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Aug 18, 2010 04:40 PM

mail order pastrami from Katz

Has anyone ordered whole pastrami from Katz Deli in NY? I am thinking about ordering some for my wife's birthday and would like to hear some first hand experience from those that ordered. Their website says it has to be cooked and trimmed. I expect it would have to be boiled. But how much did you have to trim? I wanted to see if I would need to order more to account for trimming.

More importantly, how did the pastrami taste? Did it taste anything like what is served at the deli?


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  1. Haven't ordered one, but you wouldn't boil a pastrami - all the coating would come off, and the juices would leach out. Generally, you want to reheat by steaming. Put in a dutch oven on a rack or some onions, add a bit of water, cover and heat at 300 till warmed through.

    1. First, I never ordered it as a delivery. But does it have to be cooked or just reheated?? Cooking is about smoking the meat after curing. I don't think they expect you to smoke it. If it comes smoked, in a big cryovac bag, you would either have to bring it up to temp in boiling water, or remove it from the bag and steam it.

      Trimming would occur as you slice it, much as they do at the deli. You will lose a good bit in fat, but since this is after cooking I would think you'll be able to eat about 75 or 80 percent of it (some fat you want to keep!). What is the wweight of the meat at shipment?

      1 Reply
      1. re: woodburner

        I would seriously doubt Katz's is selling it uncooked or even partially cooked. Cooking is a two step process; First, the cured meat is smoked to about 150-180 (most recipes say 150 range, but I find it's more tender without being fall apart at 180). Second step is to steam for a few hours. At that point, it's ready to serve, or refrigerate and reheat.

      2. Well, I got an email back from Katz. Here's what they said:

        "As far as cooking, you'll need a large pot, place the pieces in it & cover completely with water. Bring to a boil & continue to cook for 3 hours, check to make sure it's fork tender in the middle, the thickest part. It doesn't need to be a rolling boil as you would cook pasta but a medium boil. The water will turn dark from the spices but don't worry, the rub sticks. This is how we prepare it here. "

        I asked volume of water to meat as I don' t want to end up with meat too salty or too watered down.

        My main concern isn't the cooking, but the end product. Obviously I'm going through the trouble and expense to replicate the taste, so it'd be a huge waste if I can't do it with their mail order product.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Spinal Tap

          That may be how they do it, but I wouldn't boil a pastrami. Maybe theirs is oversalted to begin with so it equalizes after being boiled.

          1. re: woodburner

            No, I haven't gotten it yet. Late September, if I decide to get it. I haven't found any reviews online. My main concern is because a big part of it is done at home then it could change the end product which would ruin the whole experience.

            1. re: Spinal Tap

              I might suggest going with a fantastic mail order (and store if you are lucky to live in the Ann Arbor, MI area) Zingermans. I have ordered many items for gifts and their Reuben Sandwich Kits are always well received. They have a lot of great items and their customer service in impecable.

          2. Hi Nate: My daughter sent me a gift package of pastrami & corned beef from Katz in NYC, neither was good. There were some heating instructions included and one of the two actually did require some kind of cooking while the other was just heating. I know it was expensive so should have been good, neither was even close to good. Thought it might have been a bad batch or something, we threw it away. Katz was very good and resent the order, no better luck, both were just as bad. My experience would be to stick with eating at the restaurant; I have been meaning to try a small order from another deli, maybe Stages to compare the end products. Good Luck!