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Pastrami and Corned Beef

  • j

I am having friends over for lunch Saturday and I am ordering take out from our local Jewish deli. They serve breakfast until 11 am on Saturday and said that I couldn't pick up the meat earlier because the meat wouldn't be warm or hot. My dilemma is if I pick up the meat the day before, how should I warm it up? Microwave, steam or what? I do have to get the freshly made rye bread early on Saturday however. Perhaps I am making too much out of a simple occasion. Thanks for your input.

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  1. Microwave with a wet papertowel loosely placed on top of the meat has worked well for me in the past.

    2 Replies
    1. re: LHT

      microwaving changes the texture of the meat and makes the meat chewier

      1. re: byrd

        That is especially true of leaner cuts.

    2. Try steaming it- in a vegetable steamer over a pot of water.

      1. Definitely steam, over lightly boiling/simmering water. The texture and warming will be more even and gentle than in a microwave.

        1. I've had good luck baking it in a pan with water on the bottom and covering it with aluminum foil.

          1. I don't know if I'm stating the obvious, but Rosh Hashana starts at sundown on Friday 9/22. Is your particular deli even going to be open on Saturday?

            1 Reply
            1. re: hbgrrl

              guessing the OP meant the deli closed on friday, and his meal he's prepping for is Saturday.

              steaming (gently!) is the way to go. That's the way most hot pastrami is served in delis anyhow.

            2. I reheat mine in a hot cast iron pan with a tiny bit of oil glazing the surface. Just put in the meat, add a few drops of water and cover for 5-10 seconds. Tastes great.

              1. As mentioned already, microwaving will tend to change the texture and make it tough. If you steam pre-sliced pastrami or corned beef you are liable to lose some of the flavor unless you wrap it first.

                Wrap the meat twice in plastic wrap, then once in aluminum foil, then put it into the steamer. This is the best method I have found for reheating most meats in order to maintain the flavor and texture.

                1. This is what I did and it worked beautifully. wrapping the meat in plastic and foil, then steamed for a very very short time. The lunch was a huge success and so easy picking up the food from the deli. The chicken liver was very popular to my surprise.

                  1. If I take two slices of rye bread, slather some mustard on the inside, layer my pastrami, then butter and toast the outsides of the sandwich in a skillet and throw it in a 325 degrees F oven, would that warm the pastrami okay or would I lose some texture/flavor that way? I've been to a deli that I suspect does it this way, unless they steam the pastrami first, and then brown the sandwich in a skillet and skip the oven part.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bmorecupcake

                      I would think that if you left it in the oven long enough to heat the meat through (especially if it was cold to begin with and piled on thick enough to make a good pastrami sandwich) you'd turn the bread hard as a rock. I'd steam it first, or even better, saute it briefly in the same skillet in which you then toast the bread.