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HOME-CURED PASTRAMI 
1 (4 1/2 lb.) slab of beef flanken
1/2 c. salt, preferably kosher
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. saltpeter, available in drug stores
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
1/4 c. peppercorns
1 clove finely chopped garlic

1. Pat the meat dry.

2. Combine the salt, sugar, ginger and saltpeter in a mixing bowl.

3. Coarsely crush the coriander seeds and peppercorns, using a mallet or the bottom of a clean, heavy skillet. Or grind coarsely. Add them to the bowl along with the garlic. Blend well. Rub the mixture into the meat.

4. Place the seasoned meat in a plastic bag and seal tightly. Place in a tray large enough to hold it. Refrigerate and turn the bag over once a day so that the meat seasons evenly. Let the meat cure for 7 or 8 days.

5. Remove the meat and drain the liquid that accumulated. Save the solid seasonings and discard the liquid. Rub the solid seasonings back into the meat. Use a needle to run a string through the meat. Tie the ends of the string together. Suspend the meat on the string and let it dry in a dry, cool windy place or use an electric fan. Dry for about 24 hours.

6. Hang the meat in a smoker and smoke 2 1/2 to 3 hours at about 150 to 160 degrees, or smoke according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

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