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Thomas Keller: Wagyu brisket “pastrami” sandwich with coleslaw

You'll need

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 2 tbsp tellicherry peppercorns (see note) ½ tsp allspice seeds 4½ tsp coriander seeds 150 gm fine sea salt 65 gm brown sugar 60 ml (¼ cup) white wine vinegar 4½ tsp yellow mustard seeds ¼ tsp each cayenne pepper and ground ginger 1.5 kg wagyu beef brisket, trimmed (see note) 2 tsp dark molasses 16 caraway rye bread slices, to serve To serve: American-style mustard   Coleslaw 200 gm white cabbage, thinly sliced 1 carrot, thinly sliced ½ Spanish onion, thinly sliced 125 ml (½ cup) white wine vinegar 110 gm (½ cup) caster sugar 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil


  • 01
  • Crush garlic, 1 tbsp peppercorns, allspice and ½ tsp coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle until a coarse paste forms, transfer to a large saucepan with salt, sugar, vinegar, ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds, cayenne pepper, ground ginger and 2½ litres water. Bring to the boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, cool completely.
  • 02
  • Place brisket in a large non-reactive container, pour over liquid, cover and refrigerate for 3 to 5 days to cure.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 130-140C. Remove brisket from liquid (discard liquid) and place in a large casserole. Cover completely with water, bring to the boil over medium heat, cover with baking paper and lid, cook in oven until tender (3-4 hours). Cool brisket in liquid, refrigerate until completely chilled (3-4 hours).
  • 04
  • Drain brisket (discard liquid), pat dry with absorbent paper, brush with molasses. Coarsely grind remaining peppercorns, coriander seeds and yellow mustard seeds in a mortar and pestle, then press onto all sides of brisket and refrigerate, covered, until required. Pastrami will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week.
  • 05
  • For coleslaw, place cabbage, carrot and onion in separate non-reactive bowls. Bring vinegar, sugar and 120ml water to the boil in a saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Divide among bowls, refrigerate until chilled (15-20 minutes). Drain well (discard liquid), combine in a bowl with oil, season to taste, set aside.
  • 06
  • To serve, spread half the bread slices with mustard, layer with thinly sliced pastrami and coleslaw, season to taste, top with remaining bread slices and serve immediately.
Note Tellicherry peppercorns are high-quality whole black peppercorns. You can substitute another type. Wagyu brisket is available from specialist butchers. You will need to order ahead. You can substitute regular brisket.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Drink Suggestion

A hoppy, Pilsner-style lager.

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