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Montreal Beef

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 22:35
by Butterbean
All this talk about briskets and Montreal beef sandwiches from Schwartz's got the best of me so I'm making a stab at making some. Redzed I don't know if this can compare to what you ate but I think it will be decent enough.

I started with an 18 lb brisket and trimmed a little better than 5 lbs of fat from it being sure to remove all the hard fat and leave some windows for the cure to penetrate.

I used this cure.

Kosher salt 0.97%
Cure 1 per label
3 TBS ground black pepper
3 TBS ground coriander
1 TBS Sugar
1 tsp ground bay leaf
1 tsp ground cloves

Mixed together well then rubbed brisket with it. Bagged it, vac-packed it and put in cooler to cure for 4-5 days. I'll then take out and rinse well and soak in water for a couple hours and make water changes every 30 minutes or so then remove and wipe down with rub I'll post later. But here we are as of today. Smelling very fragrant.


Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 04:36
by redzed
Geez, I'm jealous! And you live 4,000 miles from me so a taste test would be difficult. :cry:

Actually your Montreal Smoked Meat project is timely because yesterday I had a question about making pastrami from a member on the Polish language forum. I advised her to follow your project.

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 04:45
once you rinse numerous times, what do you mean " wipe down with rub"? After that, what's the next step?

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 13:39
by Bob K
Try This BB-
After smoking for 3 or 4 hours cut off a section and sous vide it at 147° for 36-48 hrs. I did that a few months back, probably the best pastrami sandwiches I ever had!

Lou- Stay tuned in, more episodes to come:
Butterbean wrote:and wipe down with rub I'll post later. But here we are as of today. Smelling very fragrant.

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 00:09
by Butterbean
Weather is really messing with my schedule but have tentative plans to stoke the smoker either Wednesday or Thursday but its looking more like Thursday. This work thing really cramps my style.

Brisket is still curing but with only about 1% salt I'm not worried about it becoming too salty and besides I will also soak the brisket before adding the rub.

Was looking through the mustard inventory and just didn't see anything I thought would really compliment these sandwiches so I decided to make some more mustard after all if I'm going to invest this many hours in preparing some BBQ I might as well have top quality condiments to go with it.

The following mustard recipe is similar to a good English mustard only I toned it down a little by adding some honey so it wouldn't be overpowering. I also added a hint of horseradish because I just don't know any other spice that compliments beef as it does. I have jarred the mustard and will let it mellow a few days but its really tasting on the mark.

1/2 cup white mustard seed ground reasonably course
1/2 cup hot mustard powder
1/2 cup plain mustard powder
1.5 cups white vinegar - in hindsight I think apple cider vinegar might have been worth trying
1.5 cups water - hindsight makes me wonder what blueberry wine would have tasted like
1.5 tsp canning salt
2 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp paprika
2 tsp horseradish powder
3 TBS of Galberry Honey

Add all ingredients to a pot and gently raise the heat to a low boil then back the heat to low and simmer - stirring regularly till it begins to thicken. At the last minute I opted for a smoother consistency so I added the hot mustard to a blender and gave it a good chop and grind till it became more silky.

Here is the end product. Its got a really nice flavor. Definitely mustard but not overpowering with a ring of sweetness in the background and more subtle is the horseradish. I think its about spot on and think the folks will choose this one over the other choices but we'll have to wait and see.


BTW - while typing this post I've since eaten all that on the plate with my finger. Quite addictive.

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 03:32
by redzed
Geez, do you ever buy anything that is ready to eat? :shock: :lol: And maybe I would make that mustard but there ain't any galberry honey in these parts!

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 04:41
You guys have been talking about sous vide, poaching and steaming. I remodeled my kitchen 6 years ago and my brother is the regional sales manager for Gaggenau products. He convinced me to install a convection steamer oven that also has a water line and drain attached to it. It's the best device you would ever use in a kitchen. You have the option of setting it as a regular oven at whatever temperature as low as 85F,,, or you can also set it to a percentage of steam, or any combination of both. For sous vide, all you have to do is package your food in a sous vide safe bag and set the steamer for whatever temperature at 100% steam. Yes, you can set it for 135F/100% steamer. I was hoping the unit would go to 75F, as I could use it as a fermentation unit, but 85F is the lowest. It's an amazing appliance

Topic split to Salame without cultures ... 4443#34443

Posted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 14:19
by Butterbean
redzed wrote:Geez, do you ever buy anything that is ready to eat? :shock: :lol: And maybe I would make that mustard but there ain't any galberry honey in these parts!
I do try to buy as little as possible because our choices are rather slim here but also whenever I can dodge taxes and funding the beast it warms my heart. Maybe some character flaw I must bear. I don't know. Let me know and I could easily remedy your lack of galberry honey. I have a pretty good bartering arrangement with some bee keepers. Meats for honey. Oh, and judging from the carboys you have on your shelves it appears you also have a problem with buying wine which I fully understand. This honey makes for a good sugar base for making wines too but at times it can make a very sneaky wine. :mrgreen:

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 06:45
by redzed
Yes I have made mead a few times and it was quite decent, actually with a nice floral bouquet and pleasant flavour. But it's been a while. I belong to a local wine makers club and we make wine from grapes, mostly from the Okanagan Valley in our province of British Columbia. I think I like the process and the science of wine making just as much as tasting and drinking it. We have some some excellent wine makers in our club, their wines stand up or surpass many 40-50 dollar bottles of wine. And there is so much to learn from them.

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 20:44
by Butterbean
From your photo I figured you were either a winemaker or a wino. :lol: I enjoy wine making also. I find it very interesting and similar to meat fermentation in many respects.

We grow a lot of berries and muscadines in this area so I have an abundance of "culled" fruit to experiment with. Grapes are a different thing though. Its too hot and humid here for many of the better known grapes to thrive without constant care but I've been experimenting with some little known crosses trying to find one that will fair well in this climate. I have one in particular that is showing considerable promise. For lack of a proper name I've dubbed it my kudzu grape because with just a year under its belt it has completely covered a trellis and is completely loaded with grape clusters. Am a few weeks from tasting one but I have high hopes.

Posted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 23:59
by Butterbean
Work has not been cooperating but God willing and the creek don't rise we will be feasting on Montreal Beef sandwiches this time tomorrow.

I think its been six days now. About two more than actually needed but no matter. Pulled the brisket out and it smells wonderful and looks to have a good cure on it.


Next step is to was all the curing ingredients off the meat and soak in water for 2 hours with water changes every 30 minutes. I think this is done to insure the meat isn't too salty since part of the character of the sandwich is the generous meat portions.

While soaking, I prepared the rub which contains the following spices.

● 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
● 1 tablespoons ground coriander
● 1 tablespoons paprika
● 1 tablespoon garlic powder
● 1 tablespoon onion powder
● 1 teaspoon dill weed
● 1 teaspoon ground mustard
● 1 teaspoon celery seed
● 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

This spice blend has a really nice taste and not the addition of dill weed. This should compliment the dill pickle which normally accompanies this plate. And yes, I have dill pickles and dill pickled green beans and might even pull out some pickled okra which IMO is simply manna from the heavens.


Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 02:28
by Butterbean
Finished soaking the cured brisket in water for two hours. During this time any excess salt was removed and moisture is able to penetrate the meat because of the relaxed protein molecules. Brisket definitely feels "wetter" and more plump now.


Gently dried any excess moisture off the brisket after allowing it to drain a little then applied the rub. Rub was not rubbed in just gently coated on the exterior surface. Now it will rest covered in the cooler till the wee hours of the morning when it will be removed and allowed to come to room temp and then placed fat side up in a bath of pecan and oak smoke where it will bath at 225F until it nears the finish line. Depending on how the cook goes and how the bark looks I may foil or I may not. Just depends on how it looks.


Till tomorrow. Wish me luck and please remind me to pick up some Hard Lemonade.

Posted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 10:59
by BlueMonkey
Looking good! Hope the weather has held out for the Smoker - which I presume is angling along about now...

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 02:56
by Butterbean
It was a long day but from the smiles I think it was well worth the effort.

Temp was in the 90's today so I ended up smoking between 230-250F. The stall at 165F was brief and I ended up finishing about 3 hours early so I just put the brisket in a cooler and let it sit till everyone arrived.

Reviews were good and had a lot of remarks about how tender it was. It was very tender which was evidenced in how difficult it was to slice thin .



This is my plate, I used the burnt ends and scrap pieces building my sandwich. Very good and very filling.


Just a few more things we had. Pickled cucumber, snap beans and okra.


Smoked corn wrapped in banana leaves. The leaves impart a nice flavor to the corn.



It seems most everything was a hit. Got a lot of compliments on how tender the brisket was and several comments about how good the mustard was and one girl wanted to carry a couple quarts of pickles home with her. It was a good day but a long day and I have to give thanks to Mike and his hard lemonade for helping me make it through the day with a spring in my step.

Posted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 06:51
by redzed
Looks quite spectacular BB! Wish I had a slice or so that I could compare it with the taste of famous Schwartz's that I recently had in Montreal. And it's interesting that you made a tender product without steaming or poaching. I've been reading a few recipes and blogs and many individuals found that their meat was still tough after the smoking/baking phase.

And you sure pulled together a nice feast there. In New York Katz's charges 20 bucks for their pastrami sandwich!