DIY Deli: Caplansky’s Recipe for Succulent Smoked Meat

Since opening Caplansky’s in Little Italy last year, Zane Caplansky has been delighting carnivores with his unique brand of smoked meat. Last week, Caplansky opened a new expanded location, serving his trademark sandwiches alongside deli classics like kishka and chopped liver. David Sax, author of the forthcoming book, Save the Deli, convinced Caplansky to share his recipe for smoked meat perfection.

1. Buy a fatty double brisket. Rub with three parts Tender Quick pickling salt and one part coarse sugar. Place fat side down in Tupperware, then coat the rest with four parts black pepper, and one part each coriander seed, mustard seed, celery seed, and dill seed, all ground together and mixed with dried garlic and onion flakes.

2. Refrigerate meat. Turn and massage daily.

3. After two weeks, remove meat and drain the liquid. Fill the container with cold water, and submerge the meat for three hours. Drain and refrigerate overnight, uncovered.

4. Rub with another generous layer of spice, and heat the smoker to 180?F – 200?F. Cook for eight to nine hours. If you don’t have a smoker (they’re cheap) fill a tray with wet wood chips, cover with foil, and place next to your brisket on the barbecue (heating the wood, not the brisket).

5. Cool the meat, then steam it, covered, for three hours over a large pot of boiling water on a rack. Meat should be soft enough to sink a carving fork into effortlessly, but not flaking apart.

6. Carve it while hot, against the grain, with a carving fork and knife. Serve on rye bread with mustard.

Caplansky’s, 356 College St., 416-500-3852.

Stay tuned for details on a DailyXY-sponsored launch party for Sax’s book, Save the Deli, which comes out next month. Caplansky’s smoked meat will surely be involved.

Image courtesy of Robin Sharp.

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