My family will gather at my house Sunday. I'm making pastrami for them, using the recipe in Brian Polcyn and Michael Ruhlman's book Charcuterie. Currently, I have a beef brisket in a pickling brine in the refrigerator. It's been there for about a day. Two more to go. After three days of brining, it'll get patted dry and rubbed with black pepper and coriander. Then comes the smoke.
Tonight it looks like this:
The brisket started out at five pounds, but the salt and sugar in the brine will draw some moisture (and therefore weight) out during the meat's time in its bath. I imagine I'll end up with about four pounds of pastrami.