Pastrami/Juniper berry question

Discussion in 'Beef' started by disco, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I am going to be making some pastrami with a recipe from the forum that calls for juniper berries. I know you can order them but I live in the Canadian Rockies and there are numerous ornamental juniper plants in my yard and countless wild juniper in the mountains around here. They are all heavy with berries. Can these berries be used in making pastrami? Thanks.
  2. roadkill cafe

    roadkill cafe Smoking Fanatic

    Don't know if those are the same kind, Disco. I'd be safe and just pick some up at your local spice shop or order some online. Not worth taking a chance IMHO.
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks. I intend to go with commercial unless I can get some sound information to the contrary.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Should be fine, as long as you're sure they're Juniper Berries, and not something poisonous. Watch out for Dingleberries too!!!

    All kidding aside---Read this first:

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks. I think I may stick my neck out and try some of the berries from the wild junipers in the mountains.
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Dave, this is very helpful. The varieties shown grow widely in the mountains around here and the berries are readily available. I will try the recipe and will give all credit due to you. Thanks again!
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Disco, here in central Oregon we have the Western Juniper, Juniperus occidentalis, and the berries (which are actually not berries at all but cones) are edible. We have two distillers here that harvest the berries for making their hooch! The best time for harvest is late August through early November. I plan on harvesting some this fall and drying them.

    More than likely without seeing a picture the junipers in your area are Juniperus scopulorum, Rocky Mountain Juniper. The berries (cones) are edible.

    Now for the warnings. All the berries(cones) of junipers are a diuretic.  So use sparingly as a seasoning only. Do not eat large quantities of them, especially in raw form. If you have kidney problems avoid using them.
  9. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, DS. The diuretic shouldn't be a problem. She Who Must Be Obeyed says I'm full of it anyway. Kidding around aside, the info you guys have given me has led me to do more research on the wild juniper around here. I am getting comfortable that they will be edible but there are several people in town who do a lot of foraging and I will enlist their help as well.

    I have read the health warnings around juniper berries but I have no health problems except for advanced years and  I will only be using small amounts in a brine and a smaller amount in a rub so I doubt it will be a problem.

    As usual, this forum has sent me in the right direction.

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