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Pastrami Cigars


A delicious appetizer that yields a lot of servings, freezes well, and has a choice of two different sauces to choose from – one with strong sweet-and-sour tones and one with a milder, fruit-flavored sauce. You can use one kind of deli or two, as I did. When I served this on Purim, it was popular with all ages. My family and guests asked for doubles instead of the main course!


Prepare the Cigars

Yields approximately 30 cigars.

1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine all main ingredients except deli. Mix well.
2. Place a slice of deli (I used both square and round, but rolled up they look the same) on a flat surface. Put two tablespoons of the meat mixture in the center of the deli slice, forming it into a log. Bring both ends of the deli together until they meet. Carefully, turn seam-side down and place in a large pan lined with Gefen Parchment Paper. Continue until all the filling is used up, lining up the cigars closely together.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius) while preparing the sauce.
4. Combine all sauce ingredients (for either sauce #1 or sauce #2) in a small saucepan. Heat for a few minutes over a low flame, whisking together.
5. Pour over pastrami cigars. Cover and bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Serve over rice or sweet potato puree.


If you prefer a slightly crispy top, uncover during the last 10 minutes of baking.


If you want to use both sauces, divide cigars in half and place each half in a 9×13-inch baking pan lined with baking paper. Use one sauce per pan. If you decide to use just sauce #1, place the cigars in a single layer in a larger pan and proceed as above. If you use just sauce #2, double the recipe and proceed as above. I personally like to use both sauces and have a variety.


Photography: Daniel Lailah.

Food Styling: Noa Kanarek.