Okay, I've been hearing about Montreal smoked meat from you lucky Canucks for a while now. Since it's unlikely that I will ever get the chance to visit your fair city, I decided to give it a go on my own.
Basically went by a couple recipes on here (thanks Bad Santa and Disco!) and everything else I could find on the internet to try to get the "true" Montreal meat down.
Found a trimmed 3.3 lb brisket flat on sale.This is the lean side. There is about 1/4" of fat on the other.
Seasoned with the requisite spices.
Dry-brined for 12 days.
Soaking. Learning from examples from others here, I did not use a lot of salt, only 1-1/2 Tablespoons.
Reseasoned, and back into the fridge overnight.
Then, smoked with maple pellets until the IT was 165°, about 4 hours. I was forced to go to the in-laws the next day, so I opted not to refrigerate overnight, and went straight to the steaming stage.
I sliced off most of the fat, and then sliced as thin as I was able. Cure was uniform throughout. The pics don't do it justice, but it was a nice hammy-pink.
The verdict? It was okay, but to tell the truth, I did not find much difference between this and pastrami I have done in the past. Just less sugar and more black pepper, along with bay leaf powder and cloves.
Now before you jump on me, I will say that the pastrami I've enjoyed in NYC was immeasurably better than what I've made, too. So perhaps the real deal Montreal Meat is the same. I don't know. Like I said, I've never had it to compare. But that doesn't mean that I'm not going to enjoy this for the next few lunches.