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

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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.
    http://www.schwartzsdeli.com/index_en...

    1 Reply
    1. re: h2o

      how much was shipping?

    2. - 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: grandgourmand

              About $14

              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 http://www.butchershoppe.com/products...
            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:

                http://www.dunnsfamous.com/en_news.htm

            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

                Thanks!

                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:

                                  http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v30...

                  2. I have a question, sorry to bump this old thread

                    If there is such a lack of good smoked meat here in Toronto, and most places resort to serving Lester's meat (which has to be shipped from Quebec), but Schwartz's also will ship their product, why isn't there anywhere serving Schwartz's smoked meat instead?

                    I mean I understand it's expensive when you gotta pay $50 for shipping, but I would assume you could buy more than 1 at a time and significantly lower the overall cost.. Or even make a trip there yourself and pick up a whole lot to stock up

                    Just something I found myself thinking about after reading this.. I've never tried Schwartz's so it would be great if somewhere sold it locally

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: duckdown

                      Schwartz' is probably too small an operation to ship a regular supply to an out of town place. Since they finish the meat on site, they may have restrictions similar to Caplansky's, but over the years have worked out their routines fairly accurately.

                      Earlier in this thread I suggested The Butcher Shoppe, in Etobicoke, as a supplier of Montreal smoked meat, pastrami, corned beef and also uncured brisket.
                      No one on this board has commented on the quality of their briskets, cured or uncured.
                      Perhaps they should be on your list. Here is a link http://www.butchershoppe.com/contactu...

                      Dunn's smoked meat in pouches is available again, and several CH'ers have enjoyed it in the past. I like it steamed, never microwaved. I preferred it to Buster's smoked brisket sandwich. http://www.dunnsfamous.com/smoked_mea...

                      1. re: jayt90

                        In Canada a meat processing facility must have continuous federal Inspection and be licensed in order to ship products between provinces. This adds prohibitive expenses to any small operation like Schwartz's.

                        1. re: jayt90

                          Butcher Shoppe is Caplansky's supplier of uncured briskets.

                        2. re: duckdown

                          Lesters is a major meat processor, with a factory and the capacity to produce and ship vast quantities of product.

                          Schwartz is a restaurant. It isn't much bigger than Caplansky's, though they do have a real smokehouse while Caplansky has a small smoker and minimal storage space for curing. I would imagine that the only inspection there is from Montreal public health. I doubt that it would be legal for them to ship product for sale here. I also suspect that their production capacity would be too small to supply a successful restaurant elsewhere. I've always been pleased that they have resisted entreaties, and offers, to expand. That always seems to ruin things.

                          1. re: duckdown

                            there isn't even good consistency at schwartz for what they send out that it could be a big failure and not worth it.

                            a friend picked up a brisket for takeout for me and they handed them a single brisket in a vac pac. it was awful. it's incredibly lean, lacking any smokiness and mostly cure flavour. it has all the texture of shoe leather when i've tried to steam it to give it some life. i've been reduced to mixing it in with homemade mac and cheese and boiling it to pieces in a pea soup. i am struggling to eat the 3lbs i've been left with. i can't believe i paid $12/lb for this.

                            in house i think they have better control over what they're serving to maintain a consistent product, but shipping to someone who might not prep it to their standards before serving and by sending out these single briskets... they'll screw up their name for themselves!