Pastrami: It’s More Than A St. Patrick’s Day Meat

pastrami tips

Whether you celebrate your Irish heritage year-round or you’re just “Irish for the day,” St. Patrick’s Day is a time to spend time with friends, drink green beer, and eat some delicious St. Patrick’s Day meat! St. Patrick’s Day meat, you say? March 17 is the perfect day of the year to eat your beef and potatoes—just like your mother always told you to—because they’re damn delicious traditional Irish grub. 

What’s the history of Pastrami? What’s the best way to prep your pastrami if you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day from the comfort of your own home? Where can you get the best pastrami? Here’s everything you never knew about pastrami from your Lady Jaye experts, so you’re fully prepared this St. Patrick’s Day. 


You may be surprised to learn that beef, in general, wasn’t always a very common food in Ireland because cattle were in higher demand for working farms and milk production.


Only the elite—we’re talking kings and queens—would eat a type of salted beef on special days, like a celebration or a festival.


The British were actually responsible for the uptick in beef production in Ireland. According to Smithsonian Magazine, beef took on an Irish identity of its own after the “Cattle Acts of 1663 and 1667…prohibited the export of live cattle to England, which drastically flooded the Irish market and lowered the cost of meat available for salted beef production.”


Bar food can hit the spot in a pinch, but this St. Patrick’s Day, why not try your hand at cooking up a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Keep It Classic

What’s more classic for St. Patrick’s Day than meat, cabbage, and potatoes? If you want to start from scratch with your pastrami, it’s going to take about three hours to make this meal, and 10 days to prep, so don’t start drinking your green beer until you’re coming into the home stretch of the cook. While you wait for it to cook, consider playing some St. Patrick’s Day party games to get in the spirit. 

Take your fat-trimmed brisket and add to a refrigerated brine (salts, sugars, honey, pickling spice, coriander, mustard seeds, and garlic). At Lady Jaye we let our Pastrami brine for 10 days — if you’re making your own version of this classic at home make sure you give yourself plenty of time for this critical step in the process. 

When you’re ready to cook it, add it to a roasting pan with the fatty side down, rub your meat with coriander, pepper and paprika and allow your meat to come back to room temperature. Bake for about three to four hours, or until the internal temperature is 200℉. Now you’re ready to carve it and add it to your cabbage and potatoes. 


Okay, so the Reuben was actually invented in Nebraska, but it’s a great use of pastrami and super delicious if you want a treat on St. Patrick’s Day.

Butter your bread and add Russian dressing, then add your cheese, sauerkraut, and pastrami. Cook the sandwich on a skillet over medium heat, and flip until it’s golden.

It’s an easy way to incorporate pastrami into your day that’s quick, but will still impress your taste buds. 


Absolutely! When smoking pastrami, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 160℉. It should take about five and a half hours—and you might want to spritz it with water every so often so that it steams a bit during the smoking process. 


Rather than heading to a supermarket, one of the best places to get pastrami is from your local butcher shop. Some butcher shops offer pastrami pre-smoked, or you can choose to smoke it yourself using the above tips.

When you get 
high-quality local ingredients, you’re sure to make your St. Patrick’s Day recipes even more delicious. Good luck and enjoy!

Heard enough? Order your fresh cuts of meat now!