You can almost hear it being shouted in a Jewish deli. You can make this as a traditional sandwich or an open faced sandwich but it’s as simple as a thick slice of rye bread some spicy mustard and then layer after layer of pastrami. I mean really, does it get any better?
When I first got The Gefilte Manifesto and saw they had a recipe for Home Cured Pastrami I was like “Hey, Lou! I need a Pastrami on Rye!” Of course I said this in my head with a thick east coast accent and no, no idea why I thought his name should be Lou. My point is this. It sparked imagination. It sparked flavors. It sparked tradition and culture. This had to happen!
Backing up a little I am no novice when it comes to the Jewish Deli. I think I have only been to one twice in my life but in my head a Reuben was pastrami on rye. So when I got this notion I had to dig into what makes a Reuben. Turns out it’s corned beef. Thankfully the same cookbook had a recipe for that as well but in my head I still needed a Pastrami on rye!
So I cured my first corned beef and was confident in moving on to my pastrami. What’s great about making all this from scratch is the timing works super well. To make a great rye bread you have to make a sour culture and that takes about a week. Then there a multi day process to making the bread. Well, for the pastrami it has to do a “wet cure” that takes just over a week and then a two day process to dry it, smoke it, and dry it some more. Timed correctly you get the freshest pastrami and the freshest rye bread all at the same time.
I have to say there’s little less satisfying than making food from scratch. I even make my mayo and mustard from scratch. So getting to eat this well flavored pile of meat with a kick of my spicy whole grain mustard on my rustic rye bread was a treat far more enjoyed because I made it all. Most of the components to all the recipes that went into it are quick and easy. It’s just that they all take patience and planning.
As I have talked about in other posts I have broken the calendar year into quarters to strive for more seasonal eating. With that I have paired up what meats best compliment that season. Winter was all about beef and February marked the end of the “Winter Seasonal Rotation” so what a great way to say goodbye to beef than with pastrami.