A good recipe for pastrami requires soaking a beef brisket in a seasoned brine mixture for about three weeks, discarding the brine and adding treating the meat with a dry rub. Place the brisket in a smoker for four hours, then let it cool before slicing it thinly and serving. Juniper berries give the meat its characteristic flavor.
Prepare the dry seasonings for the brine combining 2 tablespoons of juniper berries with 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, 1 2/3 tablespoons of dried thyme, six bay leaves and 2 tablespoons whole cloves in a small bowl. Mix 4 quarts of water with 3/4 cup of brown sugar and 3/4 cup of salt in a pan over medium heat until the salt and sugar dissolve and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and pour in the dry seasonings. Allow the mixture to cool and the seasonings to steep for an hour.
Place the brisket in a large container and pour the cool brine over it. Keep the brisket covered in the refrigerator for three weeks. When ready to smoke the meat, remove the container and discard the brine. Pat the brisket dry with a clean towel.
Prepare the dry rub by mixing 1/3 cup of crushed juniper berries with 2/3 cup of coarsely ground black pepper, and press this mixture into the meat, using the palm of the hand, prior to smoking it.