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Suzi Edwards

Salt Beef Sandwiches

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Having never had an "authentic" salf beef sandwich (ie in the US) I was wondering if anyone could tell me how authentic the sandwich bar in Selfridges is. There was a very long queue....but that's not always a sign of quality ;-)


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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I am reliably informed by people "in the know" from both the UK and US that the Salt beef at Selfridges is the real deal

I have a good old slab of it on saturdays when shopping in the food hall. Great, particularly if you get a bit with a good layer of fat on it

The pickles are very good too

S

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cool. i did especially enjoy the pickle. the tomato salad from the exceptionally cold salad bar bit was horrible though.

i might have the ox tongue next time, that looked really wibbly and tender.


Suzi Edwards aka "Tarka"

"the only thing larger than her bum is her ego"

Blogito ergo sum

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During the recent test match at Lords, I went to Harry Morgan's in St J's Wood for lunch.

The mixed plate of tongue and salt beef was very good indeed. about £9 for a huge plateful

worth trying

S

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I am curious. Are the salt beef counter shops still open, just off Piccadilly near the Windmill "Theatre". There used to be two or three and they introduced me to the delights of salt beef, all presided over by stooped grey-haired Eastern European Jews who you might otherwise find acting as beadles in a synagogue.

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I am curious.  Are the salt beef counter shops still open, just off Piccadilly near the Windmill "Theatre".  There used to be two or three and they introduced me to the delights of salt beef, all presided over by stooped grey-haired Eastern European Jews who you might otherwise find acting as beadles in a synagogue.

They're not there in Windmill St anymore. The biggest one is now the site of Melati-a Maylaysian?Indonesian restaurant.

Traditional salt beef bars are now mainly to be found in Jewish residential areas. The best is the B&K Salt Beef Bar in Edgware, and there's still a branch of Bloom's in Golders Green.

In Central London I had some very good salt beef last year at Gaby's on Charing Cross Rd, but there was a lot of dissent about that on this board and the general consensus was that Selfridges did indeed do the best salt beef in the centre. There is also Reuben's on Baker St but I haven't been there in years and couldn't vouch for it.

A new pan Jewish restaurant/deli has opened up alongside the Bevis Marks synagogue on Bevis Marks near Liverpool St. It's had some excellent reviews but it's only open at lunchtime. I haven't been yet.

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Just had lunch at Reubens - I like it better than Selfridges - but Harry Morgans is indeed very good also - failing that, if you're in St. John's Wood anyway, Panzer's does a good one for takeaway only.

Not whatyou are asking, but the fried gefilet fish at Morgan's is great also.


www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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If - God krows why! - you're in the north end of the Finchley Road, just before you reach the A1, there's an ancient Salt Food cafe run by a venerable Jewish couple. Very decent meat, available either in a fat sandwich or on a heaping plate. And proper pickles. Worth travelling out on the 82 bus if you're either a salt beef fancier or an anthropologist.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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John, we're up there all the time, what side of the road, London bound or outbound? Past the Poggenpohl, etc?


www.nutropical.com

~Borojo~

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Sorry, but I am not familiar with "salt beef."  What cut of beef is it?  Does salt refer to a rub or brine cure?

It is a brine cure and the cut is brisket.. Some non-Jewish versions use silverside, but brisket is far superior. Good salt beef needs some fat. When I was at B&Ks recently Bernie asked me if I wanted it "with or without", meaning fat. Diet consciousness is clearly rife in Edgware. Since there is no butter on the sandwich (against Jewish dietry laws) you need some fat to lubricate the bread and meat. It's also delicious.

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It is similar to corned beef, but I can't tell the fine distinctions between the two.

I am under the impression there are no fine distinctions. I thought Salt Beef was what we americans call Corned Beef. I have never come across anything called Salt Beef in the States.

You guys have me drooling about Katz Deli on the lower east side. Puts Selfridges to shame.

Anybody had salt beef at the bagel shop on Brick Lane lately? I had it there once a few years ago and it was very good. Not as good as Selfridges though. I think the key to good salt beef/corn beef is that it remain in the liquid in which it was cooked (which should have taken on many of the characteristics of the brine and should be quite oily from the fat in the brisket) until served, and certainly not sliced until served. Many of the places I have been in London (including Gaby's and the place near Hatton Gardens that crows about its salt beef (Knosherie, I think its called) have the salt beef sitting out on the counter waiting for customers. That doesnt work if turnover is not high paced.


Thomas Secor

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I've been cooking salt beef a bit lately. My local butcher brines brisket and I boil it with an onion, a stick of celery, peppercorns , a few bay leaves etc.

I find I need to change the water after its come to the boil otherwise ithe meats too salty. Also you need to get the timings right. Boil too long and the meat disintigrates when you cut it into strings. And Thomas is right about keeping it in the water, otherwise it dries out.

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As an ex-New Yorker, I must pipe in that, for you diet-conscious folks, dark brown deli mustard also serves to "lubricate the bread" and the corned beef. Deli's in northern California tend to serve very lean corned beef.

Cheers!

Roz

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I've had salt beef at Selfrdiges twice in the last four months, and I found it appallingly bad.

There is no merit in "authentic" salt beef (whatever that might be taken to mean, since there are five different recipes for every four Jewish mothers). What matters is "Is it delicious?" and on that test my experience is that Selfridges fails. Their beef was tough (unforgiveable) and bland (unacceptable) and phenomenally expensive, I believe.

Three weeks ago I discovered by accident that our (kosher) butcher sells hot salt beef sandwiches on Sundays. For £3.50 I got the most divine, perfect, hugely filled salt beef sandwich with pickled cucumbers that I have ever tasted in my life. I went again ten days ago and got an exact repeat performance. Honestly, I have insuffucient superlatives to describe them. Your problem, folks, is that you'll never chance to be anywhere near them, but if you're interested, it's Norman Goldberg in Woodford Avenue, Clayhall (Ilford). From the Gants Hill roundabout, go north along Woodford Avenue, across the Beehive Lane roundabout, and turn right at the next traffic lights. It's worth a long detour :biggrin:

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you live in Croydon and your butcher is in Ilford, crikey!  :blink:

Yeah, but they do deliver every week :biggrin: There is something of a shortage of kosher butchers in South London. At the last count there were approximately ... umm .... well about ... er .... none :laugh: So we phone our order in to Norman and he delivers to us, except every now and then we go there to browse what he has on display, and make sure we're selecting what looks specially good. Norman is very inventive, and he keeps coming up with new pre-prepared dishes, like chicken wings in barbecue sauce, or stuffed lamb chops, or sweet and sour ribs. It was on one of those visits that we smelled the cooking salt beef as we went in. Mrs Macro and I ate a sandwich while we were ordering, and took another six home for the family. They were still very good when they were cold, but not at the peak of quality that you get when the beef is freshly cut from the slab.

Oh dear, my mouth is watering now, but they only do them on Sundays .... :sad: Incidentally, he is now open from 9am to 8pm every Sunday except Jewish holidays. If anyone is thinking of going, do not go on any Sunday from 28th September to 26th October inclusive, becauise those are Jewish holidays.

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John, we're up there all the time, what side of the road, London bound or outbound? Past the Poggenpohl, etc?

Sorry, I've been away from eGullet for a few days. It's on the west side of the Finchley road, i.e. the left side going north, in the last block of shops before the North Circular.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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