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It's Important To Remember That Pastrami Is The Superior Version Of Pickled Beef

Andrew Burton. Getty Images.

It's a big day for corned beef and cabbage. 

Personally I think that anytime you take a slab of meat and submerge it in a deliciously salty brine from anywhere from 7-14, it turns into something spectacular. It's salty, it's succulent, it has this ability to make sweet, sweet love to your mouth. I love a nice medium-rare steak as much as the next guy. But when you eat a medium-rare steak, it's the caveman part of your brain that really gets off on it. There's something primal about eating a piece of meat that tastes like it was just removed off an animal 5 minutes ago. When you take a bite out of some cured meats, it's that slightly more advanced part of your brain that goes fucking nuts. Like you know that humans discovered this way to not only preserve their meat to last longer, but also make it taste out of this goddamn world. There's something special about both. 

But when it comes to pickled beef--which is really all pastrami and corned beef are--I'm taking Pastrami ML all day, every day. 

Listen. I get that corned beef originated in Ireland. I understand why it's so popular on St. Paddy's Day. If you want to be a traditionalist then go ahead. It's just that you're robbing yourself of so much extra flavor. 

The pastrami and corned beef start out as the same thing. You take a brisket and submerge it in a curing brine. Salt, pepper, sugar, some pickling spices, curing salt, the works. 

Usually corned beef is just going to be the flat of the brisket, but we're generally working with the same part of the cow here. And then once you pull that brisket out of the brine however many days later, you can go one of two ways. 

You can either coat the brisket in a layer of black pepper and coriander and garlic, then smoke it to add even more layers of flavor to the party. Or you can just boil the pickled beef. You give me the choice between smoked and boiled meat, it's the easiest damn decision I'm making in my life. 

I'm not saying corned beef is bad or anything like that. At the end of the day, it's still going to rule as long as it's moist and salty and sweet and succulent. It's just that opting for corned beef over pastrami would be like drafting Mitch Trubisky while Patrick Mahomes is still on the board. Are they both technically quarterbacks? Sure. Does one provide more flavor and greatness than the other? Absolutely. 

So when you're looking at what to order today, I know part of your brain is going to tell you to stick with tradition and go with the corned beef. But don't rob yourself of that extra greatness if pastrami is still on the board. You don't want to live with that regret for the rest of your day/life.