Don’t stop ’til you brine enough

Our delivery of beautiful Shorthorn briskets arrived from the East London Steak Company and so I’ve been brining all weekend in preparation for Popstrami!

Firstly, look at these chappies!

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And I couldn’t resist posting this picture of a bonus White Park brisket, sourced from Berkswell Traditional Meats (near Berkswell – where the cheese comes from).

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Beautiful.  Check out the marbling! Fat is a crucial ingredient for a high-quality meaty sandwich. The briskets are also well-aged, at least 28 days which improves the flavour no end.

So, I set to brining. For brine afficionados I am using a 7.5% concentration brine which gives a nicely salted end-result. We are doing the brine old-school which means a nice long immersion, none of that fangled injection cure nonsense.

Flavourings come from sugar, bay leaf, garlic, pepper (lots of pepper), coriander, yellow mustard seed, allspice, juniper, cloves, star anise, ginger, cinnamon, dried red chilli and mace. Plus a touch of pink curing salt to ensure the meat is lovely and red in colour.

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I filled three 28 litre plastic tubs with briskets (plus the occasional ox cheek). Getting the tubs involved a drive to Smethwick, but I’ll spare you the gory details. I also had to buy another fridge.

I managed somehow to heft the full tubs into the fridge – it took a lot of effort, and I got brine all over me.

These babies are going to get 14 days of curing at around 3 degrees C.

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If you are excited by all that – and how could you not be? Get to Popstrami!

There’s more than just meat – there’s amazing rye bread, desserts, and traditional NYC soft drinks!

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