The Hang Fire Cookbook

Recently, we’ve made a lot of pastrami as we’ve been serving it in our wonderfully chewy, artisan pretzel buns at our streetfood events. There are not many pleasures in life that compare to a perfect Reuben sandwich, or making your own pastrami. Do bear in mind that good things take time. This recipe takes about six days but it will be well worth the wait, trust us.


Quantity Ingredient
1 x 2kg boneless beef brisket, trimmed of any hard fat
2 tablespoons groundnut oil

For the cure

Quantity Ingredient
225g fine sea salt
75g soft light brown sugar
2 teaspoons prague powder, (see recipe note)
2 bay leaves, ground
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground black pepper

For the Rub

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon soft light brown sugar
2 tablespoons garlic granules
4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons coriander seeds, roughly ground
1 tablespoon ground allspice


  1. Combine all the cure ingredients in a large pan, pour in 1.5 litres water and warm through over low heat, stirring, until all the salt and sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Put your brisket in a ziplock bag and pour over the curing liquid. Expel any air from the bag, seal, and place in a dish. Refrigerate for 5 days, turning the brisket over daily to ensure the cure penetrates the meat fully.
  2. After 5 days, remove the brisket from the brine, and rinse well in cold water. Soak the brisket in clean water for 1½ hours, changing the water every 30 minutes. Drain. Use kitchen towels to pat the brisket dry. In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the rub. Using your hands, rub a little groundnut oil on the brisket and sprinkle the rub mixture evenly and liberally on both sides, patting it into the meat. Put the brisket back in the fridge for at least 24 hours or 48 hours if you can; this will help the rub adhere.
  3. Set your smoker up for indirect heat and regulate at 121°C. Pop in your brisket, along with some chunks/chips of oak or hickory wood. Add more wood as it burns out for the first 3 hours. Smoke the brisket for 6–8 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 74°C on your instant-read thermometer.
  4. The final stage is to steam your pastrami and give it the final cook. (If you skip this step, smoke your pastrami as you would a brisket until it reaches 90ºC.) Preheat your oven to 170ºC. Using a large roasting tin with a wire rack, fill with warm water, so it’s about 5cm deep. Place your brisket on the rack and make a foil tent, leaving some air between the top of the brisket and the foil. Crimp the edges tightly to the roasting tin. Put it in the oven for around 3 hours. The temperature of the pastrami should be around 94ºC. Remove the foil and let it cook for a further 10 minutes so the bark reforms. Let it rest for 15 minutes, then slice it right into an awesome sandwich with sauerkraut, Russian dressing and lots of dill pickles. Recently,

A Note on Prague Powder #1

  • Prague Powder #1 has a combination of table salt and sodium nitrite, which not only helps prevent the build up of nasty bacteria but also preserves the colour of the meat, preventing it from looking grey when cooked. Read the instructions on your packet of Prague Powder #1 carefully, it’s potentially harmful if not used in the correct way.


  • Oak, Hickory

Cooking methods

  • Curing, Indirect grilling/smoking
Deep South
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