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When we’re not hanging out at BBQ joints, we devote almost equal time to burger stands and Jewish delis. In this burger we bring together all the key elements of a great pastrami sandwich and a perfectly cooked beef patty. Eat up!


1 1/2 pounds beef chuck or ground chuck

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 slices pastrami

1 cup sauerkraut

2 tablespoons sauerkraut liquid

4 slices Swiss cheese

Softened butter, for toasting

8 slices rye bread

Russian dressing (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 300oF.

If grinding, cut beef into strips and freeze until stiff, about 45 minutes. Salt the beef. Using the coarse grinder plate, grind according to the technique in Chapter 1 (page XX). If using ground chuck, mix with salt before shaping into rectangles.

Divide into four equal portions and shape into rectangles roughly the size of the bread and about 1/2-inch thick.

Heat a skillet over high heat until very hot. If you have an infrared thermometer, the skillet should register at least 500oF. Or test by brushing on a bit of oil. When the skillet starts to smoke, it is ready. 

Cook patties for 2 minutes. Flip and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer patties to a baking sheet.

Saute pastrami slices on the skillet for 1 minute. Place on top of the burgers. Saute sauerkraut and 2 tablespoons reserved liquid for 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon some sauerkraut on top of each burger. Lay a slice of Swiss cheese over each burger and place the baking sheet in the oven just until the cheese melts, about 1 minute.

To serve: Wipe skillet clean. Brush both sides of bread with softened butter. Toast bread in the skillet until it just begins to color. With a spatula, place each burger on a slice of toast. Schmear Russian dressing liberally on the other slices of toast, place on top of the burgers, and serve.

Yield: 4 burgers

Russian Dressing

3/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons pickle relish

1 tablespoon prepared horseradish, drained

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

Pinch salt and pepper

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together well. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups