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Pastrami is a deli luncheon meat made from heavily seasoned beef. The seasonings are similar to those used in corned beef brisket, which gives the pastrami its sharp flavour. Dry-curing preserves the meat while adding more flavour to the pastrami. Dry-cured meats store reasonably well in the refrigerator, but freezing allows you to keep the pastrami even longer. Freezing dulls the flavour of the peppercorns and other spices used in the meat if the pastrami is stored improperly or for too long.
Wrap the pastrami tightly in plastic storage wrap. Leave pastrami whole if it isn't precut, as whole pastrami dries out more slowly in the freezer.
Place the wrapped pastrami in a freezer storage bag. Press as much air out of the bag as you can then seal it closed.
Store the pastrami in the freezer for up to two months. Longer storage causes a decline in flavour or freezer burn.
Thaw the pastrami in the refrigerator for 24 hours before use. Slow thawing in the fridge prevents the growth of harmful bacteria.
- Place sheets of waxed paper between individual slices of presliced pastrami before wrapping and freezing. The waxed paper allows you to remove a single slice at a time for use on sandwiches.
- Use a vacuum sealer to package the pastrami if you have access to one. The airtight packaging prolongs the storage life of the pastrami and helps keep the meat from losing flavour or quality.
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