Archive for January, 2007

Finally Decent Weather

January 30, 2007

     Finally had some days off that were rain free.  Set the alarm for 4:30 AM.  I fired up the pit by 4:45 and started prepping meat.  I mixed the injection for the pork shoulder and started unwrapping meat.

     I injected the shoulder with Chris Lilly’s injection recipe.  Then I rubbed it down with Bad Byron’s Butt Rub.  Then I rubbed down a 12 pound brisket with brisket rub from Dave Klose.  Brisket and butt were on the grates by 5:15 and I went back to bed.  I kept the pit temp about 225* and threw some Meyer’s regular and Opa’s jalapeno cheese sausages on for lunch.  I also made about 2 dozen armadillo eggs.  Half of the eggs were stuffed with a jalapeno slice and a cube of cheddar cheese.  The other half only had the cheese.  They were all dusted with Hen & Hog Dust.  And I threw on a maple fatty to round it out.

     Armadillo eggs took about 60-90 minutes.  The sausages took about 2 hours.  Pork butt was on for about 14 hours and the brisket about 18 hours.

Here’s the finished products minus the pulled pork: 

Opa’s on the top left, Meyer’s on the top right.  Fatty on the bottom left and armadillo eggs.


Here’s the brisket flat being sliced.  The point was chopped.


Grilled Tri Tip

January 23, 2007

     Tri Tip isn’t a very common cut of beef in Texas.  The majority of its popularity is in California.  It’s mainly grilled Santa Maria style.  This involves basic seasoning and searing over high heat and cooked until rare to medium rare.  It is then thinly sliced across the grain for sandwiches. 

     I fired up my Weber kettle.  I made a 3 zoned fire by having most of the coals on one side and thinning out towards the other side.  This gives me hot, warm and cool cooking areas.  I seasoned the tri tip with the rub mixture (recipe follows).  Then it was seared over the hottest coals for 10-15 minutes flipping often.  Then I inserted a remote probe thermometer and set the roast over the cooler coals to finish the cook.  The internal temperature is brought up to about 135*.  Place the meat on a grate over a plate and loosely tent with foil.  This will catch all the juices and keep the nice charred crust from getting soggy.   Allow to rest 15 minutes while carryover heat brings the internal temp up to 145*.  After resting, thinly slice against the grain.  The thinner the slices the better.  Pile a stack of sliced meat on a good crusty bread and pour a little of the reserved juices on and enjoy.  I like to add a little prepares horseradish to mine.  Sometimes we even grill up some onions to add to the sandwich.

 Santa Maria TriTip Rub (enough for 2-3 tri tips)

2 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp. fresh cracked Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Onion Powder



Phil’s Italian Pulled Pork

January 21, 2007

     I got this recipe from Phil over at his BBQ Brethren site.  Phil is the founder and our leader of sorts over at Brethren site.  It truly is the best group of guys an gals to talk BBQ with.  Great info mixed with a little joking around.  His dish  sounded good and like a good thing to try on a bad weather day. 

     It starts with a tomato sauce.  Phil urged against jarred stuff, so he posted his basic recipe for the sauce(recipe to follow).  I gathered all the ingredients in advance so I could get an early start. 

     Put the tomato sauce in a large crock-pot and turned on low.  Sear the country ribs in a cast iron skillet.  Then place them into the sauce.  Cover and let simmer for about six to eight hours.  Remove the meat from the sauce and shred.  Serve meat on Italian bread topped with sauce.  Cheese can be added as well.  You could easily used leftover pulled pork or chopped sausage to the sauce and be done in about 30 minutes.


Phil’s 20 Minute Pasta Sauce

2 35 oz Cans Whole Tomatoes(prefer imported)
1 can tomato paste
7-10 cloves garlic chopped fine to make 3-4 tablespoons.(more/less to taste)
Medium Onion diced.
Olive oil
Heavy Tablespoon Dried Oregano
2 cups fresh basil, Either chopped into ribbon or torn into small pieces. chops to about 3/4 cup.
3/4 tablespoon dried parsley(or fresh, a little more)
2 Dry bay leafs. Salt & Black pepper to taste.

Add olive oil to pot and saute onions until they begin to caramelize, add garlic. DO NOT BROWN. Saute on low 1-2 minutes. DO NOT BROWN.
Add juice from tomatoes and crush tomatoes by hand into pot. Add all herbs and stir. . Medium heat until sauce starts a low simmer. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. I add a few shakes black pepper here and add 1 can of tomato paste and continue to stir until paste is mixed in well. DO NOT BOIL! Allow to simmer ON LOW uncovered for about 10-15 minutes.. Oh yeah.. DO NOT BOIL!.

If you want a thicker sauce, add another paste, or use a combination of crushed and whole tomatoes.
Thyme gives it a slightly sweater/aromatic flavor.. goes well if your using it for chicken parm… and especially if your making cacciatore.


Tri Tip Sandwhiches

January 17, 2007

     We got about 2 inches of sleet and snow here in North Texas this morning.  So for lunch I dug in the freezer.  I pulled out a vacuum sealed serving of grilled tri tip. 

     I brought some water in a pot to a simmer.  I placed the sealed tri tip in still frozen.  Heating this way is a quick way to defrost and heat without over cooking the meat.  Meanwhile, I put a 6 inch section of a baguette in the oven to warm and crisp the crust.  After about 10 minutes, the tri tip was thawed and heated through. 

     I sliced the bagette and placed the thin slices of meat on one side.  I poured the juices from the vacuum bag onto the top half of the sandwich.  I added some prepared horseradish and had a great quick lunch.




Grilled Berkshire Porterhouse Chops

January 12, 2007

     My buddy Todd over at Plowboys sent me some of his spice rub to try out along with my order of Blues Hog BBQ sauces.  I wanted something different so I picked up some Berkshire Porterhouse Chops.  These are the equivalent to t-bone steaks. 

      I started by dusting the chops with Plowboy’s rub.  Then I fired up a half chimney of Royal Oak lump charcoal mixed with hickory chunks.  Once lit, the coals were poured into the Weber Smokey Joe grill.  I had to use the portable grill under the cover of the back porch due to rain.

     I seared the chops on both sides then moved to the cooler side of the grill and covered.  I started checking internal temperatures after about 10 minutes.  When the internal temps hit 145*, I pulled them from the grill and allowed them to rest about 10 minutes.

     These turned out to be the best pork chops that I’ve cooked.  They were very tender and extremely juicy.  I’ll definitely be getting some more.

porterhouse-chops-001.jpg     porterhouse-chops-009.jpg


Southwest Stew on a Stick

January 10, 2007

Recipe from Smoke & Spice by Cheryl & Bill Jamison

     This is another recipe from my “BBQ to do” list.  I wanted something different, so I gave it a go.  They came out really good.  Only thing I would change next time would be to par cook the onions first, or use thawed frozen ones.  This batch I didn’t use the glaze, and it didn’t hurt the recipe.  I had plenty left over, so I removed the skewers and they went into the fridge.  I found out later that the meat was even great right from the fridge, when wanting a snack.  I vacuum sealed the rest, in single serving portions.  They are easily reheated in a pot of simmering water.  Just make sure to double seal your bags before freezing.


Rub Recipe

1 tsp Black Pepper                                       1 tsp Dry Mustard

2 tsp Chili Powder                                       1/2 tsp Cayenne

1.5 tsp Coarse Salt(I used Kosher)            3/4 tsp Ground Cumin

Glaze Recipe

3/4 Cup Beer                                               3/4 Cup Beef Stock

2 Tbsp Tomato Paste                                   1 Tbsp Molasses

1/2 tsp Chili Powder

Stew Recipe

2 pounds Sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes

1.5 Cups Pearl Onions, peeled & parboiled

6 Carrots , cut into thick chunks & parboiled

      Toss cubed meet in rub and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.  Parboil onions and carrots as listed above.  Prepare smoker to cook at 225*.  Skewer meat, onions and carrots alternately.  Try to leave small spaces between ingredients.  Cover the skewers with plastic and set out at room temperature while you prepare the glaze.

     In a saucepan, combine glaze ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes, or until reduced by 1/3.  Keep warm.  Brush the skewers with the glaze and transfer them to the smoker.  Cook for 30-45 minutes.  Brush with glaze 5 minutes before they’re done.  Serve hot and brush with glaze again before serving.

Spiceitup! Jalapeno Ketchup

January 9, 2007

     I’m very fond of hot sauces and spicy foods.  I tried a few brands of jalapeno ketchup, and keep going back to Spiceitup.  They are a small company based out of Richardson, TX.  I learned about them a couple years ago at the State Fair of Texas.  I also like the rest of their Spiceitup line.  The Jalapeno Dusting Powder is great on just about everything, especially popcorn.  I’ll be picking up some Jalapeno Garlic Salt to try. Their products can be purchased at various grocery stores and WalMarts.  Their website list stores by state.  If you can’t get it locally, they accept on-line and phone orders.

Smoked Tex-Mex Meatloaf

January 7, 2007

    Meatloaf is a wonderful alternative dish to prepare in the smoker.  I was short on time, so I picked up a prepared uncooked 1.5lb meatloaf at Central Market.  I picked up their Tex-Mex version.  It has a few Mexican spices add in.  It comes in the small foil loaf pan.  I peeled the pan away from the meat about 1 inch all the way around for good smoke penetration. 

     I fired up the smoker to about 275*.  I placed the meatloaf on the hotter end of the pit.  After about an hour, I removed the pan and placed the meatloaf on the cooking grate.  It cooked for about another 1.5 hours  I removed it when the internal temp hit 165*, and let rest about 15 minutes.

      It came out really great.  It wasn’t spicy, but a lot more flavor than some regular meatloaves.  It went well with some yellow corn and mashed potatoes.  I served some spicy BBQ sauce on the side for a little extra kick.


Black Eyed Peas

January 1, 2007

     New Years calls for black eyed peas.  It’s a traditional to eat these on New Year’s Day for good luck.  I started this batch with about 2 pounds of peas , some diced ham, 2 smoked ham hocks, a couple of Bay leaves, some diced onion, garlic powder,  salt and pepper.  Add enough water to cover.  I also threw in a split jalapeno.  This batch was cooked on the stove for a couple of hours until peas were soft.  I then shredded the hocks into the peas.  I put about a half cup of the cooked peas and pureed them in a blender with some of the juices.  The blended peas were stirred back into the peas to thicken the juices.


      A skillet of cornbread was made to accompany the black eyed peas.  I like to split my slice of cornbread and add butter.  Then scoop the peas on top allowing the juice to absorb into it.


January 1, 2007

     I hope everyone had a great and safe New Year’s Eve.  Since I have to work, I slept through the festivities.  This yearI’ll try like most to drop a little weight(especially the 20lbs that I put back on).  I’ll also work on my BBQ recipes to try list.  I was making good progress before the move.  Once I get everything in place at the new house, the smoking will commence!  So check back here often.  And have a great 2007!