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Oct 30, 2013 06:56 AM

"Smoked Meat" vs Corned Beef

We just got back from a week in Montreal. All the guidebooks, and friends
who had been there told us about smoked meat, specifically at Schwartz's, although it turned out there are competitors in Montreal with equal bragging rights.

It's to die for. Looks like corned beef, you get your choice of lean, medium or fatty cut. Hubby went for lean, which turned out to be a bit dry; I opted for medium, and it was heavenly.

So, my question is, can one find this guilty pleasure anywhere in the Delaware Valley? Let me describe the process they use if that will help.
A whole brisket is marinated in a dry rub, for what I was told was 10 days.
Then it is smoked; and only after that, it is steamed to produce melt-in-your-mouth tender, tasty meat.

If I had a smoker and a steamer, which I don't, and can't (condo living),
I'd make it myself, but it's a long trip to Montreal, and it's too darn cold this
time of the year, so I'm up for travel in the Delaware Valley if someone is
making this style of brisket.

It's so good, and can't be copyrighted, that it's hard to believe we would not emulate our Canadian neighbors to the North... But, I've never read
anything about this on the CH Board.

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  1. Go to a jewish deli, if you can find one, and get the pastrami. make sure it is NOT from beef round, but either from brisket or, I think, the knuckle? Pretty similar.

    2 Replies
    1. re: woodburner

      I think you're thinking of navel rather than knuckle. The brisket is basically the breast, or chest muscle, and the navel is simmilar but further "down" the animal towards the belly (or navel, hence the name).

      Don't know if OP has had pastrami in the Philly area but there are a few places in the suburbs and city that serve traditoinal pastrami and corned beef (or at least it's close enough for a Southerner). While it's not the same as Montreal smoked meat it is the same basic idea made the same basic way..

    2. Here is the last thread I could find on Philly board about smoked meat.

      People suggested that Spread Bagelry might have some but to my recollection they are making the brisket in house and importing pastrami from NY.

      The closest place short of going to Montreal that I am aware of is Mile End Deli in NY. They have locations in NoHo and Brooklyn.

      1. Basically, the equivalent of "smoked meat" is pastrami. The spicing is a little different, and the cut of meat is sometimes different, but its about as close as you will find.

        1. That is so interesting about pastrami. To me it is a different
          kind of meat altogether--much fattier, very tasty, and worth
          a try for a comparison. Going to NY to that Mile End place
          is also quite a trip!

          1. I lived in Montreal for three years (Undergrad.) I learned that Smoked Meat is what Pastrami ASPIRES TO (sorry for the grammar, but that's verbatim Canadian.) I believe you can get smoked meat shipped from several Montreal sources.

            1 Reply
            1. re: MainLiner

              Have had many pastramis and while some very good, compared to a good Montreal smoked not even close, aspires says it exactly.