Three Ways To Celebrate The Versatility Of Pastrami

17 February 2016
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At the mention of pastrami, most people envision a sandwich piled high with shaved meat between two slices of rye bread with sauerkraut and even pickles. Unfortunately, since pastrami has become so synonymous with these deli sandwiches, many people overlook how versatile it can be in many other recipes. Here are a few great ways to serve up pastrami without having to reach for the rye.

Diced Pastrami and Potato Hash

Warm two tablespoons of coconut oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add in two cups of pre-cooked, diced potatoes and a half-cup each of thin sliced sweet onion and diced green bell pepper. Season the mixture with about a teaspoon of paprika and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook all of this in an even layer in the pan so that the bottom can start to crisp up, about four minutes. Then, add a cup or so of diced pastrami. Stir the mixture so that you can crisp both sides, creating a crunch on the outside of the potatoes and heating the meat thoroughly, about five more minutes.

While the hash is cooking, cook a couple of eggs in your favorite manner. This dish is typically best with poached or over-medium eggs so that you get a soft-set yolk. Divide the hash between four dishes, then top each one with an egg. Season to taste with more salt and pepper to finish the dish.

Pastrami and Swiss Egg Rolls

If you enjoy the classic flavors of the sandwich but you want something that shakes things up, start with wonton wrappers instead. Lay several wonton wrappers out flat and fill the centers with finely shredded pastrami and shredded Swiss cheese. A couple of tablespoons of each should be sufficient. You can even add a little bit of sauerkraut or pickles if you're really adventurous. Then, fold the top side down over the filling, pressing it flat on either side. Do the same on the bottom. Roll the wrapper as tight as you can get it, using a bit of beaten egg yolk if necessary to moisten the wrapper edge and seal it.

Fry the egg roll in a quarter-inch of oil in a cast-iron fry pan for about five minutes per side, or until it is golden brown all the way around. You can deep fry it for four to five minutes instead, if you prefer. Serve the egg rolls with a dipping sauce of Thousand Island-style dressing.

Pastrami Tacos

Another great way to use pastrami is to host a taco night. You can shred cabbage or lettuce, whichever you prefer. Use diced, sliced or shredded pastrami in crispy corn taco shells, then top it with shredded Swiss or Colby Jack cheese. Add the lettuce or cabbage and any other preferred veggies, then drizzle it with a horseradish aioli sauce for a bit of a kick.

As an alternative to the corn shell, you can even bake flour tortillas over your oven rack to create a crunchy flour shell. Or deep-fry flour tortillas and turn the tacos into a tostada-style dish. Either way, your family is sure to see pastrami in a whole new light after a dish like this.

If you're looking for unique ways to present pastrami to your friends and family, these recipes are a great way to do just that. You can even come up with your own options. Think about the dishes that you typically use more flavorful meats in or dishes that would be complemented by the salty, smoky flavor of the pastrami. Dishes with cream sauces are great for pastrami, as are things like pastrami soups with clear broth and dumplings. Look for a pastrami supplier in your area to get quality meat for your next dish.