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Friend of the Food Chain Nab Uddin had his finger on the pulse of something when he tipped the folks at LTHForum off to the existence of hunter beef, a cured-meat product that's easiest described as Pakistani corned beef. That prompted a search for the best hunter beef on Devon, which led to variations at Ghareeb Nawaz, Spinzer Restaurant, and Pista House. But there are also hunter-beef curing mixes on the shelves at many Devon Avenue grocery stores, which theoretically should put this tasty munch easily within reach of the average home cook, given a few days' time and a suitable hunk of meat. These masalas are priced under two bucks, with different brands containing different blends, the common element being curing salts, in the case of Shan brand, saltpeter and sodium nitrate.
I like Uddin's idea of applying these mixes to a fatty cut of meat like brisket, and then instead of simply braising it in the oven, smoking and steaming it pastrami style. But I wondered why it couldn't also work on a giant boneless, skinless turkey breast I found in my possession.
It's perfectly good barbecue. But is it the perfect poultry analog for hunter beef? No. And my work is not done: hunter pastrami is next. Stay tuned.