Pastrami is a meat product usually made from beef, and sometimes from pork, mutton or turkey. The raw meat is brined, partially dried, seasoned with herbs and spices, then smoked and steamed. Beef plate is the traditional cut of meat for making pastrami, although it is now common in the United States to see it made from beef brisket, beef round, and turkey.
Like corned beef, pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration. New York pastrami is generally made from the navel end of the brisket. It is cured in brine, coated with a mix of spices such as garlic, coriander, black pepper, paprika, cloves, allspice, and mustard seed, and then smoked. Finally, the meat is steamed until the connective tissues within the meat break down into gelatin.