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NO CONTACT PICK-UP ZONE

It’s a Spring that we will always remember. This is our current new odd reality. We miss sharing bad (and good) jokes with our customers. We also miss explaining the difference between wet and dry-cured pepperoni or what kippering is.

While some restaurants across Minnesota are beginning to reopen at 50% capacity, for the safety of our staff and customers, our doors remain closed. Our space is simply too small to socially distance responsibly. But good news! We will continue to provide everything our little shop offers through delivery and no-contact pickups outside on our deck.

We are incredibly grateful for the amount of support, encouraging words, and positive feedback we have received from our customers over the last few months.

Our love for food has not faded. We are committed to providing exceptional customer service. We will pivot and adjust to the challenges that arise. We will continue to ensure that our operations and policies are sustainable while maintaining the highest safety possible.

How to place a pickup? 

You can place it online or you can call us. We recommend placing your order online for the fastest turnaround. 

How do I pay?

If you’re calling to place an order, we will take your payment over the phone. 

Can I tip? 

Yes! Over the phone. Everyone appreciates it. 

How do I know when my order is ready?

We will give you an estimate over the phone. When your order is ready it will be placed in our new no contact pickup zone.

Where do I pickup my order?

Our no contact pickup zone is located on our deck facing the DeWitt-Seitz parking lot. You’ll see a large white tent. Your order will have your name written on the bag. 

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5 Things Feature: Corned Bison

This week’s all about Corned Bison. With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Tuesday, we anticipate a lot of Sunday slow-cookings of corned meats, potatoes, cabbage, and such, amongst Irish-American and Irish-American adjacent families and St. Patty’s enthusiasts alike.

Since it’s been a busy week for our business, this 5 Things we’ll forego the retrospective on our week—or abridge it: it was busy, we’re a little short on staff and still looking to hire some cool, hardworking individuals. Send resumes to greg@nwsmokehaus.com—and instead answer a few common questions about our Corned Bison.

What does “corned” even mean and how many cobs are involved?

“Corned” refers to treatment of meat with “corns” of large-grain rock salt, often with other spices such as coriander, cinnamon, mustard seed, ginger, and the like. Unfortunately, there are zero cobs involved, unless you’re making the stock for a corned bison and sauerkraut soup. If so, cobs away!

Fun fact: our Corned Bison is one of a small handful of our meat products that never touch the smoker. After it cures for several days, it is instead cooked in our Alto-Shaam oven, which is designed to hold moisture and maintain exact temperatures for a long time.

Why corned bison?

Bison is delicious. Bison tastes wild and powerful and natural. It’s lower in cholesterol and higher in protein than beef. The bison we use comes from North American Bison. It’s hormone-free, antibiotic-free, regionally sourced from a cooperative of smaller, family-owned ranches, and the bison themselves live great lives and are humanely harvested.

How should I eat corned bison?

This would be a good start. Ignore the “beef” in the title—we used to primarily make bison pastrami and corned beef, but now we’ve flipped the script—this recipe is a great use of a whole shoulder of NWS Corned Bison. If you’re still thinking about cobs, I’d advise stripping an ear of corn of its kernels, then tossing both the kernels and the cob in with the bison and kraut. Remove cobs before serving.

Another option is something like this substituting corned bison for the Smoked Berkshire Ham. Trust us, it’ll be good.

If you want to skip the grueling work, you can enjoy a similar experience with our ‘06 sandwich with corned bison, in our deli, or via delivery, if you feel like staying home and avoiding the looming pandemic.

Where can I get a good deal on corned bison?

Glad you asked! We’re running a mail order special: Buy a whole shoulder of NWS Corned Bison and receive an included pound of our Hausmade Sauerkraut. It’s a perfect match.

Is there anything else I should be excited about, specifically referring to corned bison?

Wow, you’re just asking all of the questions I currently want to answer, and in an eerily similar fashion to the way I would phrase it. There is!

In a couple short months, we’ll be debuting a new corned bison sandwich, alongside an exciting (and secret! Don’t pry.) collaboration with our neighbors at (link to Duluth Pack website) Duluth Pack.


Now get out there (or stay in!) and have a safe, healthy weekend. You deserve it. And have a spooky Friday the 13th ⊂(≖.≖⊂ )∘˚˳°

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Corned Bison with Roasted Beet Salad

Reheat Smokehaus corned bison:

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F.

In deep roasting pan, place corned bison

Fill with water until the corned beef is submerged.

Cover and place the pan in the oven.

Check every 45 minutes to see if liquid needs replenishing and use a thermometer to temp the corned bison. 

Continue this process until internal temp reaches 165.

After the appropriate amount of time has passed, pull pan out and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

After cooling time has passed, pull corned beef out of pan to carve. Remember to always carve against the grain. Cut into 1/8th – 1/4 inch slices.

Roasting the beets:

4 beets (either red or golden)

4 Tablespoons of olive oil 

Salt and black pepper

Heavy duty tinfoil.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub beets under water and trim off any tops.

In a large bowl, toss all four beets with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 

Individually wrap seasoned beet in tinfoil. 

Place all four wrapped beets directly on the oven rack.

Roast for 60 minutes. 

Unwrap beets and poke with a knife to check tenderness. If the knife does not cut with ease, place the beets back in the oven for another 10 minutes. 

Once knife tender, unwrap all four beets and let cool for 20-30 minutes. Next use a paper town to scrub off the skins of the beets.

Cut beets into wedges and set aside.

Salad

4 oz container of arugula

4 oz container of spinach.

2 T maple syrup (we prefer Simple Gifts maple syrup, harvested in Duluth by Dave Rogotzke.)

2 ounces of aged sheep’s milk cheese, shaved thin. We prefer Friesago from Shepherd’s Way Farm (sold in shop)

In a large bowl, combine arugula, spinach, roasted beets, and cheese. Toss and drizzle with maple syrup. 

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The 5 Top Smokehaus Sandwiches of 2020 (So Far)

There will be no surprises in today’s blog—just a sober look at the eating preferences of our customers since January 1st of this year.

Take a guess which sandwich will be #1. If you find that you’re correct, give yourself a pat on the back, you savvy market analyst, you!

#5 The Great Summer Caper

The once Summertime special that proved too viable to restrict to one season. The Great Summer Caper consists of a toasted Lake Superior Bakehouse Bagel (or one of our new gluten-free bagels), scallion cream cheese, capers (duh!), tomato, red onion, lettuce, and the true star of the show, Black Pepper & Coriander smoked Atlantic salmon.

BP&C (as commonly* abbreviated) is a highly popular fish case offering which, before the Summer of 2018, didn’t show up on any sandwiches. Which isn’t to say it wasn’t requested on sandwiches. It was. Often.

Now, thanks to the Summer special that just wouldn’t quit, you can substitute BP&C on all your favorite fish sandwiches, or The Wagner, if you’re feeling bold and saucy.

*by me.

#4 The Pastrami Mommy

Of the sandwiches on this list, the Pastrami Mommy has evolved the most. Formerly an exclusively Bison Pastrami sandwich, served on a very dark rye bread, it is currently made on our lighter hausmade rye bread (thank you, Jerry!), typically with Beef Pastrami, though still intermittently with Bison Pastrami when the smokers have time or reason to make it.

For those who don’t know, the price of bison has skyrocketed since the Wild West-esque days when I began working at NWS—thus, we reserve the majority of our bison production for Corned Bison and Bison Buddies.

Back to the Pastrami Mommy: Changes aside, the popularity of this sandwich has remained consistent, likely due in part to Guy Fieri’s enthusiasm about it on our decade-old Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives spot, but ultimately due to the merit of this sandwich.

Hausmade rye, mayo, and hausmade mustard, piled high with a quarter-pound of pastrami, zesty pepperoncini, provolone cheese, and mixed greens. Sounds tasty, right?

#3 The Cold Turkey

The savory-sweet delight that’s nearly impossible to quit: Maple-Sage Smoked Ferndale Farms Turkey Breast cradled in a few ounces of Crayo, nestled alongside mixed greens and Swiss cheese, all on a hausmade ciabatta (thanks again, Jerry!).

Frankly, if our sandwich menu ever vexes you, the Cold Turkey is a great default. It’s a sandwich that many, even among our very sandwich-spoiled staff, view as comfort food. It’s the perennial, “nothing too exciting today, just the Cold Turkey.” Which is not a bad thing at all. Add a Jean Jacket if you want some excitement.

#2 The Northern Bagel

A simple foundation with an abundance of flavor is the secret of this sandwich. Our Traditional Smoked Atlantic Salmon already has a lot going for it, from its outer smoke-catching pellicle to it’s brown sugar-sweet, moist and flaky flesh. Marry that amazing flavor to hausmade scallion cream cheese and a Lake Superior Bakehouse bagel, and you’ve got a winning combination.

One major benefit of this simple setup is accessibility. You can eat this thing anywhere, and you’re probably not going to make a mess. It’s a great sandwich on-the-go, whether that’s the trailhead, the beach, or the car. And while the technical aspect of this sandwich may suffice, more importantly, it also tastes really good.

The Northern Bagel is even available from the comfort of your own home kitchen!

#1 The Cajun Finn

Honestly, did you imagine anything else would be in this spot?

The Cajun Finn’s reputation precedes it. The Cajun Finn has had such an impact upon our deli and our community that it has made its way onto a piece of our merchandise—which, by the way, is on sale for $15 during the month of March: That’s $5 off! And lifetime 10%-off your in-store purchases as long as you’re wearing the shirt-slash-any of our merch!—and at least a couple other menus in town *wink emoji*

This blog hasn’t featured any specific sales numbers for these sandwiches, but based on the sales records from which this content emerged, the Finn sold roughly as many units as the three sandwiches below it combined.

Having fond memories of your last Cajun Finn? Want to hit that high again? Have a kit shipped to your doorstep!


It’s looking like it will be a busy weekend in the Canal Park area, and with favorable winds and sunshine, that should hopefully carry over to our deli.

If you’re craving NWS sandwiches and smoked fish, but not craving the wait, try our Delivery/Pick-up service.

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5 Things: Leap Day Eve 2020

Welcome back, friends and foes alike, to our weekly dish. Due to some time mismanagement, this week’s 5 Things™ will be an exercise in speed-blogging, and is brought to you by fish oil capsules, two bags of this tea, and Patricia’s Chocolate Chip Cookies.

You certainly have a busy Friday ahead of you, whether it’s a day at work, a promise you’ve made, or just 100% doing you, so without further ado, here’s the goods.

We’re hiring again.

A few folks moved to Seattle, a handful of us have enjoyed vacations, and the weekends (plus select weekdays) have been busier than anticipated, and as such, we’ve come to find some spots that need filling in our fairly barebones operation.

If you’re looking for part time deli or dishing work (12-20 hours to week, which will grow into more hours closer to Summer) at the coolest spot in Duluth, shoot Greg (our H.R. guy) a résumé at greg@nwsmokehaus.com or drop one off in the deli. We’re especially looking for weekend availability at this time.

Benefits include competitive wages with annual raises, a free meal with every shift*, a sweet employee discount, cool coworkers, lots of snacks (y’know how I’m always talking about the fun new food I get to eat—this blog barely scratches the surface), and much more that doesn’t fit into my speed-writing regimen.

*Easily one of the best parts of working for this company, as you may come to discover.

The All Things Traditional sale is coming to a close.

Tomorrow (2/29/20) is the final day of our 10% off mail order sale on any item featuring Traditional Smoked Atlantic Salmon.

The discount is applied to your pre-shipping cart, and is not tied to orders shipped during the sale dates. Plan ahead for your Trad-loving friend’s birthday, or a holiday of your choice, and save money by placing your order before midnight on Saturday.

Cajun Finn shirts are going on sale!

For the entirety of March, our Cajun Finn t-shirts are $15! That’s $5 off! Best purchased in multiples, so you and the squad can match, these shirts (and all of our merchandise) get you a lifetime 10%-off when you shop in our deli while wearing them.

You read that correctly—stroll into our deli carrying an NWS tote, wearing a hat or T-shirt, and get 10%-off at the register. Forever. Word of mouth advertising (and the odd television spot, and magazine feature) built our deli into what it is, so consider it a token of our gratitude for your marketing help.

A handful of designs that live right by my “desk”

New merchandise is in development.

This coming Monday, the marketing team and any staff who have ideas, are meeting to design and pitch the next wave of Smokehaus swag. From what I’ve heard, people have already put in a bunch of work on their designs and ideas, and within the next few months, we’ll be seeing some awesome new merch in the deli. That’s in addition to an awesome piece of Duluth Pack-made Smokehaus gear that we’ll be introducing to the world right before Summer.

New and exciting ways to snatch that 10%-off discount are forthcoming.

What type of NWS apparel have you always wanted? Let us know in the comments.

New meat snacks are also forthcoming!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sampling a tester batch of Maple Bacon Jerky and Hot Dogs (I don’t know how we’re branding them yet, so I just capitalized the first letters).

For now, I will just say that both of those meat snacks were already quite tasty—even in these early stages—so I can’t wait for the rest of you carnivores to try them.

Keep your eyes on our social media platforms and we’ll let you know the day they appear in the deli.


Speaking of the deli, I’m just about due for an opening shift there. Enjoy the photos that Zac adds to this blog, and have a pleasant rest of your day.

We love you forever.

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Product Feature: Spreads and Dips

Last week, we took a look at the cheese population of our Grab & Go case. In doing so, we dipped our toes into another segment of the case: Hausmade spreads and dips.

Scallion Cream Cheese

A simple combination that yields a great flavor. This cream cheese dazzles tastebuds with just enough green onion flavor, and is the glue that holds together a grip of our deli sandwiches—the Northern Bagel, the Great Summer Caper, the Fuzzy Bunny (vegetarian), the Basic Bagel (also vegetarian!), the Sebu-Chan, and of course, the Cajun Finn. The Fish Basket pairs your selection of smoked fish with crackers and scallion cream cheese.

A favorite move among our staff is using scallion cream cheese as a kettle chip dip. Preferred flavor: Salt & Vinegar.

Scallion cream cheese is available upon request in our deli, and via pickup/delivery, for $2.25 per 4 oz container, $4.50 per 8 oz, and $9 per 16 oz.

Crayo

crayo sandwich

Crayo is so good it should be illegal.

The incomparable sauce that serves as the foundation for the Cold Turkey, Cedar’s Secret, and Purple Range sandwiches is undeniably one of the greatest components on our sandwich line.

Blended with healthy doses of garlic, walnuts, and dehydrated cranberries, this mayo is a flavor explosion. Honestly, the slurry those three ingredients produce would probably make a great sandwich spread on its own, but the inclusion of mayo smoothes it out and takes it to the next level.

Like most of the things on this list, Crayo excels as a condiment and a dip. Any time you want a combination of sweet and savory, Crayo will likely scratch that itch.

Crayo is available upon request in our deli, and via pickup/delivery, for $3 per 4 oz container, $6 per 8 oz, and $12 per 16 oz.

Olivada

Olivada—Kalamata olives, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and thyme—is a spread that might even turn the most olive-averse. I would know, because that is me, and I quite enjoy this spread. Garlic is magical.

Olivada doesn’t show up on any of our sandwiches—except for the short-lived Grab & Go Muffaletta (RIP)—but it’s a favorite “secret” ingredient on our catering charcuterie spreads, and when making sample platters during lunch rushes.

Enjoying olivada is as simple as finding something to spread it on: crackers, toast, that chicken you’re about to roast. Some might even enjoy it by the spoonful. Olivada compliments bright flavors like goat cheese or pepperoncinis.

Most days, you’ll find NWS Olivada in the Grab & Go case, for $5 per 8 oz container.

Scallion Spud Spread

Whether you’re placing it atop the potato, dipping the (fried) potato into it, or mashing the potato with it, our spin on the “Legendary” Midwestern dip has you(r potato) covered. Made with cream cheese, plain yogurt (rather than the traditional sour cream), scallions, garlic powder, and onion powder, and costing scarcely more than a bag of kettle chips, this deal is too good to pass up.

Our spud spread is available in our deli, or via pickup/delivery, for $1.50 per 6 oz container.

Smoked Salmon Pâté

Our Smoked Salmon Pâté is one of the most frequently re-stocked items in our deli. It’s spreadable, but not too smooth, it features a unique blend of spices and seasonings that might sound like the work of a mad scientist—it is: his name is Eric Goerdt—if we revealed it, and the flavor is tied together with the brightness of lemon juice and horseradish.

Miraculously, this highly-sought after spread is also a way we save on potential food waste, with a significant portion of the smoked salmon in each batch coming from the Atlantic salmon chunks that won’t retail well—those that are too moist to stay on the skin or hold their shape—and the leftovers when prepping smoked salmon portions for the sandwich line.

Smoked Salmon Pâté can hold its own on a cracker of your choice, but limiting yourself to just crackers would be foolish. A common pick-me-up snack for our deli staff is a slice of cucumber with a dollop of pâté, a slice of pickled ginger, and a cilantro sprig garnish. On our web store, we recommend making an omelette with S.S.P., which I have not personally tested, though if we’re advertising it on our website, I imagine it’s good. Try it out and get back to me.

In addition to making great snack fodder, S.S.P. is the main event on our Slammin’ Gordon and Salmon Melt sandwiches.

If there’s not Smoked Salmon Pâté in our Grab & Go case, something is likely wrong. It’ll be back in-stock ASAP. We sell it in 8 oz containers for $13, in our deli, or via pickup/delivery.

Pimiento Cheese

This rich and mildly-spicy cheddar cheese, peppers, and mayonnaise spread makes a mean ham & cheese sandwich, or an excellent dip. Set this out at your family gathering or game day celebration and watch it quickly disappear.

To ensure maximum flavor, we make our Pimiento with the finest aged cheddar cheese and Duke’s mayonnaise.

Most days, Pimiento is available in our deli, or via pickup/delivery It comes in 8 oz containers for $7.

NWS Boursin Cheese

Cream cheese, butter, garlic, lemon zest, and fresh handpicked herbs. This smooth and creamy cheese spread might be tempting to eat by the spoonful, though we recommend it alongside crackers and smoked salmon (or juicy, medium-rare steak medallions). This hausmade cheese is a staple of our catering offerings and the sample platters we put out during business hours. In addition to having a great herbal quality, it is also wonderfully sweet.

If you’ve exhausted all other ideas for using our NWS Boursin (or even if you haven’t), you could always honor the great state of Minnesota by making a fancy Juicy Lucy burger, substituting around a half-ounce of NWS Boursin for the American cheese product slice.

NWS Boursin is available for $7 per 8 oz container.


We hope this gives you a better picture of our Grab & Go case offerings. There’s a whole lot of daily variety, and new items hitting the shelves whenever the whim strikes us, but most of the products listed above can be expected on an average day.

If you find yourself in our deli and want to be even more intimately acquainted with these products, ask for a sample—we can usually oblige, and your own senses are the best judge of whether you like something.