| Feel the Heat |

The Deli Roll Duel

Illustrations by Lea Kron

Both my father and I love playing around in the kitchen, and we also both have a competitive streak. My mother has neither a fondness for us males playing in her kitchen nor a competitive personality. But what she does have is a dedication to her job, so when Family Table asked me to partake in this competition, she wouldn’t say no.

Deli roll sounded like a fun challenge, but living out of town, we don’t have the selection you get in the big kosher supermarkets, especially when it comes to meat. The good news was that we were going to New York for my cousin’s bar mitzvah (Mazel tov, Eli!), so we scheduled a stop at a supermarket to explore our options within the expansive deli section.

Honestly, standing in front of an entire wall of delis was a bit confusing because I wasn’t even sure what the difference was between many of them, but it was definitely fun to have the selection.

On the way to New York, we had each come up with a game plan. The whole family got in on the action, and some of my siblings decided to have a competition as well. In case I wasn’t clear enough earlier, my mother really doesn’t like when we mess around in her clean kitchen, but she agreed to let them compete on lemonade to go with the deli roll.

The first week of school, I didn’t have secular studies and got out at 3:00 p.m., so it was the perfect week for our competition. After my father got home from work, we set a 30-minute timer and dove right in. I chopped, he fried, and we both squirted and smeared, layered and rolled. Thirty minutes was just enough time to get it into the oven. After about 15 minutes of baking, my father wondered when he should take his deli roll out to egg it. We all laughed when my mother told him that it’s usually done before the deli roll goes into the oven, but he could just take it out and egg it right then.

Once the deli rolls were baked, I loaded mine with pulled beef and cubed salami and drizzled it with garlic aioli. I left the spicier options on the side because not everyone in our family can handle the heat. My father sliced his and served it with horseradish sauce on the side for the same reason.

We decided to do a blind vote for both the deli roll and lemonade. Some of my siblings are too picky and refused to even try them, but we got four voters and…drum roll, please! We actually tied. How lame. It’s like when my four-year-old sister found it so incredible that both the blue team and the red team won their day camp color war. It’s a good thing the Family Table team is the one to determine the true winner. Especially because it was me!

Oh, and if you were wondering about the lemonade, the blind vote determined my brother Dovi the winner.


Gourmet BBQ Deli Roll

Shuey (age 14)

  • 3 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 8-oz (225-g) sheet flaky dough
  • 3–4 pieces beef fry
  • 4–5 pieces beef pastrami
  • ½ of a 16-oz (450-g) roll salami, diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 10-oz (280-g) Jack’s Gourmet barbecue pulled beef brisket, cooked according to pkg instructions
  • chipotle aioli, garlic aioli, and sriracha, for serving

Brush mustard onto the flaky dough. Layer the beef fry, pastrami, and half of the diced salami on the flaky dough. Roll up and brush with egg wash. Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden.

Slice the roll and load each slice with pulled beef, diced salami, and the condiments of your choice.

Everything But The Bagel Deli Roll


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • oil, for sautéing
  • 3 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 8-oz (225-g) sheet flaky dough
  • 1 5-oz (140-g) pkg Mexican-style smoked turkey breast
  • 1 8-oz (225-g) pkg dry rub pastrami
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Everything but the Bagel seasoning
  • horseradish sauce, for serving

Sauté the onion in oil until translucent. Brush mustard onto the flaky dough. Layer the turkey, pastrami, and fried onions on top. Roll up and brush with the egg wash. Sprinkle with Everything but the Bagel seasoning and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden. Serve with horseradish sauce on the side.


(Originally featured in Family Table, Issue 862)

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