I love delis and I often linger for a long time in front of the deli meat counter, adding way more time to my grocery runs than is actually required but I can’t help it. I enjoy studying the different slabs of meat, admiring the different colours and textures and I’m not one to turn down a free sample of something spicy on a toothpick. Growing up, I developed such a strong liking for basic black forest ham; it was pretty much the only meat I ever had on sandwiches. Now, it’s all worn out to me but thankfully, there are so many other tasty meats to take its place.
A staple to some, but still relatively new to me, the Mighty Pastrami is a solidly filling, meaty-meal of a sandwich. It can be served hot or cold, on toasted or fresh bread, paired with sauerkraut, onions, Swiss or Havarti cheese or plain dill pickles, or marinated in beef broth, etc. and I do plan to eventually try all these combinations to find what really hooks me.
Tonight though, I tried a straightforward, yet still quite mighty version by combining the following ingredients:
-Toasted rye bread – Dempster’s European Style Rye
-French’s Dijon Mustard with Chardonnay (Keen’s Mustard would also work nicely for some more kick)
-Sautéed beef pastrami, built up in layers on the bread
-Onions, sautéed with the beef over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes (at my husband’s insistence!)
-Bick’s Sandwich Savers Tangy Dill Pickles
-Saputo’s Havarti with Jalapeno cheese
-Spinach (a very generous handful since this sandwich is very meat-centric and I still wanted to get in a vegetable serving with this dinner)
I loved the how the different flavours blended so well together and there was a lovely, smoky, spicy aftertaste of the meat, mustard and pickles. Also, I didn’t expect to enjoy the onions but they were great! Sautéing the onions with the meat made them take on some of its flavour and they added a nice crunchy texture to the whole sandwich.
Some fun pastrami facts to chew on:
-Pastrami was developed as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration by brining, smoking and seasoning the meat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pastrami).
-It traditionally comes from the beef naval (http://www.delidoneright.com/2013/01/14/corned-beef-or-pastrami-three-differences/).
-It is a close cousin of corned beef, as they are both cured meats but have different flavors and are seasoned in different ways; pastrami is basically smoked corned beef (http://recipes.howstuffworks.com).
-The first pastrami sandwich was served in New York in 1887 by a kosher butcher named Sussman Volk. (Moscow,Henry. "The Book of New York Firsts” Syracuse Univ Pr (Sd), February 1995. p. 123)
Quite mighty indeed!