Montreal smoked meat is something that meat lovers will simply have to indulge in when in Canada, or more fittingly its great city of Montreal. This koshers style deli meat resembles pastrami in its look and preparation However this chunkier adaptation contains less sugar and its curing process allows it to absorb flavours through wet curing over a week. After this the peppery red meat is hot smoked to cook all the way through and is finally hand cut to avoid breakage to its tender texture, before serving often in rye bread with mustard. What results is a peppery, rich and flavoursome meat that falls apart on your tongue. What’s great about this meat is that similar to steak you can specify your preference for the cut that hits your plate. Opt for the leaner side for a healthier kick but one which be drier and crunchier. Go to the other end of the spectrum and order speck (which is an old English word for fat) and you will get the topmost layer of the meat that holds nothing but flavour, cooked thick juices, lots of the pepper topping and no real meat. Think of this as the chicken skin on a southern fried drumstick, the meat lies beneath but the indulgence is on top. Since the city is famed for this dish, you shouldn’t struggle to find somewhere that serves it but for an authentic taste of sublime smoked meat goodness try Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen, where for over 90 years they have been crafting the dish traditionally with love and care.
Sticking with meat but moving historically from Montreal to Quebec which serves as the home of Tourtière. This meat pie has tradition in festive celebrations of Christmas and new years but can be enjoyed all year round by those eager to take on a hearty meal. Though the original recipes rotated the meats inside around what was available to hunt, now the region usual dictates the bulk of the filling, with areas closer to the sea using fish and inland areas adopting pork, beef and game birds, its safe to say that there are many variations of the dish. Keeping with Quebec the wild game generally provides the protein of the pie, these chunks of meat are cut up into small cubes and added to potatoes, onions and spices before wrapping in pastry and oven cooking. This hearty dish has served as a fantastically filling culinary warmer for people out in the Canadian cold for years. Atop the best guest rated restaurants that serve this traditional classic is La Buche (The Log), which is a great place to experience some of Canada’s famed dishes in a themed eatery dressed like a Yukon cabin. Here you can start with the slightly confusing rabbit wings before moving onto their mouth watering Tourtière. Here the crusty pie is filled with Triple A grade beef, Nagano pork and Quebec Venison for a trio of quality meaty flavours, served with a salad and a fruit ketchup.