Montreal Smoked Meat, Bagels & Poutine

Worlds are colliding! I am taking an actual road trip – not just a a figurative one – and heading over to Montreal for an extra-long weekend.

In honour of that, this meal is devoted to many of the specialties that Montreal has to offer. I’ve done a simple sandwich of Montreal smoked meat on a toasted Montreal bagel. I served it with the part of this meal that I actually made – Poutine!

I am lucky enough to live close to a bakery that sells Montreal Style Bagels. Montreal bagels are unique in that they tend to be smaller, thinner, sweeter and denser than New York style bagels. To me, this just means that they crisp up so well and are less doughy than other types. They’re also baked in a wood oven which just seems to add to their overall deliciousness!

I got the Montreal smoked meat from my local deli. Smoked meat is basically a cured beef brisket with spices – and it’s incredible.

To make the poutine, I started with my recipe for oven fries that I used as my side for the Pulled Pork. I bought some really nice white cheddar cheese curds from the store, and whipped up a simple gravy. One thing to note – it doesn’t really matter what type of broth you use – I find that beef gives a great flavour. The most important thing is to use the low-salt or no salt added broth. Otherwise, the gravy can be WAY too salty! It’s better to start with low or none and add as needed.

To assemble the poutine, I just put the hot fries in a bowl, put a handful of cheese curds on top and smothered the whole thing with the gravy.

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Poutine is the ultimate Canadian comfort food and I was really happy with how this turned out. It’s hard to go wrong with cheese curds and gravy – the trickiest variable here is the fries. The sauce needs a solid base, so I find crispier fries to be better than too soft. I like a variance in textures, otherwise it can be a little mushy.

I’ll be back early next week and the road trip will continue. For now, I’m off to go taste the real thing!

Thanks for stopping by.

Happy Eating!

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