Pastrami Sandwiches with Onion Rings and Quick Pickles
Pastrami on rye is the ultimate classic Jewish deli sandwich that I loved eating late at night at Katz's when I lived in New York. Pastrami is made from either the deckel, navel, or brisket cut of beef, and is brined, smoked, and steamed, which infuses it with sooo much addictive flavor. In this version I topped mine with onion rings because YOLO. They add crunch and sweetness too.
Combine the salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pickling spice, mustard seeds, pink curing salt, garlic and 1 tablespoon coriander in a large pot. Add 3 quarts water. Bring to a simmer and cook to dissolve the sugar and salt. Add 3 quarts cold water. Let cool to room temperature. Add the brisket, then weigh down with a plate and cover the pot. Refrigerate for 3 days. (If your refrigerator is too small to hold the pot, you can cut the brisket in half and refrigerate in 2 smaller containers as well.)
When you are ready to cook the brisket, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Arrange a rack in a roasting pan. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Coarsely crush the peppercorns and the remaining 1/4 cup coriander seeds in a spice grinder. Pour into a small bowl and stir in the smoked paprika. Remove the meat from the brine and rinse briefly. Pat dry. Pat the spice mixture all over and set the meat in the roasting pan, fat side up. Pour the boiling water in the bottom of the pan (don't let it touch the meat). Cover the roasting pan tightly with foil. Roast until the meat is very tender, about 3 hours. Carefully remove the foil and roast 10 more minutes to dry out the crust slightly.
Slice the warm pastrami. Serve on rye bread with deli mustard and Onion Rings and Pickles on the side. (This pastrami can also be made ahead. To reheat, thinly slice and set over a steamer, or microwave covered with a damp paper towel.)
Heat 1 inch oil in a pan to 350 degrees F.
Set the flour in a bowl, eggs in a second bowl, and combine the panko and regular breadcrumbs in a third. Dredge the onions in the flour first, followed by the eggs and finally the breadcrumbs, then pan-fry until golden brown, a few minutes on each side. Remove to a rack to drain and stay crispy and season with salt.
Combine the vinegar, salt, mustard seeds, granulated sugar, peppercorns, garlic and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan. Layer the cucumbers, chiles and dill sprigs in a jar or other lidded container. Bring the vinegar mixture to a simmer and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour over the cucumbers. Let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours. (The pickles will keep a week or more in the refrigerator.)