Homemade Corned Beef and Cabbage with Carrots and Potatoes
What's The Difference Between Corned Beef And Pastrami?
By Chandler Phillips
The New York delicatessen is a quintessential part of the American cultural identity as you can find foods that speak to their respective culture's story of immigration and adaptation of American identity. Two such time-honored deli counter essentials are corned beef and pastrami, which have some key differences that you should know.
The "corned" in corned beef refers to the kernels of salt used during the brining process to preserve the meat, as the recipe calls for a beef brisket that is saltwater-brined for several weeks, then slow-boiled, steamed, and carved. Although it's not a keystone dish in Ireland, corned beef's association with the Irish came from Great Famine-era Irish immigrants who delighted in finding abundant, affordable corned beef at kosher-style Jewish delis in America.
Pastrami resulted from Jewish immigrants' arrival in the U.S. from Eastern and Southeastern Europe, which blended Romanian and Turkish techniques. It is similar to corned beef as both use beef cuts that go through brining; however, pastrami is usually made with a fattier navel cut, and the meat is brined for weeks before being coated with spices, boiled for three hours, steamed, and carved to order.