Heaven in a Sandwich: Corned Beef/Pastrami Sandwich

black pastrami on dark rye

 I am in love with brisket. It is such a versatile cut of meat that when cooked properly, with any spice and seasoning...it’s going to be good. Even better when its trapped between 2 fresh slices of rye. I’m speaking in particular of corned beef, and pastrami. Anyone who’s ever been to NYC has tried Katz’s...right? I would hope so. I am what you call a reuben crazy, fall to my knees weak when I see corned beef kind of person. There is just nothing like a good corned beef sandwich.

So, what is corned beef? Basically it starts with of course...brisket (navel end or plate), brined in a pickling liquid of nitrates, salt, spices, for about 3 weeks. Then its steamed till its meltingly tender. Pastrami, is corned beef, but smoked after its been brined with pepper and coriander, then steamed till it too is tender and irresistible.

You know what else is irresistible...when I found out that my other half loved corned beef sandwiches nearly as much as I did... I knew he was a keeper. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one with reuben cravings, piled up high with sauerkraut and oozing emmenthaler cheese.

But even I have not attempted to make my own corned beef or pastrami...yet. This is how I make it at home, with my take on russian dressing.

i think that's your stomach i hear

Corned Beef/Pastrami Sandwiches
2 servings

4 slices dark rye (marble rye is good too)
1/2 lb (deli, fresh) corned beef or black pastrami
4 slices of emmenthaler, or swiss cheese
1 C drained sauerkraut

Russian dressing

2 T sweet pickle relish
1 T worchestire sauce
1 1/2 t celery seeds
1/2 C tomato ketchup
1/4 chilli sauce
2 T whole grain mustard
1/4 C mayo
1 T dijon mustard
a few cracks of the peppper mill

Mix all dressing ingredients together and set in the fridge till ready to use.
Slather a healthy dollop of dressing onto one side of each slice of bread. First lay the corned beef or pastrami on one slice of the bread, I go up about 1 1/2 inches of meat, then lay the sauerkraut on top, top with slices of cheese and place it in the toaster oven on 350 until the cheese has melted. Place the other slice of bread and toast for another minute or so. Carefully remove and eat with pickles if desired!


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