When you’re doing two hundred covers per night, it’s imperative to have a winner in your arsenal, one that is all prep and little cook time during service. At home, well, this is the least healthy but the most rewarding of all “night-after” cures.
For our American readers, Montreal smoked meat is dry-cured beef brisket. It resembles pastrami the way that a Montreal bagel “resembles” a New York bagel.
You will need:
Digital scale (optional)
Deep fryer or heavy pot
For the filling
1/4 pound (113 g) cheese curds
1/4 pound (113 g) smoked Cheddar, cubed
1/2 pound (225 g) Montreal smoked meat (lean), shredded
1/2 cup (30 g) sauerkraut, drained and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Montreal steak spice
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup (120 ml) Béchamel Rapide (recipe follows)
2 quarts (2 l) canola oil for deep-frying
For the breading
1 cup (75 g) flour
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup (130 g) rye bread crumbs or plain bread crumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
Yellow mustard (optional)
Thousand Island dressing (optional)
1 kosher pickle, thinly sliced
1. Add the cheese curds and smoked Cheddar to the bowl of a food processer and pulse until evenly crumbled. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Now pulse the smoked meat in the food processer until it looks like hamburger meat. Transfer to the cheese bowl.
3. Add the sauerkraut, steak spice, mustard and béchamel, and using a spatula or gloves, mix well.
4. Use your hands to shape 30 cylinders into the size and shape of a wine cork. Transfer to a parchment-lined sheet pan as you work. Refrigerate the croquettes for 30 minutes to help them retain their shape.
5. To bread the croquettes: Set up three bowls, one with flour, one with the eggs, and one with the rye bread crumbs. Dip each croquette into the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Set aside on a small tray.
6. Pour the canola oil into a deep fryer or heavy pot. The oil should be 350 F (180 C)
7. Fry the croquettes in batches of 5 or 6 for 21/2 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on the thermometer and adjust your heat up or down accordingly so that the croquettes don’t brown too quickly: you want them to be hot in the center. Use a skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
8. Serve with your choice of yellow mustard or Thousand Island dressing and slices of kosher pickle.
Excerpted from Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse by Frédéric Morin, David McMillan and Meredith Erickson. Copyright © 2018 by Frédéric Morin, David McMillan and Meredith Erickson. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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