When I was out on Wednesday shopping for Christmas decorations with one of my coffee group buddies I took him (well actually he bought) to a tiny little hole in the wall restaurant called Estrella's. It is in a town called Langley.
Their specialty is Montreal style smoked meat sandwiches. Now we may not be in Montreal but they know what they are doing. Oooh la la. Montreal smoked meat refers to only one thing...beef brisket but that isn't the only thing they cook there. You can get paninis, burgers, soups. One of the best things you can get with your meal is the crisp dill pickle.
(picture from http://estrellasdeli.com/index.html)
The other thing you might want from Estrella's is to buy a whole brisket to take home and cook. Now this isn't cheap but the slab of meat will go a long way. I paid $85 (Canadian) for mine.
I will cook it according to their instructions then slice it up with my giant meat slicer. From there a good portion of it will go into my freezer in vacuum sealed bags. On Boxing Day (December 26th, a statutory holiday in Canada) we hold an open house party from around 1:00 pm until whenever and I will serve it on little rounds of rye bread with a bit of spicy Dijon mustard.
I placed the brisket on a rack in a large roasting pan. Pour in water up to but not touching the brisket. Cover the pan tightly and put it on the bottom rack of the oven and allow it to simmer and steam the meat for a couple of hours.
The thickest part will cook the fastest because it is the more marbled part of the meat. You will want to test the the thinner, more lean part with a fork. It will be sooooo tender when it is done. If you over cook it then it will fall apart but still be amazing. That would be good in a smoked meat hash for breakfast.
Are you drooling yet? Of course you are. You can almost smell it in your house can't you?
Here is just a small portion of the shaved meat. I put some of it between two slices of light rye bread with some hot mustard. It is so good I just hope I have enough left over to serve on December 26th.
So how does it look to you? Add some sauerkraut, Thousand Island or Russian dressing and a slice of Swiss cheese. Grill it a bit to melt the cheese and you have a delicious Reuben sandwich.