One of the iconic meats of American Jewish cuisine and New York cuisine is hot pastrami on rye. Beef plate is the traditional cut of meat for making pastrami, but other cuts are also used. Pastrami is cured in brine, then coated with a mix of spices and herbs, and then smoked. Finally, the meat is steamed until the connective tissues within the meat break down into gelatin. At Wickedfood Earth after cooking, we chill the meat before slicing thinly and then vacuum pack to lock in the flavours.
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Our Pastrami comes from the Wickedfood Earth Farm where we butcher locally and package all our meat in-house, which ensures complete traceability from veld to table. We run a small herd of cattle, sheep and Kolbroek. All the animals that we use are veld-raised, and completely free-range, using no routine antibiotics and growth hormones or stimulants. Due to our natural farming practises, our animals take on average, twice as long to reach maturity as factory-farmed animals. This means that the muscles of the animals get to work, which ensures added flavour. We Dry-age the carcasses in a controlled environment. The process allows the water in the meat to evaporate, by between 10% and 15%, thus concentrating the flavour. We vacuum seal and flash freeze our meat to lock in freshness at its peak. On top of this our meat is on average ±15% below the cost of comparative cuts found on leading supermarket shelves. Making this Pastrami, we mostly use herbs and spices that are grown on our farm and grind fresh.