Cranberry Pastrami Sandwich

In the previous post we made an awesome, kick-butt cranberry sauce. Although delicious and amazing, chances are you still have some left over sauce. The leftover once we adjust the viscosity a bit with some water are an amazing versatile syrup and condiment. It is sweet and tangy able to mingle with many different flavors. The Sugar can help reduce the spiciness of the various dishes, the acidity can pair well with meats as it changes the pH making our taste buds more sensitive and more receptive  to the other elements of the dish… In other words making dish tasting meatier. Although you can always use it in a turkey left over sandwich, I think it is a pity to use this just in a sandwich with the reminiscent of thanksgiving. Here I expand the application to other sandwiches. Cranberries is a gift not only for thanksgiving, but something that we should cherish and use all year around.

This one is a simple cold-cut pastrami sandwich. Pastrami is one of the two meats that dominate the Delicatessens of New York, with the other being the corned beef. Pastrami was brought to America by Romanian Jews in the early 1800s. In Romania the most common meat for the application was the goose breast because it was inexpensive and readily available. Here it was substituted with another meat that was also readily available and inexpensive… beef. More specifically brisket, a very flavorful cut of meat that is packed with connective tissue that hold wells in long cooking times. The whole point of pastrami is to preserve meat for long times outside refrigerator. It will be completely outside the point of this post to get into details of how to make it.However you should know the steps that take place: it is first brined, then smoked and then steamed. Although it is hypothesized that the name is borrowed by the turkish pastirma I believe that both names (pastrami and pastirma) come from the romanian a pastra meaning to preserve. Many legendary Delis in New York city like Katz and Carnegie make massive pastrami sandwich I prefer that those that the bread to meat ration is more reasonable. A good pastrami should contain the meat between two slices of bread that are not toasted, with a little dijon mustard.

Dijon mustard is a french variations of mustard and as it is true with all french food the name defines the origin of the condiment. It is produced in the area of Dijon in France, and the original recipe includes the addition of  juice from unripped white grapes in addition to the vinegar that is also from white wine, not red wine. I have covered before the need acid in mustard in the homemade mustard I made. The flavor of the mustard is due to the reaction of the mustard oil with the water that produces the very pungent, nose piercing aroma. Acid can kill the reaction making the mustard more easy to handle. The white grape juice although acidic and astringent is not enough to stop the reaction, leaving behind a pleasant flavor, characteristic of the dijon mustard. Currently dijon is not covered under the Protected Designation of Origin so it is made world-wide. Unfortunately not all mustards labeled as dijon is dijon. Very often regular mustard is just mixed with horseradish that give the same flavor. You can easily recognize the authentic from the pale color due to the lack of turmeric and the ingredients list, that should include grape juice. Grey Poupon is a good brand. I also find that Trader Joe’s is really good and authentic. The spicy pungent flavor of dijon marries very well with the tangy flavor of the cranberry.

Ok enough let’s cook.

Naturally we will need:

  • 2 slices of bread (whole wheat or rye)
  • 4 oz Pastrami
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Cranberry sauce
  • Black pepper

Take one slice of bread.

Cover it with a thin even layer of dijon mustard. Do not just squirt it out. Spread it evenly. A butter knife makes this a hell a lot easier.

At the end you should have something like this. A thin layer of mustard that will basically cover all the little nukes and crannies of the bread. More mustard will completely overwhelm the flavor of the sandwich.

Grind some fresh black pepper.

Add the meat. I like a double layer of meat. I think it is enough.

Add the cranberry sauce…

And top it off with the other bread slice.

It is pretty much ready. Just cut it in half and you are ready to go!

Look at these layers.

Serve it with chips and a pickle. Make sure the chips are kettle chips, preferably Cape Cod that is my personal favorite. The cranberry sauce completely transforms this to an amazing sandwich. Sweet, and spicy, deep and tangy. Nothing beats that! Nothing can make this better.

Hold that thought! There is something to make this better. BEER!

Printable Recipe Card

Cranberry Pastrami Sandwich

From Nerd Meets Food | Main Dishes | American


cal Calories 352kcal

fat Total Fat 9g

sat fat Saturated Fat 3g

High chol Cholesterol 77mg

High sodium Sodium 1673mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 35g

Serving size 202g Calories from fat 81kcal Fiber 2g Protein 31g Sugar 10g
1 servings


  • 2 slices of bread (whole wheat or rye)
  • 4 oz Pastrami
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Cranberry sauce
  • Black pepper


  1. Spread the mustard on one slide of bread.
  2. Add the pastrami.
  3. Spread the cranberry sauce on the other slice.
  4. Season with pepper if desired.
  5. Close the Sandwich.
  6. Serve with potato chips and a pickle.

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Last modified: December 16, 2021 by Georgios Pyrgiotakis