As a Christmas present, i bought a 5-pound hunk of NY style, navel cut pastrami from Roberts Corned Meats to give away. It's priced at less than $5 per pound and is fully-cooked. I had called ahead to make sure it was available and to have it pulled out of the locker ready for pick-up. When I arrived, the counter guy tried to steer me to a less fatty cut, but I declined. Another staffer hearing our conversation asked me if I'd had Roberts navel cut before. I said that I had not, and that I was excited to find the "real pastrami cut". Turned out this was Greg Dixon, a member of the family that has operated Roberts since 1910, and he seemed pleased that I appreciated the marbling and flavor of the navel.
I've had a couple tastes and like Roberts other meats, the salting is rather mild. The meat has one streak of fat through the middle and some on the black pepper-coated outer edges, but other than that the fatty part is marbled with the meat. Heated in a low oven (300 degrees), a quarter inch slice was too firm to bite through. The one-eighth inch slice was fine in texture. I think it would be fun to experiment with steaming this to render more of the fat and soften the meat. I wouldn't boil it as too much of the mild cure could leach out. There's a good hit of garlic and some pickling spice. While the label says it has cane sugar, the sweetness doesn't stand out and is far in the background.
The source label says,
Desola Provisions Co.
B-18, Hunts Point Coop Market
Bronx, New York 10474
Roberts Corned Meats
1030 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94103