Popstrami moves to new location, different date

It’s been a troubling few days behind the scenes at Popstrami as we realised that our intended venue wasn’t going to be nearly big enough to satisfy the apparently huge pent-up demand for massive meat sandwiches in the West Midlands area.

Luckily, the legend that is Paul Leverton has come to the rescue and offered us the use of Leverton and Halls’ deli for the whole of Sunday 13th March.

So, that’s Leverton and Halls on Sunday 13th March 11:30 – 18:00. Not Saturday!

We’re opening earlier to satisfy those meat-brunch cravings, and the increased space means we might even put a few new bonus items on the menu.

Leverton and Halls is in Bournville, very near to the previous location, and a short walk to Bournville Railway Station (3 stops from New Street).

If you are not available on the Sunday and were planning to come on Saturday, we’re sorry and hope you can forgive us. If the date change means you can come now, that’s great!

In other news – we’ve also expanded the Popstrami team – we’re very pleased to have the help of Lap-Fei Lee who is on authentic NYC cheesecake duty and ‘Evil’ Gordon who will be helping man the good ship Popstrami and cooking up a few Bournville babkas!

And finally should say a massive thank you to the team at INHABIT who offered us the use of the pop-up tearoom in the first place and kick-started this mad venture.

So, see you on the 13th! Keep an eye out for updates here.

Don’t stop ’til you brine enough

Our delivery of beautiful Shorthorn briskets arrived from the East London Steak Company and so I’ve been brining all weekend in preparation for Popstrami!

Firstly, look at these chappies!


And I couldn’t resist posting this picture of a bonus White Park brisket, sourced from Berkswell Traditional Meats (near Berkswell – where the cheese comes from).


Beautiful.  Check out the marbling! Fat is a crucial ingredient for a high-quality meaty sandwich. The briskets are also well-aged, at least 28 days which improves the flavour no end.

So, I set to brining. For brine afficionados I am using a 7.5% concentration brine which gives a nicely salted end-result. We are doing the brine old-school which means a nice long immersion, none of that fangled injection cure nonsense.

Flavourings come from sugar, bay leaf, garlic, pepper (lots of pepper), coriander, yellow mustard seed, allspice, juniper, cloves, star anise, ginger, cinnamon, dried red chilli and mace. Plus a touch of pink curing salt to ensure the meat is lovely and red in colour.



I filled three 28 litre plastic tubs with briskets (plus the occasional ox cheek). Getting the tubs involved a drive to Smethwick, but I’ll spare you the gory details. I also had to buy another fridge.

I managed somehow to heft the full tubs into the fridge – it took a lot of effort, and I got brine all over me.

These babies are going to get 14 days of curing at around 3 degrees C.


If you are excited by all that – and how could you not be? Get to Popstrami!

There’s more than just meat – there’s amazing rye bread, desserts, and traditional NYC soft drinks!

Popstrami Update: 4 weeks to go!

The first Popstrami is just 4 weekends away! It’s getting serious.

We’ve been busy with the planning. Hannah had to go and buy a new sewing machine in order to make some appropriate themed bunting!

Tom has been exploring recipes for lacto-fermented sauerkraut.

I have been playing with various brine recipes and strengths. In a moment of madness I even ordered some Welsh Wagyu brisket to test out later in the week. This probably won’t be on the menu at Popstrami #1 but if it’s good perhaps at the next one (it’s £16/kg though!).

The biggest issue we are wrestling with is how much meat to order! We initially figured on about 75 people turning up to Popstrami #1 – but the huge response has made us think maybe that’s an underestimate.

Getting quantities right is a critical question to answer because we are about to place our meat order at the East London Steak Company. Right now we’re looking at 40kg of brisket. That’s a lot of brining and smoking! I’m going to need a bigger bucket …

Evan and Leo at Wise Sons Deli – they can now call themselves the “original deli pop-up” – took the time to talk us through their logistics. They sold an amazing 140 sandwiches – that’s 75kg of fresh brisket within 2 hours of opening. Of course that is in San Francisco, which we can perhaps agreee is “not Stirchley”. These guys are an inspiration. Check out how they make their borscht!

We don’t want to let you guys down who make the journey to us, so I am going to err on the side of over-provisioning!

Next weekend will be even more serious when the meat arrives and we get to brining!