Why should you include pastrami in your diet? Origin, properties and recipes

Why should you include pastrami in your diet? Origin, properties and recipes

If there is a cold meat traveler, that’s pastrami. And no, we’re not referring (only) to movies and series. American in which the pastrami sandwich seems omnipresent in the hands of its famous protagonists. In fact, the United States is not its place of origin.

The pastramiwhich is not a product in itself (the product is red veal), but a process of salting y smoked very laborious, has crossed borders and centuries to become, today, one of the favorite dishes of the most demanding palates. foodies of our country.

A sausage of Jewish origin

The origin of pastrami is Jewishand it was the Jews from Eastern European countries such as Romania or Hungary who ‘took him’ to the U.S. in the second half of the 19th century (prior passage through Israel).

This year you are sure to get it right with this guide.

The reason why they devised this ‘curated’ way. handcrafted was the need to preserve the meat when there were no modern systems of refrigeration. In fact, etymologically, ‘pastrama’ in Romanian means ‘to preserve’.

As David Katz explains to 20minutesowner of the Katz Madrid restaurant specializing in pastrami: “It is a dish that is originally poor. It has a very complex elaboration because Jewish cooking is very complex. And, although the vast majority of it is made with red meat, from the breast of the vealwe can find very tasty turkey or chicken pastramis as well”.

David adds, “it is a method that has been created under the law. kosher. Jews may not eat meat with blood or sinew. The brine disinfects the meat and bleeds it. With the evolution of the times, to this brine is added seasonings that will make the meat, at the end of smoking, have an incredible variety of flavors.”

To the red meat for pastrami, spices are added.
To red meat for pastrami, spices are added.
Getty Images

Healthy lean meat

Pastrami is a lean meat quite healthy, if we take into account that very energetic (20 grams of protein per 100 grams of product, which guarantees the essential amino acids) and not very high in calories as it provides hardly any carbohydrates (100 grams, 140 calories).

Roast chicken

The traditional form of consumption of pastrami is in. sandwich or sandwich, but if we consume it without bread, we will be providing our organism with an extra dose of vitamins C and Aas well as ironpotassium, phosphorus and selenium (the latter has a high antioxidant power). The downside? The brine gives it high doses of sodium (like many sausages), so it is advisable not to abuse its consumption.

The key to pastrami: smoking.

Although there is the possibility that we smoke it in the oven at home, the artisanal smoking of pastrami “is done at ovens very large special ovens, for 8 to 10 hours at low temperature. The ideal firewood is the white oak“. There are also those who bake it, but according to the expert, “this is not the traditional method nor the one that obtains the best results”.

The stove area is one of the areas that accumulates the most fat.

Making pastrami authentic requires two phases, continues Katz: “in the first phase, the piece of meat is wrapped in brine (best kosher salt, with higher than usual nitrate without industrial processing). Add water, garlic, onions, coriander seeds, brown sugar (although I prefer panela), black pepper, mustard seeds, red chili flakes, paprika, a pinch of cloves, ground ginger, cinnamon and of course bay leaf (which helps break down the collagen in the meat).”

Example of a pastrami tasting platter, with cheese.
Example of a pastrami tasting platter, with cheese.

“The second phase, once the salt, which must have remained on for a week, has been removed, is smoked to disinfect. Here we add again spicesand leave it for hours in the smoker oven. We leave it rest and, in a couple of days, it is perfect for consumption”, concludes David from KATZ Madrid.

Dishes in a tupper.

The most traditional recipe

If the pastrami is well made, “with the time and procedures it requires,” the most authentic thing to understand its origin is to take it in the form of sandwich Or sandwich. “For me, the best bread possible, (although in the past they used to use rye bread because it was the cheapest) is the glass bread, which combines perfectly with the tender texture of the thin slices of the pastrami. There’s only one thing to add: a well-made mustard sauce, the perfect pairing,” says Katz.

Good pastrami should be accompanied by pickles.
Good pastrami must be accompanied by pickles.
Katz Madrid

If you ever ask for pastrami at a good restaurantelaborated in a handcrafted way, the most orthodox is that they serve it with a mustard-based sauce, and with some pickles pickles. Do you know why? “To reduce the fatty feel of the meat, and relieve possible heaviness, is most typical,” the expert concludes.

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Kayleigh Williams