This is your best guide to choosing between Pastrami and Corned Beef. It shows you the best ways you can use both to make delicious meals. By the end of this article, you would be able to know which is best suitable for making a particular type of meal.
More importantly, you would be able to make the right decision on purchasing the right beef needed to make your recipe.
Food can be amusing. Sometimes, different foods can be similar in taste. Other times, they become so mystical that we don’t understand them at all.
Only a few people can explain the difference between Pastrami and Corned Beef. There are some similarities in the way they are prepared; however, they are from different cuts of beef. In this article, we will discuss some of the important facts about Pastrami and Corned Beef.
Cow meat: Corned Beef vs Pastrami
Such inquiry has led us to contrast two types of meat everyone loves – The Pastrami and Corned Beef. These two are very popular staples in households, and corn beef, in particular, has a historical significance as it is eaten on Saint Patrick’s day.
To understand the origins of Pastrami and Corned Beef, we need to travel back in time to when our early fathers first dissected cows, and their flesh was considered a delicacy. Though these two slices of meat are gotten from cows, they have different compositions and are prepared differently.
Both slices of meat are cut in practically the same area in a cow; Corned Beef is the brisket area, while Pastrami is cut from the navel, slightly closer to the brisket on the abdominal section of the cow.
Both slices of meat are cured with a saltwater solution. In other cases, this saltwater solution (brine) can be seasoned with spices. While Corned Beef is cooked by first boiling, the Pastrami is smoked entirely.
A little history of Pastrami and Corned Beef
A lot of people claim that Corned Beef originated from Ireland since it is a staple for the celebration of Saint Patrick’s day in America. But the truth is, Corned Beef was first made by the Jews.
The Irish people learned to make it from the Jews when they migrated to America. Saint Patrick’s Day was originally celebrated with Bacon and cabbage, not beef and cabbage.
Because beef was considered very much cheap compared to Bacon, they were replaced. Corned Beef is really delicious; however, a lot of people don’t know the history behind it.
It’s funny how many even think Pastrami and Corned Beef are the same. That’s ridiculous, isn’t it?.
Though they look very similar and have the same salting process, there are some clear similarities between the two. Corned Beef got its name from the rock salts that were used to treat the meat before cooking back in the olden days.
Actually, it was Corned Beef that was used in making Pastrami. These days, however, things have changed a lot. Pastrami can now be prepared from beef brisket and even salmon.
Don’t get confused when you come across turkey pastrami, lox, or even chicken Pastrami. It only refers to various spices that are used to flavor a Pastrami to make it tastier.
Spices may include; pepper, salt, sugar, garlic, and so on. Aside from spices, you can mix with vegetables, chicken, potatoes, turkey, pork, and whatever you wish.
Serving Pastrami vs Corned Beef
There are no laid down ways to serve Pastrami. It is how creative you can get with your culinary skills. Most times, you will find Pastrami served with a sandwich. Most times, in its most basic version, it is served with rye.
Out of the several ways of serving Corned Beef, the most popular is serving with a sandwich. This is called the traditional corned beef serving.
In this traditional serving, some slices of rye bread are overlaid with salted pieces of meat. It may be served hot or cold. But serving hot is more preferred. An alternative to this is the Mustard.
This is when Swiss cheese, black rye, and sauerkraut are used as spice. Although the Mustard is optional, it still doesn’t change anything.
The last type of Corned Beef serving is the common one served with potatoes and cabbage-like the ones served on Saint Patrick’s day.
These days, you can get all the information you need on Corned Beef and Pastrami recipes from the internet. No one needs years of kitchen tutorials to make a delicious corned beef or pastrami meal. All you need is to follow some simple set of cooking instructions you can find all over the internet.
We mentioned that both Pastrami and Corned beef have to be cured before they are eaten, and we haven’t told you why. The reason is practical – to extend the longevity of the meat.
Decades ago, no one killed a big cow unless there is a big celebration, and there are lots of people to feed. After beef has been extracted from the cow, it will need to be preserved to prevent bacterial growth.
The most logical thing to do was to salt the meat. Salting was the most effective method of preservation at that period. They were no refrigerators or microwaves then.
After salting, the meat lasted longer than usual, going up to ten days without rotting.
In all fairness, we can’t say which is the better option between Corned Beef and Pastrami; however, the most popular seem to be Corned Beef. With many people even professing that they love both options dearly. You may also taste different varieties of each meat with different spices to see which is more suitable for your recipes. Try them out with different recipes to see for yourself, which one you love best.