NYC's Pastrami is a special type of beef pastrami manufactured according to an old method, lost by the Romanians and saved by the Jews who migrated to America by the end of the 19th century. Its taste, softness, and succulence make today's “Romanian Pastrami” one of the delicacies across the ocean that the gourmets everywhere seek. At Schitu-Golești, in Argeș County, all operations are done manually, like 100 years ago, brining lasts for weeks, the ingredients have remained the same, with no “auxiliary” additives or injections, the only touch of the technology being the deep-smoking area with natural beech wood sawdust in a digitally controlled cell. The raw material comes only from veal meat, either half-bred or purebred. The manufacturing conditions are at the highest European standards, the production unit being certified for the quality, food safety, and environmental management systems: ISO9001, ISO22000, and ISO14001.
Preparation of the pastrami
THE PREPARATION OF NYC'S PASTRAMI - PREPARATION METHOD
This type of pastrami is usually warm served. For this, the pastrami as supplied by Atelier LKS, in vacuum, chilled or frozen, requires a steam boiling. We strongly recommend simple steaming, in a pot, on the stove, as we did for the tasting. Of course, steaming can also be done in the convection oven, set to 100% steaming at least.
THE STEAMING POT
The choice of the pot depends on the quantity and production time requirements. For faster preparation, use a pressure pot, with the obvious quantitative limitations arising from it. Larger quantities can be prepared in an medium-high stainless steel pot with lid, with the diameter up to 60 cm.
NOTE: The use of a normal pot results in a more succulent pastrami, as the pressure pot “squeezes” the meat to a small extent.
STEAMING IN A CONVECTION OVEN
Ideally, the pastrami should still sit on the support, above the water on the bottom of the tray. The convection oven must be set to 100% steaming at least.
The time varies depending on the chosen pot (either a pressure pot or not), the material it is made of (stainless steel or aluminium), the size of the gas ring, the fire intensity, and especially the texture you may like. For example, if you like it more al dente, 50 minutes in the pressure pot are enough, on average fire. If you like it very soft, on the American model, the pastrami should be steamed under pressure between 1h and 1h 30min (on the same heat source). At atmospheric pressure in a normal pot, the above times are extended by approx. 50%.
Inside, it must exceed 90˚C.
PREPARATION FOR STEAMING
A few litres of water are needed. The amount of water is important, it should not run dry; in addition it will become a soup that will be used in the preparation and preservation process. The meat is placed on a stand-spacing of at least 7-10 cm high, which can be a stainless steel or glass bowl, rice plating rings, a fryer sieve put upside down, etc. You can find special steaming sieves that lean against the edge of the pot.
During the whole steaming process, the pot has to be covered! The operator will check the level of the soup and add water if necessary. After the pastrami reaches the desired consistency, the steaming support is extracted from the pot, leaving the pastrami submerged in the soup to keep it hydrated. Of course, after the first attempt, depending on the pot, gas stove, time, quantity and aimed consistency, the cook will arrive at a routine that will never fail.
Remove the pastrami from the soup and, if it is very hot, let it rest for 5-10 minutes on a preferably wooden cutting board. Be careful, if the pastrami is cut while very hot, the fibres may get loose like the pooled pork! With a long, sharp knife, cut the slices as thin as possible, perpendicular to the fibre. CAUTION: The whole piece contains the brisket point and plate. The chest head is tastier, thanks to the abundant fat, the muscle is fatless. Therefore, the cook will cut from both sides to make a mix, combining both types of meat in the same portion. Medium-fat is the most ordered in America in proportion of 80%.
In general, the pastrami is served in closed sandwiches (or wraps, quesadilla, omelettes, etc.) with mustard and pickles as a must (pickled cucumber in brine most of the time). The sauerkraut is borrowed from Reuben Sandwich. These are famous sandwiches that contain, on a case-by-case basis, butter, mayonnaise, matured cheese, caramelized onions, koleslaw, various sauces, etc. Sauces are like the imagination of the chef: unlimited! There are restaurants that serve it on a plate, simple or with fried potatoes – It is possible, we checked this, provided that the time of plating and delivery to the table is short. Holding the cut open for more than 15 minutes, while cooling, it tends to dry out.
STORAGE AND REFRIGERATION
In its own soup, the pastrami keeps warm for two to three hours. If the piece in the pot has not run out this while, the cook can reheat the soup. For preservation, the pastrami is cooled in the soup and can be put in the refrigerator completely, and can be reheated the next day – also on steam. Best! It can be stored in the refrigerator and sliced/ported in individual, slightly tied bags, in which several spoons of soup have been added. The bags are heated directly in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or the content is transferred into small heat-resistant bowls and heated in the oven for 15 minutes. Note: Instead of soup, butter may be used for reheating.