I've enjoyed dabbling with smoking and curing for a while and recently a mate of mine asked me if I'd help point him in the right direction. We sorted dry cure bacon and smoked salmon out a while back but the other day he phoned me up as he'd just been given a couple of roe haunches by his brother. We opted to put one haunch aside for air drying and I suggested that we try and do a kind of pastrami with the other - I'm not sure how it will turn out but it's still fun trying eh? Pastrami is usually made from a brisket so I'm not sure how well a boned out haunch will turn out but I'm hoping the brine will suitibly tenderise and flavour the meat.
Haunch boned out into a 'slab'
After making beef pastrami from both a dry cure and a wet brine, I prefer the wet brine approach so we made a brine with salt, sugar Cure#1 & garlic salt and then injected some of the brine into the meat to speed up the curing process
The rest of the brine went into a tub, along with the meat - I'll have three-four days in there before it's cooked
The other haunch is hopefully destined to be air dried as a prosciutto - I've never tried this with venison before but had a few good results with legs of pork - Ideally it would have been nice to have the whole leg but beggars cant be choosers (and I'm grateful for anyvenison handouts !!!)
The haunch was rubbed with a dry cure of salt, pepper, cure#2, rosemary, garlic & juniper and loosely vac packed to keep all the cure in contact with the meat - it'll sit in the cure for a month or so
My mate had also got a load of pork to make bacon, so after finishing with the experimental venison, he had two pieces of loin and two decent pieces of thick end of belly to cure for back bacon and streaky bacon. One of each cut had molasses added to the cure to make a sweet cure bacon and all four cuts will be smoked after curing - it certainly looks good in his 'man fridge' at the moment.
Hopefully there'll be some positive feedback to report back in a week or two - I'm especially interested to see how the 'pastrami' turns out