Pastrami depends heavily on the spice blend applied to the cured corned beef. But the distinctive combination of flavors works wonders on goose or duck breast, on pork belly, on beef short ribs to name a few options. Below you can see the rub cooked and then uncooked.
Katz's Pastrami Rub Recipe
This rub is key for making good Pastrami, but you can also use it for all different cuts of meat.
Makes. A bit more than half a cup, enough for a whole beef brisket about 18 pounds with some leftover
Takes. 15 minutes.
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
2 tablespoons fresh coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
Options. The paprika mostly adds color. If you want to veer from the conventional and amp it up a bit, substitute ancho powder or American chili powder, but be careful, the black pepper and mustard supply an ample kick. You can leave anything out that you want except the black pepper and the coriander.
1) If you wish, you can use only powdered coriander, ground black pepper, and ground mustard, but I like using some whole seeds. If you are using some whole seeds, pour them into a zipper bag and smash them with the bottom of a sauce pan so they are "cracked" but not completely powdered.
2) Blend together all the spices. Rinse the meat, and while it is damp, apply the rub liberally, about 4 tablespoons per square foot of surface, and press it into the surface to help it adhere. If there is a thin part of meat, use less rub.
"Anytime a person goes into a delicatessen and orders a pastrami on white bread, somewhere a Jew dies."Milton Berle