Friday, February 24, 2006

Corned Beef Sandwich Fix

Having spent some time out east, I have a weakness for good corned beef sandwiches, which can be a difficult craving to satisfy in Vancouver. Actually, to be honest, I think it really stems from the childhood memories I have of the great corned beef sandwiches in the clubhouse section of "The Track." But since I don't play the ponies as an adult, I need another source. Well, I tried a hunk of corned beef from the little stand in the Granville Island Public Market where Mike Vitow of J. Beethoven's New York Corned Beef Connection (604-858-5104) sells his stuff. It's really tasty. About ten bucks for three quarters of a pound (I made four delicious sandwiches with this, some people might make three big sandwiches). It was his smallest piece that day, and it felt like a splurge for me, but I didn't regret it at all. He told me it takes him two weeks to make it, since he soaks it in the brine over two weeks the old-fashioned way, rather than injecting the spices into the meat instantly. I really don't know anything about making corned beef, but I just wanted to let you all know that this stuff was yummy. It was really nice to hear him talk about his product, because he obviously takes a great deal of pride in what he makes. It's also just nice to know where my food is coming from, and actually meet the person who makes it face to face. This is one of the many reasons a grocery trip to Granville Island is so much fun. His stand is in one of the corridors between the two parts of the market, and he had little samples out on the Saturday that I saw him. He recommended steaming it to heat it, cutting it across the grain, and not shaving it thinly. I had a little mustard and margarine on my sandwiches, and lots of dill pickle on the side. Delicious, local, and personal - the way food should be.

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