Smoked Pork Leg Pastrami with Mustard BBQ Sauce

Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAmerican

Chef Matt Abdoo
Pig Bleecker and Pig Beach
New York City 

At his two New York City restaurants, Pig Bleecker and Pig Beach, Matt Abdoo goes the no-waste route with nose-to-tail cooking. He also taps into the trend of smoking meats in house, substituting pork for the typical beef in this recipe for pastrami. The leg cut works especially well in this application, and the smoked meat pairs especially well with a sweet and spicy mustard sauce.


Pastrami brine
1 pork leg, outside muscle, tied
4 qt. water
1 cup salt
¾ cup brown sugar
5 tbsp. pickling spice
3 tsp. cure salt #1
1 tbsp. black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed

Pastrami rub
½ cup kosher salt
¼ cup coriander
2 tbsp. butcher-grind black pepper
2 tbsp. sweet paprika
2 tbsp. granulated garlic
2 tbsp. mustard power
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
1½ tbsp. granulated onion

Mustard BBQ sauce
2 cups yellow mustard
½ cup sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. granulated onion
2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. hot sauce
1 tsp. ground black pepper


1. For brine: In deep bowl or hotel pan, place pork leg. In nonreactive container, combine water and remaining brine ingredients; mix until completely dissolved. Using a meat syringe, inject pork with 8 ounces of brine. Cure for five to seven days.
2. Remove tied pork from brine; transfer to nonreactive container filled with water. Let sit overnight to remove some salinity from pork.
3. Remove pork from container of water; dry off and let sit at room temperature to air dry and temper. Meanwhile, preheat smoker to 250 F. Add one chunk of cherry wood or 1 cup soaked chips.
4. For rub: In bowl, combine kosher salt and remaining rub ingredients’ mix thoroughly. Transfer to airtight container until ready to use.
5. Coat brined pork with pastrami rub; let stand for 15 minutes. Place pork in smoker and cook low and slow for about 2½ hours or until internal temperature of meat reaches 145 F, adding more wood as needed.
6. Remove pork from smoker and let rest 30 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, prepare mustard sauce: In nonreactive bowl, combine yellow mustard and remaining sauce ingredients; whisk to combine. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.
7. To serve, slice pork pastrami and plate with mustard sauce.

Photo courtesy of National Pork Board

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