What Is Pastrami?

You might be wondering what to have for lunch, so you make a regular ham or turkey sandwich, which is fine but do you ever wish you could have some variety?

What Is Pastrami?

Some pastrami meat could offer you a smoky, spicy, tangy delight that you’ll want to pack into any sandwiches or platters you make in the future?

But what is it exactly, and are there different ways of preparing it?

In this article, we’ll give you the lowdown on this smoked treat and show you different uses for your pastrami, so you can experiment a bit or keep it simple if you prefer.

If you’re ready to put those other meats aside for a bit, read on to find out more.

In Simple Terms, What Is Pastrami?

This food originates from Romania and is usually made from beef brisket but can sometimes come from lamb (You might want to check out muttons here) or turkey.

The way it’s made is by having the raw meat brined, partially dried, and then seasoned with herbs and spices, and you’ll often see this served in delicatessen restaurants.

This was an excellent way to preserve meat before refrigeration was utilised, and today it’s simpler than ever to prepare your pastrami from beef brisket.

In many supermarkets, you can find finely sliced versions and platters that serve it alongside salami and smoked cheese.

You can also find different countries’ versions of this meat as they offer accompaniments that offer different flavours and mixes, so you have a good variety of ways you can prepare pastrami.

What Can I Do With Pastrami?

You might be thinking about your next meal and wondering how you can find ways to incorporate pastrami into them.

Below we have offered some options that can serve most meal requirements and may even surprise you with what you can do with them.

As A Sandwich

This is the most common use for pastrami, as you can bundle it into any sandwich or bagel, which is great for a quick breakfast (You might want to check out Continental Breakfasts here)or lunchtime snack, but there are different combinations you could try.

For a start, you could place it into a sandwich using rye bread, spread a little mustard, and serve alongside pickles for that elevated flavour that highlights the smoky nature of pastrami. 

In A Salad

If you’re keeping an eye on your figure, you can combine a mixture of your favourite lettuces and vegetables, some pickled olives, and some vinaigrette sauce.

This can be a filling meal that is going to be 235 calories per serving, so tucking into this in moderation alongside other healthy foods can keep that diet on track.

On A Pizza

What Is Pastrami?

If you’re tired of store-bought pizzas and want to make something that the whole family can get involved with the family and it might even be the combination you never knew you wanted.

You can use any dough and prebake your crust and then add your pastrami, and you can try things like buffalo chicken, caramelised onions, some prosciutto, or even some jalapenos for good measure.

You could also go for turkey pastrami that has lower fat and a good amount of protein, so go wild, and we’ll let you debate whether pineapple works on pizza or not (You might also want to check out the Stromboli here).

With An Omelette 

The inclusion of pastrami in an omelette is a game changer as it can add that much-needed flavour that you’ve been looking for.

You could go for a Turkish-themed recipe which includes finely chopped onions, tinned or fresh tomatoes, garlic cloves, eggs, freshly ground black pepper, and fresh mint leaves.

You can use a pan to get it to a doneness that you’re happy with and put some chopped parsley in there for good measure, and you could try different herbs and combinations, so you’re going to be busy in that kitchen of yours.

In A Soup

If you’re looking for a quick snack or want a warming meal for those cold days, nothing is stopping you from using pastrami in a soup with white beans, potato, cabbage, pickles, or split peas.

You can add all your ingredients in a large pot over high heat, or you can slow cook it in case you aren’t sitting for a meal till later on, and the good thing is that you can use ham or turkey pastrami, and these combinations still taste as good.

You can even add some cheese or croutons that have a traditional but creamier and flavorful taste if you’re willing to try something different for mealtimes.

As A One-Pot

Enrich those weeknight dinners with a pastrami and sweet potato hash, and all you need are peeled and cut sweet potatoes, olive oil, smoked paprika, red onion, garlic cloves, thyme, pastrami slices, and flat-leaf parsley.

All you need to do is heat the sweet potatoes in a pan with seasoning, add the pastrami and fry it all together for 5 minutes until it all begins to look nice and crispy.

You can add a poached egg on the top, and this meal is perfect if you’re following a gluten-free diet.


Now you know more about this smoked meat, it might be worth noting here that as it’s high in cholesterol, which is the case for processed meats, it should be consumed alongside a healthy and balanced diet that has fruit and vegetables, carbohydrates, protein, dairy and other fats and oils and spreads.

You also want to supplement this with a healthy lifestyle, and you can look to turkey pastrami if you’re looking for an alternative that will keep your cholesterol levels under control.

It’s no question that any of these choices sound delicious, and while making them, you might even come up with some of your own ideas.

Note that as it has a smoky kind of flavour, you want to find combinations that compliment it, otherwise, you may risk overdoing it a tad. Have fun, and thank you for reading.

Jeff Pratt
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