Monday, December 26, 2011

Beef Brisket

Cooking brisket according to most - myself included - seems to be the hardest to master, but you "will" master it if you keep working at it. The single most important thing in my opinion is to know when the fork truly does go into the meat like butter to confirm the meat is tender enough. I have known that simple test and used it for years and have to admit that I never really benefited from it simply because I was too anxious to call it finished and could not force myself to continue cooking it any longer. The last few cooks I have been able to do that and the fork truly does go in like butter and only then can you find any chance to have cooked a great brisket as opposed to an average one.

THE PIT - It's the recipe and the person cooking the meat that gets the job done and not what type or brand cooker you use. When I cooked this 16 Lb brisket on the Traeger Pellet grill I was not at all confident in being able to produce a top quality piece of meat, but I was wrong. This brisket is the very best I have ever cooked, which leads me to my next point. Many of the users of this type cooker will be the first to tell you that it's hard to get enough smoke on the meat for bbq with this cooker but I think they assume too much about other peoples preferences. There is absolutely no way to convince me that a brisket that was cooked every minute with smoke surrounding it will not have sufficient smoke flavor no matter what cooker produced that smoke. If I had to cook a contest tomorrow, I would have not problem firing up this same little pellet cooker to do my brisket on.

THE FLAVOR - Rubs are no doubt an important part of BBQ, but I've always thought that just about everything else involved in cooking bbq was more important than the rub, or in other words - a ho hum rub would not ruin a good brisket near as quick as a brisket that was not tender enough when you pulled it. For this Christmas Eve Brisket for the family my goal was not a BBQ flavor profile as much as a nice tender brisket that would pair up well with a good Au Jus and Horseradish sauce, so I decided to use Fresh Ground Pepper, Coarse Sea Salt, Garlic and Onion Powders. The results have me wondering why I would ever use anything else for brisket, even for BBQ.

THE METHOD - Mr. Myron Mixon of Jack's Old South, is the undisputed King of Briskets and has always advocated a much higher temp and faster cook for brisket and I definitely can vouch for the fact that he practices what he preaches because I have witnessed him on several occasions not even fire up his cooker till the wee hours of the morning after most others have already had their meat on for hours. I never felt like hot and fast was a good thing for BBQ so have always ignored it and never tried it, but due to the need to have our family Christmas Eve dinner at 5p.m. I decided to give it a try and could not be more pleased. I think I know why Myron Mixon has done so well for so long with Brisket.

THE REWARDS - Serve a great Brisket for company and your guest will be happy and that will make you happy. If there happens to be any leftovers try it for breakfast. I made a nice dish of grits, added cheese, eggs, and butter then baked. Added this brisket to the plate along with some Raisin bread and Apple Butter and oh, did that make one fine breakfast fit for a king and this time it was served on a Kings Birthday (His name is Jesus). Here's more details including times:

· 6:30 partially separated brisket which had all the thick fat kernels removed and fat cap trimmed down to 1/4 inch was placed on the smoker with temp set on "smoke" for 1 hr, temp outside was 40 and the highest temp on cooker for the next hour was 100. Rub was fresh ground black pepper, coarse ground sea salt, onion and garlic powder applied with meat cold that had been in fridge after injecting with Kosmos 15 hrs earlier, meat was only out of fridge long enough to apply rub before going into cooker.

· 7:30 I turned cooker up to 350

· 8:00 Cooker was running 325 but set to 350

· 8:30 meat was at 100 and already getting a great looking bark, was surprised the pit was holding the 350 and turned temp down to 325 and sprayed with apple juice.

· 9:30 internal temp was 136, sprayed with apple juice

· 10:09 meat temp was 160 –170 judging from both the point and flat

· 10:26 meat was transferred to full pan and a bottle of Stubbs Beef Marinade was added and pan wrapped and returned to cooker.

· At 11:41 internal 195 – 200 but NOT tender to the probe test on the flat but point was very tender.

· 12:30 is an estimated time where the internal was at 208 and seemed tender and I removed from pan and broth, separated point from flat, cubed the point, wrapped flat and cubed point separately in foil and towels and placed in cooler for 2 hours.

· 2:00 I sliced the flat and returned to foil and heated in 350 oven for 30 - 45 min till very hot, opened foil to vent and let cool some then wrapped in towels and placed back in cooler.

· 4:30 broth from original pan was strained and refrigerated during the resting time above and I added some Worcestershire and water to the defatted broth and boiled for a few min for the au jus and made some horseradish sauce.

· 5:00 Served

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Chorizo Cheese Meatballs

A great idea for Chorizo even if I did make it up myself. It's really just any old cheese and meat meatball bound with biscuit mix, but that flavorful Chorizo and Chili sauce really makes this a nice dish to practice your sopping with. If your wondering why they are so dark in color - it's because I ground and made the Chorizo myself and used chili anchos which are DARK.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Easy Chicken Suppers

Here's the deal! I am passionate about my food and eating and I refuse to eat mediocre food if I can help it. We get disappointed eating out when trying something or some place new occasionally but rarely ever disappoint ourselves when cooking at home. It's easy to do...just rule out frozen dinners or packaged entrees and put together your meals with good ingredients, add a little love to the preparation and that should do it. Like the Boneless Skinless chicken here that I would not be happy about on my plate as a meat by itself, no matter what sides you put with it, but I can grill them and use them to prepare any number of dishes that I do like. The fresh bread and avocados along with the sliced chicken and other condiments makes me happy every time. Or, PIZZA with sundried tomatoes, anchovies, onion, peppers along with the slices of chicken.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trailer For Sale

I have a 2002 Gooseneck Toyhauler built by Southwest Expressline that is 34ft long with one foot of that as the extended hitch (18ft living qtrs and 15 garage). The living qtrs has the sleeping area, kitchen sink, gas / elec water heater, microwave, gas / elec fridge - bath has the shower / toilet / lav combo - cabinets over the couch and the dining table including a tv cabinet with elec outlet and hook up to std tv disc on top of trailer, and cabinets all across the nose behind the sleeping area. It has two roof vents in the liv qtrs one in the sleeping area and one in the bath, the one in the bath is a power vent. More than sufficient heat and air with the heat being propane with central control. The garage has cabinets down each side to cover about 7 ft of the 15 ft area including across the back wall that separates the living area from the garage. It has 3 vents in the garage; two are 3 spd, reversible power vents positioned at the rear to be used for venting any smoke while cooking inside or on the ramp, the 3rd is in the center of the garage and could accomodate a 2nd air conditioning unit. The ramp has new tread plate and all exterior metal has been painted with rust prf paint (steps, gooseneck, rear bumper, etc). The trailer’s roof seal is two years old and the awning is two years old with only a handful of times being used since it was installed. Also has new spare tire. It has a new deep laundry sink that will be hooked up to the hot cold water in the living qtrs and a separate grey water tank installed for it unless it is sold first. Everything on this trailer works perfectly and the only two mods besides the sink I will make unless it is sold first will be an exhaust installed through the wall just above the smoker and new flooring for the garage. Price – 14,000.