Ah, the glorious brined delicatessen favorite, pastrami. Our Traeger recipe expert, Nancy Loseke, took the word "pastrami" and sent our minds reeling with ideas by turning it into a verb. Why limit yourself to Traeger'ing only the classic "pastramied" creations?
Nancy took meaty short ribs, after allowing them to absorb all of the flavors from an incredible brine, crusted them in freshly-cracked peppery spices and smoked and steamed them until they submitted to her will. If you love all things pastrami, then hold onto your seat.
PASTRAMIED SHORT RIBS
Prep time: 15 minutes plus 48 hours for brining the meat
Cook time: 3 to 3 1/2 hours
Pellet recommendation: Anything except Mesquite
For the meat and the brine:
3 to 4 pounds meaty bone-in beef short ribs
2 quarts cold water
1/3 cup Morton’s kosher salt
2 teaspoons pink salt (important for curing and color)
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
4 tablespoons pickling spices, roughly crushed with a meat mallet
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons coriander seeds
3 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seed
1 liter ginger ale
MAKE THE BRINE
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, kosher salt, pink salt, and brown sugar and stir until the salt and sugar crystals have dissolved.
Stir in the garlic and pickling spices, then add the short ribs. (Make sure that you choose some truly "beefy" ribs - check out the beauts below)
Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours, stirring twice a day to redistribute spices.
On the day you want to Traeger and enjoy them, drain the ribs, knocking off any solids, and pat dry on paper towels.
MAKE THE RUB
Put the coriander seeds, peppercorns, and mustard seed in a small sturdy resealable plastic bag and coarsely crush or use a spice grinder or mini cuisinart - whatever you have handy.
Lightly drizzle and coat all sides of the ribs with olive oil. Cover the meaty sides of the ribs with the rub and gently press in the spices.
Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
Arrange the short ribs, bone side down, directly on the grill grate and smoke for 2 hours.
Transfer the ribs to a roasting pan or disposable foil pan. Pour enough ginger ale in the bottom of the pan to come just past the top edges of the bones.
Cover tightly with foil. Increase the temperature of the Traeger to 300 degrees F and continue to cook the ribs until they are very tender - 1 to 1 1/2 hours more.
Arrange on a platter and serve with some pastrami classics like deli-style mustard and perhaps even a few rye rolls.