Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Onion Roll Special

When I was a kid, my mother would sometimes take me to Town and Country Village in Sacramento and we would have lunch at Brothers' Deli.  This is one of my earliest food memories.  I have no idea what else they had on the menu, because I would get the Onion Roll Special every time I went.  I loved it.  I'm pretty sure that the sandwich was a meat sandwich with half corned beef and half pastrami on an onion roll with a little bit of mustard.  It was served with potato salad and a dill pickle spear.  This was 40 years ago, and Brothers' Deli is long gone.  But the memory of those meals remains with me.

So for the Charcuterpalooza challenge this month, I invited my almost 80-year old mother to lunch for my interpretation of the Brothers' Deli Onion Roll Special.  I used Alton Brown's Corned Beef recipe to brine two pieces of brisket.  One of them I left in the brine for 10 days, the other for three.  I hot smoked and cooked the three day brisket using the directions in Charcuterie for Pastrami.  I cooked the 10 day brisket in a pressure cooker using the recipe for brisket in Victoria Wise's The Pressure Cooker Gourmet.

When the meat was ready, I piled the meat on some store bought onion rolls, spread on a bit of mustard, then served the sandwiches with some potato salad and a pickle spear.  My mother is kind of an easy audience these days...she doesn't want to cook any longer so she's happy to eat what I'll feed her.  But the sandwiches were very good.  I hope she realizes how much I appreciate my childhood...