Montreal Smoked Meat sandwiches, smoky and peppery on rye with mustard. The best sandwich in the world. Hands down.
Years ago, during a summer break from university, I managed to snag a dream summer job. I was awarded an internship to work in the Canadian parliament for a cabinet minister. Without boring you with the minute details, but it was quite cool. I was given essentially an all-access pass, meaning you could easily walk around the capitol buildings with relative freedom. That and there were some very cheap staff/MPs cafes, with mostly good food.
Introducing Montreal Smoked Meat
However, the best bit was visiting Ottawa (Canada’s capital). It is a unique city, with lots of people who aren’t from there living there. Some very random restaurants, some wonderfully random cuisines. Our office favourite was called La Botega (I may have been the only non-Italian-Canadian in the office), and it was really delicious. However, my personal favourite was Nates as they served a Canadian tradition: Montreal Smoked Meat.
Ok, yes, I was not in Montreal but Montreal smoked meat has a nearly cult-like following – particularly in Central and Eastern Canada. It comes courtesy of the large Eastern Jewish population in Montreal (who also make amazing bagels), it’s like pastrami, but better.
Deliciously tender and hot smoked beef brisket served high on rye bread and some yellow mustard. There are fewer sandwiches that you wouldn’t want to devour.
My family is so in love with this stuff, that when celebrating my wedding a few years back my cousin brought a whole brisket direct from a deli in Montreal. It was probably one of the best evenings, with my entire family sitting on the beach happily eating hot sandwiches. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Years ago I bought a great stovetop smoker. It is great, and I’ve used to make so much food. If you want some good ideas, take a look at my maple hot smoked salmon and oak smoked chicken with mozzarella recipes!
Having always wanted to try making Montreal smoked meat for myself, I gave it a go. I will fully admit, the core of the recipe comes from a good post by Josh @MeatWave. However, I’ve changed some of the species and the cooking technique to match my tastes and equipment. So if you are using a full-size smoker, double the quantities of everything!
Now, as I like a good recipe link, I’m adding this to FiestaFriday! Have a look for some other tasty recipes.
You know, people usually have this after a night out, so how about some water. Equally cold beer will do too! Just have some crispy dill pickles nearby.
I’ve got no good reason to suggest this track, but it was the song that was on the radio the entire summer of my wedding – so much that we refer to it as our wedding song. It’s Shut Up and Dance. Come on, you know you are about to play this song again.
Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
- 1.5 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 1.5 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1/2 tablespoons pink salt Prague Powder No. 1
- 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 whole brisket around 6 pounds, fat trimmed
For the rub
- 1.5 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1/2 tablespoons hot smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
- 1/3 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon celery seed
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed caraway seed
- ⅔ teaspoon cracked yellow mustard seeds
- T make the cure, in a small bowl mix together salt, pink salt, black pepper, coriander, sugar, bay leaf, and cloves. Coat entire brisket with the cure and place in an extra-large resealable plastic bag. Place in the coldest part of the refrigerator and cure for 4 days, flipping brisket twice a day. emove brisket from bag and wash as much cure off as possible under cold running water. Place brisket in a large container and fill with water and let soak for 2 hours, replacing water every 30 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry with paper towels.
- To make the rub, mix together the spices. Coat entire brisket with the rub.
- Heat the oven to 225 degrees. If you are using a proper smoker, smoke the brisket for 6-7 hours. If you are using a stove-top smoker, heat the wood chips until they start smoking and place the brisket on the rack and tightly close the lid. After 20min on the stove, place the whole stove top smoker into the over. Continue to cook for 4-5 hours. Try to not check it during this time, let the meat break down. At the end the meat should register at 165 degrees.
- When ready, carefully pour water into the steaming tray of the stove top smoker. About 500ml. Tightly close again, and return to the oven. Keep cooking until it reaches 180 degrees. If using a full smoker, take the meat off and place on a rack on a roasting pan. Fill the pan with about an inch of water and tightly cover with foil. Place in a pre-heated oven (225) and cook for anther 1-2 hours until it reaches 180 degrees.
- Take out, let cool slightly (watch out for steam!) and then slice hot. Load up some rye bread with meat, top with American mustard and slice-n-serve.