You might be unsure of which meat to use for your sandwich when deciding between corned beef and pastrami. Despite the fact that both are beef cuts, they are used, prepared, and cooked differently. Here is all the information you require regarding the tastiest cuts if you enjoy these Jewish delicatessens.
What Is Corned Beef?
Irish communities produced corned beef, which is frequently served on St. St. Patrick’s Day and cabbage, such as in the above Corned Beef and Cabbage A Reuben sandwich also contains a significant amount of corned beef, and Corned Beef Hash can be made with the leftovers.
Brisket that has been boiled or slowly cooked after being cured in a salt solution is known as corned beef. Large, coarse salt pellets known as “corns” were used to dry-cure substantial beef brisket cuts, giving rise to the name of the dish. The brine also contains herbs, spices, and water, such as bay leaf, black peppercorn, mustard seed, dried red pepper, and coriander. The flat cut of brisket is frequently used because it is leaner and simpler to slice. Visit our What is Corned Beef primer to learn more about how corned beef is made.
For sandwiches like this Marathon Sandwich or these Pastrami Football Finger Sandwiches, pastrami is a mainstay at delis, typically Jewish American delis.
Beef brisket is used to make pastrami, which is then steamed after being cold-smoked, spice-coated, and cured. Crushed black pepper, coriander, mustard seeds, garlic, and other spices that might be present in a pickling spice blend are frequently found in the thick spice coating on pastrami.
Corned Beef vs Pastrami: What Are the Similarities?
Brisket is used to make both corned beef and pastrami, which are brined in a salt and spice solution before cooking. Both corned beef and pastrami use the same spices in the brine, which typically consists of garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, brown sugar, coriander seeds, allspice, cloves, mustard seeds, and occasionally a cinnamon stick. The salt mixture includes Kosher salt and a small amount of pink curing salts, such as InstaCure #1 or Prague Powder #1, which helps prevent microbial growth and safely cure the meat. Additionally, these curing salts impart the reddish-pink hue and pronounced savory flavor profile to corned beef and pastrami.
A traditional boiled dinner of cabbage, potatoes, onions, and carrots with corned beef
Corned Beef vs Pastrami: What Are the Differences?
Although both pastrami and corned beef are made from beef cuts and brined before cooking, there are a number of important distinctions between the two.
- Because of its Irish heritage, corned beef is frequently served on St. Patrick’s Day.
- Romania, where pastrama was made with beef, veal, or mutton, or Turkey, where pastirma was made with beef, are the two places where pastrami is thought to have originated.
- Corned beef is made from the leaner flat brisket.
- The point brisket, which has more fat and marbling, is used to make pastrami. Other beef cuts, such as deckle (a lean shoulder cut) and navel (also known as beef belly, which comes from the plate, a juicy section just below the ribs), can also be used to make pastrami.
- Other than the spices in the brine, corned beef is not seasoned before cooking.
- Pastrami is coated with a spice mixture after it has been cured, and the typical ingredients are black pepper, garlic, coriander, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds.
- Following brining, corned beef is simmered or boiled, occasionally with vegetables like cabbage, potatoes, and carrots as part of a boiled dinner.
- Pastrami is brined, then smoked and steamed.
- Pastrami has a softer texture than corned beef because it is leaner. It has a balanced, savory and meaty flavor.
- Pastrami is more fall-apart tender than corned beef. It tastes richer, saltier and smokier.
- Corned beef is sliced thickly for Reuben sandwiches or thickly cut to go with cabbage and other boiled vegetables like turnips, potatoes, and carrots.
- More thinly sliced pastrami is piled onto deli sandwiches, frequently on rye bread.
Pastrami vs. Corned Beef
Is a Reuben sandwich made with corned beef or pastrami?
On marble or regular rye bread, a Reuben sandwich is typically made with corned beef, sauerkraut, and Russian or Thousand Island dressing. But then it just wouldn’t be a traditional reuben, would it? In the end, you can’t go wrong with either of these flavor-packed meats!
Which is better corned beef or pastrami?
Although pastrami and corned beef both contain similar amounts of protein and fat in terms of nutrition, they differ in terms of salt content. Compared to pastrami, corned beef has a higher sodium content. Because of this, many individuals believe pastrami to be more flavorful and healthy than corned beef.
Is pastrami the same as corned beef?
Corned beef is made from the leaner flat brisket. The point brisket, which has more fat and marbling, is used to make pastrami. Other beef cuts, such as deckle (a lean shoulder cut) and navel (also known as beef belly, which comes from the plate, a juicy section just below the ribs), can also be used to make pastrami.
Is corned beef the same as pastrami for Jews?
Beef, usually brisket, is used to make preserved meats like pastrami and corned beef. In delis and sandwich shops, both pastrami and corned beef are sliced and served. But there is one significant distinction between these comparable Jewish deli meats: pastrami is smoked, whereas corned beef is not.