Save the Deli

Smoked Meat in Chicago?

Until very very recently, Montreal Style smoked meat was only available in Montreal, and select parts of Toronto, and a few spots in Canada.

Then we saw the opening of Brooklyn smoked meat emporium Mile End.

And now we have a sighting in Chicago.

According to Tasting Table:

There’s something exciting in the air–something smoky and meaty. It emanates from a small machine behind the Fumare Meats counter, where owner Dick McCracken has recently begun making pastrami.

McCracken starts with corned beef, soaks it, reseasons it with bay leaf, mustard seeds, garlic and allspice, then loads it into a low-temperature oven. It spends the night at 250? on a maple-wood bed, and emerges in the morning glistening with fat, with a rosy glow and a sweet smoke flavor. A fresh hunk (or two) are smoked each night, and sometimes more on the weekends.
He says it’s less salty and more fatty than much of what’s found in Chicago delis. And its name, “Montreal-style pastrami,” references his use of maple instead of hickory wood

I don’t think the wood has as much to do with it as much as the spicing and the use of brisket, but it sounds damn close to Montreal Smoked Meat. Anyone tried this? Thoughts? Opinions?

Fumare Meats

8 Responses to “Smoked Meat in Chicago?”

  1. Pastramiking Says:

    man….I was just in Chicago and missed out. Fun town!

  2. dana joy Says:

    I am heading down there this weekend, will let you know what I find out…

  3. Sam Says:

    Doesn’t it also need a good amount of pepper coating similar to Pastrami? I don’t see it listed in the seasoning or smoking process listed.

  4. jay Parker Says:

    David; Just shot Diners Dreive Inns & Dives with Guy Fiere.Mentioned you and Save the Deli several times.Will let you know the air date.. Hope all is well.


  5. Reuben Says:

    Just enjoyed a Fumare “Montreal-style pastrami” sandwich this afternoon.

    The woman at the counter told me McCracken went up to Schwartz’s in Montreal to “steal” the recipe. Anyway, the meat was flavorful and thick, but a little tough and lukewarm. It’s served with a spicy dijon that if lathered too liberally really suppresses the spices. The rye was fresh. Mile End, no doubt thanks to its authentic Montreal connection, is still the best place to get smoked meat in the U.S.

  6. Daniel Says:

    Hobby’s in Newark was offering smoked meat last winter in honor of the Vancouver Olympics. Silly me, I didn’t order it!

  7. Tim Says:

    My buddies and I have been visiting this place since it opened. Rather than ordering the sandwich, we just order a couple of pounds of meat and run it hot back to our office to eat.

    @Sam – it’s coated in pepper so don’t worry about that

    @Reuben – Maybe they changed the recipe, but the half dozen times we’ve been to Fumare, the meat was very warm and very tender, even surviving a subzero 10 minute walk back to the office.

    Chicago is not known as a big pastrami town, but if you want some delicious thick sliced smoky peppery meat, this will satisfy you.

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