Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hot pastrami, just like the deli

Wow, it has been a few months, hasn't it? The Kosher Bachelor is still a bachelor but I also recently started a master's degree program, which takes up a lot of my time. I have, however, still been cooking and have a plethora of new dishes to share with you, and I promise that I will get busy with some new posts very soon.

Today I was supposed to meet a friend at a deli for lunch, but unfortunately my friend had to cancel because of illness. This left me with a hankering for a nice, hot deli-style pastrami sandwich. I had some Meal Mart pastrami in my fridge and decided to make my own.

In the past, I've microwaved the meat to get it nice and hot, just like in the delis. But that just doesn't cut it. The best delis don't nuke their pastrami after all, they steam it. So I made myself a makeshift steamer using a pot and a colander. 

First, bring a small amount of water, about 2 inches, to boil. Remove the lid and place a mesh colander over the pot. I used one with a plastic rim, but the steam can warp it so it's best to use a metal one. Place the meat in the colander and then cover it with the lid. In a few minutes you'll have steamed pastrami ready to go on rye bread, roll or to enjoy just on its own.

I enjoyed mine on a challah roll with a side of my red-cabbage coleslaw, leftover from Shabbat.


*EDIT: I have just learned - and I am shamed that I did not know this soon - that Jan. 14 was National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day. Consider yourselves now well-prepared for next year!


  1. two questions. i assume you were using the type of pastrami that was already cooked and ready to eat, when you steamed it, not the raw, marinated ready to be prepared kind? i really want to know the right way to make the raw pastrami or corned beef, like they serve at Bar Mitzvah's and such, wehre it is sliced off a hot "roast".

    second question is more of a statment. my dad, used to take the pastrami, and throw it in a frying pan, and let it "fry" and it would get all crispy, that is real good too. and sometimes he would scramble and egg over it, and cook it that way. you should try that. don't know if it has a name. maybe... fleishtig omlet ala Herbert?

    1. I used packaged sliced pastrami by Meal Mart.

      I have been looking into how to make the corned beef and pastrami like they have at shmorgs, and my drunken corned beef was what I came up with.

      This was very, very tasty, but not quite like what they have at the carving stations. So I boiled a raw (but already pickled) corned beef in my crock pot with onions and pepper. I also made a sauce out of maple syrup and spicy mustard, which I'm still trying to perfect.

      You could set up a makeshift steamer on your stovetop with chaffing dishes and cook the meat that way, but I'm not sure how it would turn out. I'm still playing with it and hopefully soon I will pick up a raw pastrami and try an experiment.

      As for the omelet, fried pastrami is delicious. I love grilled strips of pastrami on my burgers and it goes well in cholent or chili, too. I've never tried it with eggs, but it sounds good and I think I'll try it. You can also get beef fry (beef "bacon"), which is also delicious. Usually, I'll slice up some salami and fry it up with scrambled eggs, but pastrami sounds delicious. I like to marinate my salami in some sriracha sauce before I add the eggs for a bit of a kick. Delicious.