String beans usually make some sort of appearance at a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Too often, they are thrown into a casserole and cooked until they are way too soft, and have lost their flavor. I really wanted to use string beans as a side for my menu this year, but wanted to create a recipe that preserved their freshness and simplicity. And because I love a good presentation, I wanted them to look elegant and bountiful as well.
I was also looking to create a dish that could be easily prepared in advance and one that went great with the other food being served.
Voila! brown sugar string beans wrapped in pastrami! Simple, easy, delicious, and elegant!
Not only do these look wonderful, they also taste delicious! The string beans have the perfect amount of crunch and freshness, and the pastrami adds a wonderful flavor combo to the beans. The brown sugar caramelizes when baked and adds just the right amount of sweetness.
- 12oz string beans (about 4 cups), trimmed and washed
- 6oz package sliced pastrami
- Brown sugar (about 8-10 teaspoons)
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a large sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium size pot, bring water to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, add the string beans. Cook, uncovered for 2-4 minutes, until they are bright green in color and still crisp. Drain, and shock in a large bowl of ice water, or rinse with very cold water, until completely cool, to stop the cooking process.
- On a large plate, lay one long strip of pastrami down. Take 6-7 string beans of the same size and gather them into a bunch. Place them on one end of the pastrami strip, and roll to meet the other end of the pastrami. Then, place the bunch on the prepared sheet pan, seam side down. Continue this process until all the string beans are used.
- Drizzle the bunches with oil and season with salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of brown sugar on each.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the pastrami is deep in color, the string beans look roasted, but aren’t too dark, and the brown sugar is melted and caramelized.
*Another way to prepare ahead is once all the bunches are made, tightly cover the sheet pan, refrigerate, and bake within the day. When ready to bake, start with step 4.