Prague Powder #1, Insta Cure #1, pink curing salt #1, and pink salt (not to be confused with the pink Himalayan kind)
What is it?
A mixture of salt and sodium nitrite, curing salt inhibits bacterial growth (most notably botulism) in cured meats, gives them their characteristic rosy color, keeps the fat in
the meat tasting fresher longer, and adds a piquant flavor. Red dye is often added to curing salt to create a bright pink hue. The dye doesn’t affect the color of the cured
meat; that comes as a result of a chemical reaction the salt promotes. Rather, the dye is added so there’s no mistaking curing salt for regular salt, because though safe in
small amounts, curing salt is harmful if consumed in large quantities.
Curing salt is available at some supermarkets, butcher shops, spice shops, and specialty stores.
Making pastrami at home takes time—a little over a week, in fact—but very little effort. The long brine and slow smoking infuse the beef with flavor and keep it tender.…