Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pastrami, Corned Beef, Noshstalgia and more ...

To any readers who may have noticed my relative silence over the past several weeks - I apologize. I've been busy, and I'm about to tell you why.

If you've been reading Noshstalgia for a while, you know that I'm more than a little obsessed with pastrami. Corned beef too. I've tried most every reputable brand, deli or restaurant offering here in Boston, down in New York and anywhere else my travels take me. Certainly there are places offering enjoyable products - some of them truly great - but still, I've never been entirely satisfied.

And so, I set out to see if I could produce something myself - something that did it. Yes, it's magic meat we're after. Time travel inducing sandwiches. One bite and you're back. Back where it all began - where indelible sense memories were planted.

Well, as other intrepid neophytes to making pastrami have oft reported - getting this stuff right takes some work. But after many months of effort, I'm pleased to report that I've got a repeatable, reliable, artisan quality - but commercial scale - process for what I believe is the best there is. More recently, I went to work on corned beef too, and now I think we're almost there with that also. I've served many people at this point - and they have been unanimous - There's magic in that meat.

Amongst other things, what I've discovered in this exploration of deli meat production is that while tradition and deep memories are essential to informing the process, selective use of more innovative, modern methods can yield great - perhaps greater than ever before - results.

Emboldened (maybe even intoxicated) by the the aromas, flavors, textures, and rave reviews from hundreds of consumer taste tests, I began working on a business plan to try and bring these products to market. I'm pleased to report that - although it's nearly impossible to make money on really high-quality meat - I think I've found a way to at least get started and share the deli high.

Once having tasted the pastrami, there was no stopping my pursuit of other "great lost tastes" - so now there are several other Noshstalgia-inspired products also in the works that I'm not yet prepared to discuss publicly. Honestly I haven't even determined yet what to call my fledgling venture (royalty-free suggestions welcome) - nor have I resolved how, if at all, this blog relates to it. But I felt I owed any readers who might have been wondering what happened to me an explanation. I will try to make time, once again, to post more regularly, and I will try and keep readers up to date with developments on this new business venture.

1 comment:

michael edelman said...

Looking forward to your method. A few years ago a friend and I made use of his gas-fired smoker- usually used for game birds and fish- to attempt pastrami ourselves. After a bit of study, we simply coated prepared (but uncooked) corned beef briskets with peppercorns and smoked them slowly until they were tender- several hours, as I recall. The results were pleasing, but I don't think we tried it again.