Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

You may find that these foods tend toward protein and away from carbohydrates - this is due to diabetic issues, so I try to only sparingly use carbs, and good ones at that. Of course, sometimes I forget....

Feel free to drop me a line with any suggestions or just to let me know what you think. Thanks!

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I want to thank you for the time that you spend here, and hope that you can find useful things here.


Monday, March 15, 2010

First hot-fast brisket - amazing results!

I just finished my first hot & fast CAB choice brisket today on the WSM 22 at about 300 degrees. It was an eye-opening experience (thanks, Konrad!). One thing I tried which was a bit of extra work was to separate the point and flat and trim of all the excess fat. These I panned separately. I flipped them over and foiled the pans as each got to 165. In the pans was the au jus that the brisket had created to which I added some water and flavoring liquid.

Without having to heat up all that fat must have made an immense difference! The panned point was at 200 after only 3 hours, and the flat was at 185! Half an hour later I checked the flat at 200, and pulled it as well. They rested for an hour in a 170 degree warming oven, swimming in the juices. Doing the pieces separately made it easy to control consistency without it being a compromise. Both had a great smoke ring as well. I saw no issues from having removed all that fat cap and the stuff surrounding the point. It was still very juicy, very tender and had a great flavor.

That's going from into the pit to into the stomach in less than 5 hours, including resting, for a 14+ lb. brisket.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pomegranate Glaze/Sauce

Here is a terrific glaze for chicken and pork. Using the base of pomegranate juice makes for a tasty but hard-to-identify flavor that makes you want more. This recipe is easily doubled for more glaze/sauce. See note at the end of the recipe about the listed hot sauce. For use as a glaze, double the brown sugar and glaze the meat 1/2 hour before removing from the smoker. For sauce, use as-is.

6 T pure Pomegranate juice
4 T ketchup
2 T Búfalo jalapeno hot sauce
2 T brown sugar
1/2 T apple cider vinegar

Add all ingredients to a saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk together well.
As bubbles start to form, reduce to a slow simmer and let reduce by half, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. It will thicken into a delicious sauce.

The hot sauce listed is one of Mexico's best-kept secrets, and is the best selling sauce there. It is very thick, like ketchup, and doesn't run all over the place like the more popular sauces do, and it isn't overpoweringly vinegar-tasting. It is widely available at H.E.B. stores and Wal*Mart, and get the sauce with the red plastic safety seal around the cap - it has carrots listed as an ingredient.

Pork SmokeLoins

Another BBQ treat for those of you who want a good, fast, tasty meal from your smoker. They can be grilled as well, but won't have the great smoky flavor.

2 pork tenderloins, each around a pound
8 slices of regular bacon
BBQ rub mixture, your own or store bought.
Pomegranate sauce (click for recipe)

Open the tenderloin package(s) and rinse off the loins. Trim off any silver skin. Cut each tenderloin in half, so you have two loinettes about 6" long form each.

Next, coat each loinette lightly in your favorite BBQ rub. This doesn't need to be very heavy, pork tenderloin is a very mild-flavored meat and you don't want to overdo it. Next, you'll notice that one end of each loin tapers to a point. You'll want to fold that over so it cooks evenly with the rest of the meat. It is easily done, starting like this:

...and finishing like this:

Next comes the bacon. Using a toothpick, secure one end of a strip of bacon to the meat near one end. Wrap it in a spiral around the meat - it ought to go about halfway:

use another toothpick to secure the end and start another slice of bacon. Continue spiraling around the meat until covered and finish with a third toothpick. Two slices of bacon ought to to cover one loinette. Repeat this wrapping for the for other loinettes.

Here I put them on the smoker alongside a panned brisket point. The smoker is running about 300 degrees, you can choose to do them down around 225 if you like.

Finally done! They were smoked to an internal temp of 140, with carry-over heat taking them to 145. Before you get all riled up, I know the USDA says to cook pork to 165, but that would ruin the tenderloins. That old bugaboo trichinosis is killed by 141 degrees, so not to worry.

Here is a loinette sliced through with a nice pomegranate sauce. You can see the light smoke ring just inside the bacon layer. Very tasty!