Ugly Drum Pastrami, Troubadour Bread & Bistro Sourdough and Senses Wines RR Pinot
Would a Ruben made from Pastrami still taste as sweet?
Pastrami, raw cabbage, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and Yecora Rojo is not a Ruben. For that you need sauerkraut, corned beef, and rye. But I don’t really like all that, and it seems like most people do. Maybe it’s okay to be a little different. I think if you make fries too that helps.
Corned Beef is from Ireland and while nobody really knows where Pastrami comes from, most people think it is Romania. That’s not necessarily why I like one more than the other. There are nonprovincial reasons I like one more than the other. It mostly has to do with the prep and the cook. Corned beef is made from the leaner part of the brisket and pastrami comes from the point of the brisket where there is more marbling. Then the pastrami is spiced and smoked while corned beef is just boiled. Not really a fair fight.
I’ve made this Rubenesque sandwich once before, and I have learned a few things since. I can’t remember when or where I was; those things can matter in the telling of the tale. I can remember with whom I was with but asking them about it might look bad for me. I wouldn’t want them to think they were unremarkable or that I can’t remember for other reasons. Like the impact of severe stress early in life (e.g., the Bear’s Christmas episode) that sets back the development of the brain’s hippocampus, a structure crucial for memory. Fortunately, I do remember the mistakes I made. I’ll have to think on that.
I made the sandwich in Healdsburg this time using Yecora Rojo from Troubadour Bread & Bistro. The only thing better than the sandwiches is the bread. The sourdough is slightly most and springy with a flaky crumb, perfect for this use.
For the pastrami, once you defrost the Ugly Drum, make sure to reheat it low and slow or it will lose moisture. Give yourself enough heating time just in case you need more. The instructions say 90 min at 300, but that it could take a lot longer depending on the conditions. I’m assuming that’s a legal disclaimer. It’s a long cook time, but if you have window in your Healdsburg kitchen there’s probably a vineyard somewhere out there that you can gaze upon to take your mind off the wait. I’m going to recommend Senses. I couldn’t see it from the kitchen, but I could drink it. Specifically, 2019 Russian River Pinot.
Penultimately, when you make the spicy Russian dressing don’t go crazy with the Sriracha. It’s not 1 to 1 with the mayo. It’s a little less. Otherwise, mouths will be on fire and you chance blowing the palette.
Lastly, for the fries makes sure you have enough room in the pan to fit them (do them in bunches) or they will stick together. For the first round of frying, you need to take them out carefully, so they don’t break. A flat spatula is going to work better than tongs. Remember, fries you must fry twice. Once at 300 for 5 min so they will cook all the way through, and then a second time for a few minutes at 400 so they will crisp.