidays. Make sure that you have room in your refrigerator, the brisket needs to cure in the brine for 5 to 7 days.



  • 1 Pre Brisket
  • 1 quart applejuice
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 T plus 1 t pink curing salt
  • 6 T pickling spice
  • 1 quart ice cubes
Pastrami Seasoning Rub: 
  • 4 T coarse ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 T coriander seeds
  • 2 T kosher salt
  • 2 T smoked paprika
  • 1 T whole mustard seeds
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 2 T brown sugar
Pastrami Sandwiches: 
  • Sliced prepared pastrami
  • Seeded rye bread
  • Butter, room temperature
  • Sliced Swiss cheese
  • Sauerkraut, drained
  • Prepared dressing
  • Curing Salt (AKA Pink Prague or Prague Powder) 
  • Large glass or plastic container large enough for the brisket to remain submerged in the brine
  • Spice grinder, mini food processor, or mortar and pestle
  • Smoker box, home smoker or homemade smoker for gas grill
  • Mild wood chips for smoking (we like applewood)
  • Optional: Panini press or waffle maker for sandwiches
  1. Fill a large pot with 2 quarts of water. Add all of the brine ingredients except the ice and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir until the salt has dissolved, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the ice. Allow the brine to cool to a warm room temperature, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Place brisket in the glass or plastic container and pour the cooled brine over the meat. Use a glass or ceramic bowl or plate to weight he meat down so it stays submerged. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days, turning the brisket and stirring the brine once per day.
  3. 2 days before smoking the pastrami prepare the seasoning rub. In a small nonstick sauté pan toast the coriander and mustard seeds over medium heat, tossing the pan, until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix 2 T of the pepper and the rest of the ingredients and grind, using a small food processor, spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
  4. Remove brisket from brine and discard the liquid. Coat the brisket generously with the seasoning and wrap in plastic wrap. Place seasoned brisket on a sheet pan or platter and return for refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.
  5. Prepare your smoker and heat to 250°F. Smoke brisket until internal temperature reaches 195°F, about 3 1/2 hours. Let rest at least 1 hour before serving. If not serving right away wrap in plastic wrap. To serve, slice brisket as thinly as possible across the grain using your sharpest knife. Reheat sliced meat in a pan on the stove over medium heat, or in the microwave for about 45 seconds.
  6. To assemble sandwiches, set your panini press or waffle iron on medium high. For each sandwich use 2 pieces of bread, butter 1 side of the bottom slice and place butter side down on griddle. Pile pastrami slices on unbuttered side, top with cheese slice and sauerkraut. Spread sauce on the unbuttered side of the top slice and put on top of the sauerkraut buttered side up. Close press or waffle iron and cook, until lightly crisped and golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove, slice sandwiches on the diagonal and serve.


Brisket Pastrami Sandwiches

Amount per 243g

  • 243g

    1 serving
  • 355kcal

  • 16.89g

  • 969mg

  • 2.1g

  • 17.12g

  • 34.67g

  • 28.36g


Nutrition is approximate, data retrieved from happyforks.com

Recipe developed by   Jennifer Borchardt