Since it's very unlikely that I will ever try the real stuff firsthand, I set out to recreate it on my own.
Scoured the internet for information and recipes, and came up with something that seemed pretty common to all those I read. So I dry-brined a piece of brisket flat for nearly 2 weeks with required spices, smoked yesterday with maple wood, and then finished off in a steamer.
The result? It was okay, but not the ambrosia that people in Montreal seem to go on about. Of course I know that what I created probably doesn't hold a candle to the real thing, but I didn't see enough promise there to try again.
As far as I can tell, it is nearly identical to pastrami, but with less sugar and more black pepper.
But hey, I know that even my best pastrami attempts pale in comparison to what I've had at a NYC deli.
So to our NE forumites, which do you prefer and why?