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How to Make Wexler’s Deli Pastrami Sandwich in 8 Simple Steps
LA Magazine ^ | 5/15/2014 | Garrett Snyder

Posted on 05/17/2014 10:42:20 AM PDT by nickcarraway

We deconstruct Micah Wexler's "O.G." pastrami at Grand Central Market

To put a spin on the famous Carl Sagan quote, if you would like to make a pastrami sandwich from scratch, you must first invent the universe.

That’s not to say that former Mezze chef Micah Wexler and his team at Wexler's Deli are inventing the cosmos at their new-wave Jewish delicatessen inside Grand Central Market, but in deli terms they may be closer to it than anyone else in town (other than the grad students at CalTech, perhaps).

Order "The O.G." ($10) and you’ll experience the pastrami sandwich—first brought to New York by Jewish-Romanian immigrants in the 1870s—in its purest, most elemental form: two slices of fresh-baked rye bread, house-cured and smoked pastrami, and a generous swipe of mustard. That's all, baby.

If you have the necessary time, dedication, and—most of all—skill, you could technically recreate the sandwich using the steps below. But let’s be honest, you’re better off letting Wexler’s Deli do the work. They have egg creams and half-sours, after all.

1. Bake rye bread Wexler had Hawthorne-based Etxea Basque Bakery prepare his own recipe for a caraway-speckled traditional Jewish rye baked on hearthstone. Baker Charlie Garacochea, whose great-grandfather immigrated from the Pyrenees to open a bakery in Venice in 1908, provides Wexler’s Deli with 10 to 15 massive six pound loaves everyday.

2. Buy whole slabs of brisket Wexler (who uses around 150 lbs of brisket per day) orders his meat from a ranch in Colorado, where the cows are sustainably raised without hormones or antibiotics. The corn-finished meat is nicely marbled and has a snowy white cap of fat on top, which ensures the meat remains moist and flavorful.

3. Brine for three days The trimmed brisket gets a long bath in curing salt and pickling spices. What comes out of the brine can then be steamed and turned into corned beef, which Wexler’s Deli also serves as a sandwich. But this batch is destined for the smoker.

4. Let sit for a day. Rub generously with spices The meat is allowed to dry by sitting in the fridge for a day. This helps the coat of spices applied afterward—black pepper most prominently—to form a beautifully thick crust during the smoking.

5. Smoke for three hours The cured and dried brisket luxuriates in a smoky sauna for three hours, officially turning it into pastrami and developing a distinctive blackened appearance.

6. Slice very carefully Brisket cuts consist of two parts, Wexler explains, the deckle and the flat. The latter section is fattier and the former is leaner. The brisket is sliced with a very sharp knife so as to include a little bit of each. Slices are cut thick, but not too thick. You don't want to be eating a pastrami steak, Wexler explains.

7. Spread mustard onto bread After sampling dozens of mustards, Wexler chose Kosciusko, a spicy brown Polish mustard from Chicago. It has enough sharpness to give your sinuses a nudge without overwhelming them.

8. Assemble and ess gesunt!


TOPICS: Food
KEYWORDS: pastrami

1 posted on 05/17/2014 10:42:20 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway


2 posted on 05/17/2014 10:50:58 AM PDT by JoeProBono (SOME IMAGES MAY BE DISTURBING VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED;-{)
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To: nickcarraway

Sounds like a lot of work.


3 posted on 05/17/2014 10:54:30 AM PDT by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
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To: JoeProBono

Yum!!!!


4 posted on 05/17/2014 10:56:54 AM PDT by Jane Long (While Marxists continue the fundamental transformation of the USA, progressive RINOs assist!)
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To: nickcarraway

Be nice if there was a way around all that smoking step, otherwise making corned beef would get you most of the way there.


5 posted on 05/17/2014 10:59:30 AM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: nickcarraway

Oy gevalt!

:^)


6 posted on 05/17/2014 11:05:04 AM PDT by elcid1970
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To: nickcarraway

Or you could go to Langer’s.


7 posted on 05/17/2014 11:23:07 AM PDT by reagandemocrat
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To: doorgunner69

Interesting timing as I’ve just been researching homemade pastrami recipes.
There was one that did not require a smoker. They oven-smoked it somehow.
I plan to try making pastrami next week. Have to time it properly as the smoker phase needs to occur on a weekend when I can attend it.


8 posted on 05/17/2014 11:26:41 AM PDT by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
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To: JoeProBono

Now you’ve done it. Off to search for something to eat.


9 posted on 05/17/2014 11:30:48 AM PDT by Lurkina.n.Learnin
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To: Lurkina.n.Learnin

Bookmark


10 posted on 05/17/2014 11:38:14 AM PDT by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good grace to resign!)
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To: reagandemocrat

Or Toojays here in FL.


11 posted on 05/17/2014 11:42:26 AM PDT by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
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To: nickcarraway

Mouth is watering !


12 posted on 05/17/2014 12:08:35 PM PDT by hoosiermama (Obama: "Born in Kenya" Lying now or then or now)
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To: nickcarraway

Oh boy - I think I’d KILL right now for a nice thick pastrami on rye (hold the mustard) from the Carnegie Deli. Like holding heaven in your hands.


13 posted on 05/17/2014 6:53:48 PM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you´re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: TrueKnightGalahad

“Oh boy - I think I’d KILL right now for a nice thick pastrami on rye (hold the mustard)

Hold the mustard??? I think that’s sacrilegious. :-)

.


14 posted on 05/17/2014 6:58:26 PM PDT by Mears
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To: Mears
A great samich never needs additional flavorings or dressings! No mustard, no mayonnaise, no relish or 'secret sauce.' The very best burger I ever had, at Nebraska Steakhouse in NYC, not only needed no ketchup, but even salt and pepper would have been a shanda on that wondrously delicious pile of meat and bread. I submit that a Carnegie Deli pastrami on rye can be the very definition of the Platonic Ideal. Never mess with perfection! Would Heaven hang aluminum siding on the Pearly Gates? :-)
15 posted on 05/17/2014 9:04:00 PM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you´re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: FlJoePa

Toojays? Where is that? I’m in Florida, and always interested in visiting the great food oases.


16 posted on 05/17/2014 9:06:29 PM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you´re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: TrueKnightGalahad

” I submit that a Carnegie Deli pastrami on rye can be the very definition of the Platonic Ideal. Never mess with perfection! Would Heaven hang aluminum siding on the Pearly Gates? :-).

You’re making me hungry-—I haven’t been to The Carnegie Deli in YEARS. (I’d still want spicy brown mustard,though.)We had a deli near us that had the best Rumanian pastrami I ever had-—but they closed. C’est la vie.

.

.


17 posted on 05/17/2014 9:33:49 PM PDT by Mears
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To: TrueKnightGalahad
Toojays is a jewish deil chain based out of Palm Beach. I think they stretch as far north as Orlando and as far south as Broward. Nothing great, but pretty solid food. Good breakfast spot.
18 posted on 05/18/2014 9:51:44 AM PDT by FlJoePa ("Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won't taste good")
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To: nickcarraway
two slices of fresh-baked rye bread, house-cured and smoked pastrami, and a generous swipe of mustard. That's all, baby.

I realize doing so doesn't make it kosher anymore but that's OK, I'm not Jewish. You gotta add swiss cheese.

19 posted on 05/18/2014 10:48:53 AM PDT by Drew68
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To: TrueKnightGalahad
Would Heaven hang aluminum siding on the Pearly Gates? :-)

It would depend I guess, on how good the salesman was...
20 posted on 05/18/2014 11:55:09 AM PDT by Delta Dawn (Fluent in two languages: English and cursive.)
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To: FlJoePa

Thanks. Their online menu looks pretty good. Too bad the closest one is more than an hour away; still, when the urge to nosh strikes, what’s a few extra miles? :-)


21 posted on 05/19/2014 2:35:50 AM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you´re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: TrueKnightGalahad

http://books.google.com/books?id=f2yn0T8U-a8C&pg=PA317&lpg=PA317&dq=plato+relishes&source=bl&ots=qOuF9h64-C&sig=Fgb0JFmbugHEetckXrCCF7Gsu2c&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ntF5U-jdGKLKsQSHk4KoCg&ved=0CFYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=plato%20relishes&f=false


22 posted on 05/19/2014 2:40:56 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

LOL - that was a brilliant addition to the discourse. But did you see where Socrates conflates “relishes” (which in his healthy society were barred) with “incense, perfumes, prostitutes, and pastries?” Exactly, exactly. Relish leads to hippies, harlots, gluttony and other venery, the downfall of morality and healthy living! The restoration and well-being of our Republic requires, nay, demands, that all relishes be shunned to preserve our virtue! A new Movement is born!


23 posted on 05/19/2014 2:18:00 PM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you´re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: TrueKnightGalahad

Ah, but Socrates would have relishes—just not all the luxuries that could further be justified. In my reading, he draws the line at a good pickle.


24 posted on 05/19/2014 3:00:33 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

See how far the corruption has spread? Et tu, Socrates? In his defense, I would note that he was importuned to make a concession anent relishes - his original conception rightly rejected those noxious things. Obviously he was being sarcastic - as he must have known, as ALL good people know, there’s no such thing as a “good pickle.” They’re ALL evil, foul-smelling, horrible-tasting odious things, ugly to the eye and repugnant to the tongue.


25 posted on 05/20/2014 12:24:37 AM PDT by TrueKnightGalahad (When you´re racing, it’s life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting.)
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To: TrueKnightGalahad

That’s right, go ahead—put words in the bepickled mouth of an old man who’s been dead for thousands of years!

;-)


26 posted on 05/20/2014 12:28:14 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Mears
Hold the mustard??? I think that’s sacrilegious. :-)

Sacrilegious??? That's off with their heads time!

27 posted on 05/20/2014 12:40:40 AM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (I live in NJ....' Nuff said!)
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