Montreal-style Smoked Meat

Montreal-style Smoked Meat

Similar to pastrami, Montreal’s smoked meat is the heavenly result of beef brisket salted and cured for a week with a range of spices, before being smoked and steamed to perfection. It’s usually served in a rye bread sandwich smeared with tangy yellow mustard, but you’ll also see it as a topping for poutine. The smoked meat sandwiches from Schwartz’s Deli have earned worldwide recognition, with some die-hards considering it to be one of the best restaurants in Canada.


  • 6 lb whole short ribs
  • The Cure: 2 tbsp smoked paprika, 1 tbsp ground caraway seeds, 2 tsp ground coriander seeds, 2 tsp ground black pepper, 2 tsp ground white pepper, 4 tsp ground mustard seeds, 1 tsp sugar, 2⁄3 cup kosher salt
  • The Crust: 1⁄3 cup ground black pepper, 1⁄3 cup ground allspice, 1⁄3 cup ground coriander seeds

How to make it

  1. Mix the cure spices in a small bowl. Rub mixture all over short ribs and cover with plastic wrap. Cure the meat in the refrigerator for 7 days, turning once daily.
  2. After 7 days, rinse off the spices and soak short ribs in cold water for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix crust spices and apply a coating to the short ribs, pressing spices so they adhere to meat. If you can, smoke the meat for 1 hour. Heat oven to 300°F.
  4. Place the short ribs on a baking sheet or roasting pan and cook about 6 hours. (Begin checking for doneness after 4.) The ribs are done when a fork inserted into the thickest part of the meat offers no resistance. Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  5. To serve, slice the whole rib off the bone, trimming any connective tissue. Slice the meat against the grain approximately 1⁄4-inch thick. Serve with your favorite seeded Jewish rye bread, mustards, and pickles.
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