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Oct 16, 2007 07:37 PM

Making a great pastrami sandwich

I have some Niman Ranch naval pastrami (it is not my intention to have a discussion about the perfect pastrami; let me know how to make the best sandwich with what I have).

How should I prep the pastrami? What are the preferred breads, toppings and sides? Any suggestions welcome.

Tom Hall

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  1. Rye bread and mustard and a dill pickle next to it. Maybe some cole slaw as a side, but don't get carried away. Keep it simple!

    2 Replies
    1. re: The Librarian

      Definitely on board with this... Rye bread, pastrami warmed and stacked high, throw on some kraut and a little bit of whole grain mustard and serve with a whole pickle, sliced into four wedges and some Salt and Vinegar chips.

      My Blog:

      1. I have pretty simple tastes. I like to split a hoagie roll, slather on a layer of dijon and mayo. Next layer your salami and some nice swiss cheese. Microwave or broil openfaced to whatever your preference is. This was how the deli I used to work at made them...they also added sliced tomato after the heating was done, but I don't like tomato so to *me* the inclusion of them is not how to make a great pastrami sandwich. :D

        12 Replies
        1. re: mariannas

          I like rye bread and mustard, with a big slice of a salty dill pickle. I like a slice of pepper jack cheese on top of the meat. and about a cup of grilled onions on top of the cheese.

          1. re: bigjimbray

            No No No. No mayo and no cheese on pastrami.

            Steam the pastrami to warm it up. If its whole, slice across the grain about 1/2 inch thick. Then put on top of seedless rye bread with mustard if you desire. Keep the pickles on the side.

            1. re: ESNY

              I agree with steaming the pastrami..Any fat will melt away making for a very delish sandwich. Frying makes it tough and salty.

              1. re: ESNY

                I agree with the no mayo, but put some provolone or maybe muenster, and it's heaven!

                1. re: ESNY

                  Agree with no mayo, but thickness is a personal choice. Some deli's hand carve because they say the slicer shreads the meat. Others use a slicer, but I'm sure the slices are probably thicker. Overall agree with other posters, tho. more thing...Dr. Brown's soda with it. I like the Diet Black Cherry.

                1. re: travlnmike

                  Yannow, I used to say that too. But then my friend Joe Hacker (olev ha'sholem) pointed out that pastrami -- as good as it is on rye with mustard and pickle -- is, after all, a delicious kind of SMOKED MEAT. In that regard, he noted, it is in the same ballpark as bacon, and of course mayo is wonderful with bacon on a BLT. Joe would therefore make a sandwich of thin-sliced steamed pastrami, on toasted sourdough, with mayo, lettuce and tomato. This is a wonderful sandwich, and even if you are a rye/mustard/pickle purist you should try it and see for yourself. It may not wean you away, but I think you will find it is a terrific change of pace.

                  Trust me on this -- would I lie to you?

                  1. re: travlnmike

                    some of the OLD jewish deli guys would through you out before they would give you a sandwich with mayo on it lol

                    but the traditon is slices of half sour pickles not dill with past or corned beef

                    1. re: foodperv

                      I agree. And BTW, I just looooove your handle! It's hysterical!!

                      1. re: foodperv

                        My brother who doesn't like fat was in front of me at Katz deli. He asked for lean corned beef. The guy at the counter asked him if he wanted it on white bread. hahahaha

                        1. re: scubadoo97

                          The other answer jfood has heard is "to the left or the right?"

                          Lean corn beef. Shanda

                        2. re: foodperv

                          I was once in line at the House of Bagels in San Rafael, and the guy in front of me asked for sprouts on his pastrami sandwich. (It's Marin county - what can you expect?) I wish I'd had a camera to capture the disgusted expression on the counterman's face.

                    2. Rye bread is good but sometimes a plain old hoagie is best. Slather one side with what I would call deli mustard (I think spicy brown mustard) and top with slices of pickles. Adding pickles to the sandwich gives it that nice tartness and some crunch.

                      1. When I worked in my families deli, I made a great breakfast sandwich with pastrami. Pastrami, egg, swiss cheese and sauteed onions on pump/rye marbled bread. If I could find decent pastrami in CT I would love to make one of these again.

                        Of course, you can always just heat the pastrami and layer it on some of that marbled bread with swiss and mustard.

                        1. How about a reuben sandwich for a change of pace. Just add some thousand island dressing, sauercraut and a slice of swiss.