What is real pastrami made of?

Answered by Edward Huber

Real pastrami is made from the beef navel plate, which is a cut of meat located in the belly of the animal. This cut is often referred to as the beef navel, beef plate, or simply the plate. It is a flavorful and fatty cut that lends itself well to the process of smoking and curing.

To make pastrami, the beef navel plate is first brined in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and various spices. The brine helps to infuse the meat with flavor and also helps to tenderize it. After brining, the meat is typically seasoned with a spice mixture that includes ingredients such as garlic, coriander, black pepper, paprika, cloves, allspice, and mustard seed.

Once seasoned, the meat is traditionally smoked to further enhance its flavor. The smoking process gives pastrami its distinct smoky taste and also helps to preserve the meat. The length of time the meat is smoked can vary depending on personal preference and the desired level of smokiness.

After smoking, the pastrami is typically steamed or boiled to ensure it is cooked through and to add moisture to the meat. This step also helps to further tenderize the meat, making it juicy and succulent. The pastrami can then be sliced and served as a deli meat or used as an ingredient in various dishes.

The flavor of real pastrami is rich and complex, with a combination of smoky, spicy, and savory notes. The spices used in the seasoning blend give it a distinct and aromatic taste, while the smoking process adds depth and richness. The fatty nature of the beef navel plate contributes to the moist and tender texture of the pastrami.

In my personal experience, I have had the pleasure of enjoying real pastrami in a classic deli sandwich. The combination of the tender and flavorful pastrami, along with some tangy mustard and crisp pickles, creates a mouthwatering and satisfying bite. The smoky aroma and robust taste of the pastrami make it a true delight for meat lovers.

Real pastrami is made from the beef navel plate, which is seasoned with a spice mixture and then smoked to perfection. The process of smoking and curing gives pastrami its distinctive flavor and texture. Whether enjoyed in a sandwich or used in other culinary creations, real pastrami is a delicious and beloved deli meat.