Pastrami Sandwich – few people know that pastrami is of Romanian origin. A Romanian-Jew moved to New York in around 1870, and brought a recipe for mutton ‘pastrama’ with him, in an attempt to keep in touch with his homeland. The story goes that one day, when this Romanian planed to visit his home again, he left his belongings with his friend Sussman Volk for safeguarding. He gave him the recipe for pastrami in return for this favour. By that time, the recipe involved beef, goose, or any other meat, since mutton was not readily available.
Sussman Volk put this delicacy in a sandwich, marking the birth of the famous New York pastrami sandwich. Katz deli shop also claims to have introduced the pastrami on rye bread. It is always going to be controversial, but I’m happy that our name is in there, too.
In Romanian restaurants, pastrama is always made with mutton meat. It is chunkier, cured in salt and grilled on the BBQ. It is served with pickles, polenta, and drizzled with garlic sauce.
This sandwich is my version of the New York style. It is made with pretzel bun, pan-fried mutton bacon from the Fruit Pig Company, Emmental cheese (for its nutty flavour), and pickled gherkins.