Tag Archives: sandwiches

Montreal smoked meat, live from Prince George

I haven’t written a post about food in awhile, and I certainly haven’t written much on reviews of local food joints, but this is so juicy and delicious, I just have to share!

Smoked Meat from Nancy O's

Montreal smoked meat sandwich from Nancy O’s in Prince George. I couldn’t wait to eat it, so this is only half the sandwich!

I am having a love affair with a Montreal smoked meat sandwich. And happily for me, I can get one a mere three blocks from where I work in Prince George, BC!

I had my first taste of this sandwich in Montreal when my husband and I visited the city about four years ago. It was late at night, after a day filled with drinking beer in the streets at the French music festival. We hopped the metro back to the area we were staying and stopped in at Le Roi du Smoked Meat (that’s really what it was called, that’s not my bad French or that day’s beer talking… the King of Smoked Meat). A giant sandwich and heaping poutine later and I was in love. I’ve had a constant craving ever since.

Le Roi du Smoked Meat

Sandwiches and poutine from Le Roi du Smoked Meat in Montreal.

Not having ever been back to Montreal, I haven’t found a sandwich up to these standards in awhile… until recently. The destination: Nancy O’s Restaurant.

I order it every time I go (and if I try to branch out and try the special, I’m sad – not that the specials aren’t mostly good, I just love my old stand by so much); I even sometimes order it by phone and walk down to pick it up and eat it in private back in my office.

Poutine from Nancy O's

Poutine from Nancy O’s in Prince George. Again, half devoured.

The meat is so tender and juicy, and is heaped so high that it overflows from the delicious fresh sourdough bread. But I don’t complain – more to clean up later! Add cheese and whatever other sauce they put on there, and BOOM – the best sandwich in Prince George. Order a poutine and you’re set (again, I could write a separate post about the quality of poutines in PG… Nancy O’s wins again, even if just by the great stringy-ness of the cheese curds). Truly a heavenly lunch hour.

Just compare those two pictures above – the bread from Nancy O’s alone makes it look better, doesn’t it?

Go try it. Go now. Then report back – do you love it as much as me?

Recipe: Fish po’ boys two ways

I’ve never been to Louisiana, although I’d love to see New Orleans one day. I’m also not offering free sandwiches to random folks anytime soon. So am I allowed to have a po’ boy recipe? Luckily for you, I’m not really looking for permission.

I love fish. I love tomatoes. And I love love LOVE sandwiches (yes, even the odd PB&J here and there). So a fish sandwich seems a natural choice for me. Throw in a little homemade tartar sauce (recipe also below!) and you have a delicious lunch or supper, with a couple different options. Read on.

Fish po’ boys

The fish – two ways:

I’ve tried this recipe with both tilapia and mahi mahi – both are delicious. Mahi mahi is a bit more flavourful, but harder to find up north here. Tilapia is readily available at the grocery story or the local fish shop. Any other white fish would work as well.

Option 1 – pan-fried fish

1. Pan-fried

  • Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan.
  • Fry your fish on medium heat, sprinkling with ground sea salt and pepper.
  • They’re done when they’re opaque and flake easily. That’s it.

2. Beer battered & baked

  • Mix your batter: 1/2 c to 1 c flour (depending on amt of filets you’re cooking); 1 tbsp cornstarch; salt and pepper; juice of half of a lemon; 1 tsp. cumin; 1/2 can to a full can of beer (light or dark, your choice).
  • Add the beer slowly, whisking constantly to avoid any clumps. Add beer until you get a paste-like consistency (thick, but easy to dip delicate fish into).
  • Dredge the fish in a little bit of flour and then dip the filets into the batter.
  • Bake on a well-greased cookie sheet at 375F for about 25 minutes, until opaque and easy to flake. (Of course you can fry them in oil too, but baking is much healthier and less messy!)

Tartar sauce:

The fish po’ boy wrap

  • 3 tbsp. light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp. red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tbsp. garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • A dash of hot sauce (e.g. Frank’s red hot), if you like a bit of heat
  • Mix and voila!

Making the sandwich or wrap

More options! The traditional way to serve po’ boys is on a french loaf, but I’ve also prepared it on a wrap. Spread the bread (or wrap) with tartar sauce (not traditional, but yummier than plain mayo, in my opinion), add lettuce, tomato slices and the fish. I’ve also used chopped tomatoes, sauteed with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a dash of sherry, for a bit more warmth and flavour as well (pictured below).

The fish po’ boy on a french loaf.

Recipe: Pulled pork goodness

Is it just me or is pulled pork everywhere these days? And it came on quite suddenly. Someone somewhere said, “let’s make pulled pork a thing,” and so it was. But have you ever tasted the perfect pulled pork?

A good pulled pork sandwich should specifically be a few things:

  • Enormous! You should need to really stretch those jaw muscles to get your mouth wrapped around it.
  • Juicy. It should be oozing juicy, bbq saucy pork goodness over your fingers and down your arm from the very first bite.
  • BBQ-y. Even if it’s not on cooked on the bbq, it should taste like it is.
  • Southern. I’m from the Canadian north, have never been to the southern states where they make what I’m sure is delicious southern food, and don’t profess to know what that tastes like. But I’m fairly certain pulled pork should taste like it.

After some research and some kitchen testing, I created what I think is a pretty damn good pulled pork recipe. And with only a little hesitation, I’ve decided to share it with you. Lucky you.

Pulled Pork Goodness

A selection of the ingredients required for perfect pulled pork.

Combine in your slow cooker (measurements depend on the size of your crock pot):

  • 1 large pork butt (it’s the shoulder, but it’s called a butt. Don’t ask me.) Poke a dozen or so cloves into the meat first.
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped in large pieces
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. coriander, ground with your mortar & pestle
  • 1 tbsp. fennel
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • A few dashes of liquid smoke (3-4 tbsp. or so. Excuse me, I’m not much one for measuring).
  • Several dashes of worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Red pepper flakes, if you like it spicy
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2-4 oz. whiskey or bourbon
  • Fill to a couple inches from the top with water

This is what it’ll look like when it’s ready to start slow cooking.

Slow cook on low for 10 hours. (I usually do this overnight, but be prepared for insane dreams, brought on by the permeating smell of pork wafting down the hall, into your room, onto the bed and into your nostrils. You will also continually wake up incredibly thirsty, likely due to the dreamy meat-sweats. Also note that I once cooked it for only 8 hours and the meat did not fall off the bones like it should at the end, so 10 is highly recommended.)

Remove meat to a large cutting board (juice will spill over the edges, so be prepared) and strain the remaining juice from the crock pot into a bowl. Discard what’s in the strainer and any bone or fatty bits you don’t want. Let cool for an hour or so.

Delicious, delicious pulled pork goodness.

Pull the pork. This is the most time consuming part. I usually put my laptop on the table and watch a movie while I’m doing this. I’m a tad picky though and all the fatty bits go into a discard bowl. It’s quite simple to scrape the fat off with a butter knife and the rest of the fleshy meat bits can be ripped apart with your fingers and put back into the slow cooker.

Once done pulling it all apart and it’s back in the pot, add a couple cups of the left over juice and as much bbq sauce as you want (1/2 to a full bottle). Mix it up and set the slow cooker to high for another 1-2 hours. Feel free to test for quality control at this point. Then try to stop.

That’s it! I usually serve with giant buns, chopped up cabbage, mayonnaise and cheese and then chow down.

Pulled pork carnitas.

As this makes a lot(!), I usually make pulled pork carnitas for dinner the next night. These are small tacos and go something like this:

  • Take a small round soft tortilla shell and heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds.
  • Add cabbage, a heap of pulled pork, avocado, homemade salsa (recipe to follow in coming days) and cilantro. Other toppings could include black beans or corn. Either way – delicious!

Enjoy! If you try this at home, please do let me know what you think!