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Oct 6, 2008 06:58 AM

Can I get a rec for Montreal Smoked Meat (just the meat)

Looking a good place to get good Smoked Meat in the downtown core if possible. Grocery Stores obviously do not cut it and I have lots of rye bread to use up.

Thanks for your help!!

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  1. Maybe not exactly what you might be looking for but... we have ordered it from Schwartz's and it arrives the next day.

    1 Reply
    1. - Schwartz will ship, though you may pay more for the overnight shipping than for the smoked meat itself

      - You can get regular Lester's smoked meat at the Corned Beef House downtown

      - Some Loblaw's stores stock unsliced Lester's old fashioned at their deli counter, though I can't direct you to a specific store. There are, I believe, four stores not too far from the downtown area: Queens Quay, Dupont, St Clair, and Leslie

      - If you leave downtown, there's the Centre St Deli

      - If you can live without the "Montreal" part of your post, go to Caplansky's at College & Clinton

      8 Replies
      1. re: embee

        Do Lesters sell just the Smoked Meat,because from the online menu did not seem like it did...

        1. re: warlock

          There are two entities called "Lester's".

          One is a deli in the Outremont section of Montreal. This Lester's sells smoked meat online, but it isn't worth buying. They cannot sell their smoked meat using the Lester's name. I think they call it something like Mr Smoked Meat.

          The second Lester's is a very large Montreal industrial meat processor. They, alone, sell the Lester's brand of smoked meat, which consists of a few products from a fairly large product line. That what you'd be getting at Centre St, or Wolfie's, or Jody's, or Corned Beef House in Toronto. This Lester's does not sell direct to retail customers, so they don't really have an online menu.

          I'm not sure which you are talking about, but hope this helps.

          1. re: embee

            The Butcher Shoppe has two selections of Lester's 10 lb briskets, in the link below. Apparently 50 lb boxes.

        2. re: embee

          Have you ever ordered Schwartz's online? Would you then have to steam it at home?

          I noticed they sell Schwartz's mustard at Alex Farm Cheese on Danforth.

          How much is Caplansky by the lb?

          1. re: grandgourmand

            Yes, you would have to steamed it at home.

              1. re: embee

                I emailed Schwartz's...they said a brisket is about 5lbs on average. Buying by the brisket is $9.95/lb, so about $50. Then shipping is $45. So around $100 total.

                So Caplansky's is $14/lb?

                1. re: grandgourmand

                  Yes, but I don't know what he charges for a whole unsliced brisket.

          2. The Butcher Shoppe has 9-10 lb smoked meat brisket
            Costco has packets of sliced smoked meat from Dunn's, about $15 a box.

            If you just have to use up rye loaves, they won't be very good after 1 day, so it might be better to make garlic or herbed croutons in the oven.

            2 Replies
            1. re: jayt90

              There was just a recall of the Dunn's smoked meat products sold at Costco this week. Don't know anymore details(I heard it on the news)

              1. re: BLM

                The affected Dunn's products and locations are listed here:


            2. Caplansky's sells by the .lb to go

              Can't do better than that.

              1. How would I re-steam it at home? What is the preferred method?

                I have often considered getting my take-home stuff un-sliced but was curious about how to properly steam it back up when you get it home


                9 Replies
                1. re: duckdown

                  someone mentioned... and i think it was montrealer70, that you could use a chinese bamboo steamer and that worked like a charm for me when i got some schwartz for home. we did 2 lbs for just under an hour in steam and after we took the meat out we put a few slices of rye in to soften i up a little. then slice away if you can handle the heat. fantastic.

                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                    Darn, I don't have a bamboo steamer

                    I wonder if another application would work...

                    1. re: duckdown

                      Any kind of improvised steamer is fine. So is putting the meat in a boilable plastic bag and heating just below a simmer until hot.

                      In extremis, you can take slices, wrap them in a damp towel, and microwave very carefully. It does work, but there is a risk of going too far and drying out the meat.

                      1. re: embee

                        Very cool

                        Now all I need to do is locate a home deli slicer and I'd be good to go...

                        Thanks embee :)

                        1. re: duckdown

                          Home Outfitters should have the Waring slicer, about $125, and any Asian store will have the bamboo steamers, just a few dollars.
                          But I'm sure embee will give you the same advice he gave me when I had a brisket to slice: when it is steamed to a tender stage, slice across the grain, 1/4 inch thick or slightly less. You will have to watch the grain and shift angle as you go. This is easier with a sharp carving knife or even a 10" chef's knife than a machine.

                          1. re: jayt90

                            Interesting -- is the Waring slicer any good? From the little information i was able to gather I was under the impression that most sub-$250 slicers are pretty much utterly useless... There is even a discussion or two here on Chowhound saying to get the Chef's Choice brand slicer but does not mention much else

                            is this slicer you mention capable of slicing most meats? Or do they have to be semi-frozen before they will be able to shave them nice and thin

                            Thanks for the info!

                            1. re: duckdown

                              I have no experience with the Waring, or any other slicer. I have watched Italian cooks use a hand operated slicer, which may be available in the various Little Italies.
                              As I mentioned above, most Jewish Deli mavens (I don't qualify!) prefer hand slicing by knife and fork, and somewhat thicker slices than by machine.
                              I was in Switzer's on Spadina (near the end of its run) and heard a customer complain about their thin sliced sandwiches. The counter man (actually a co-owner) said that his pastrami and corned beef was intentionally made for machine slicing! Not to mention tough!
                              The meat you have, Duckdown, should not require a machine slice, unless that is your preference.

                              1. re: duckdown

                                I really can't imagine using a slicing machine in a home kitchen. Between setting it up and sanitizing it, the work just isn't worth it. If you do want one, you need to get an electric one that borders on professional quality.

                                Even with one of these (and I can't suggest a brand), you'll still be manually sliding it back and forth because the cost of the automatic ones used in delis will blow you away. A hand turned slicer is an exercise in frustration (though a good test of coordination) and isn't likely to do a good job.

                                For deli meats, you need a good quality meat slicing knife (or a large chef's knife) and a simple carving fork. Why turn good meat into "lunch meat"? You don't need to spend a fortune on either a fancy brand name or a "forged" knife. For example, Forschner/Victorinox knives don't cost much and work beautifully.

                                While knives are best sharpened professionally, doing this with anything but hyper expensive custom jobs is silly. Besides, you need it to be sharp every time you use it. Although a stone and steel do the best job, these require real skill. Why bother? I've been using the same Chef's Choice diamond hone sharpener since 1986. I haven't ruined a knife with this sharpener yet. You don't use the most aggressive slot except to try restoring a ruined knife. The other slots abrade very little metal. The angle is set automatically by the unit - you just guide the knife through.

                                If you want paper thin slices of raw meat for, say, Philly cheese steak or a hotpot, you can get something like an Oxo V-slicer. While I find these annoying to use, they certainly can cut thin slices. My own choice is a large, cheap (plastic) Japanese Benriner. Yes, you do need to semi-freeze the meat.

                                1. re: embee

                                  embee, Forschner/Victorionox are a great value for the money, they are used by many cooks on the professional BBQ circuit.

                                  I own 12" and 14" granton edge slicers for brisket (not Forschner however).

                                  With practice you can learn to slice brisket very thinly and as long as you follow the contour of the meat and slice across the grain you can turn out thin slices without the need for an electric slicer. I feel that most budget electric slicers would mangle the hot brisket rather than give the slices you desire anyway....

                                  This was a super quick job I did slicing a smoked brisket for a family BBQ this summer using a rather dull 10" chefs knife at my cousin's: