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Low and slow

Ahoy hoy, Wizbangers. It might seem a little odd with the target-rich environment conservative leaning bloggers enjoy these days but I'm feeling apolitical this weekend. I've been up to my eyeballs at the office for the past few weeks and I'm using the long weekend as a well deserved opportunity to draw flies. So far that includes a two hour, pants-off, under-the-covers nap earlier this afternoon. There are eleven hundred miles of racing on the tube tomorrow and that means one thing for the ol' Baron - barbecue.

Of course, the basic principle of bbq is to take a sorry, tough hunk of meat and cook it slowly at a low temperature until it's tender. Brisket is the classic example. I remember back when I was in college this chick asked me to go to a Super Bowl party at one of her friends' place. When she told me he was barbecuing a brisket, well, how could I say no? We show up about an hour before kickoff - me with a quart or so of my famous million dollar guacamole - and I start looking around for the smoker. Nothing in sight but a gas grill. Oh well, I figure, store bought bbq. Then I notice our host is in the kitchen preoccupied with something.

So I mosey over and sure enough he's rubbing salt and pepper into an uncooked cryovac brisket. "Uh, dude," I said, "what time are you planning on serving that brisket?" He assured me it would be ready just after kickoff. Well that's all I needed to know. Off I went to load up on guacamole, queso, and other fillers. The Baron's no fool. Told the chick I was with she'd better do the same but she had her mind set on bbq. I explained the hour per pound reality of brisket. Then I watched in bemusement a couple of hours later when he yanked that sixteen pound behemoth off his gas grill and tried to hack through it with the kind of crappy kitchen knife you'd expect a neophyte like him to own. Funnier still was watching my date trying to gnaw her way through one of the black-on-the-outside-pink-on-the-inside "bbq" sandwiches he finally managed to serve.

On the plus side, it was easy to hear the game because everyone was chewing and choking on their shoe leather sandwiches well into the fourth quarter.

Cuts like brisket or pork butt are commodities in my book and I just look for them on sale then stock up the freezer. Since they're getting cooked for twelve plus hours it doesn't make sense to pay extra. The problem is that your average supermarket meat counter doesn't sell some of the cuts I want and they generally don't have top quality meat for grilling. Having people over for a barbecue means I'm getting up at the crack of freaking dawn and tending a fire all day, having people over for a cookout means 30-45 minutes of grilling at high heat. Marinades and seasoning aside, the key to a memorable cookout is the quality of the meat.

Anyway, there's a butcher shop near my house that I've driven by hundreds of times but never stopped. I rang them earlier this week to confirm they're open on Saturdays and stopped by today. They're going to be getting a lot of my business. It's a true family affair, three generations were there working today. And the meat! USDA Prime beef from Iowa. Magnificent looking strip steaks. Plus they make their own sausage. I generally make my own sausage, but it's nice to have a place close by where I can pick up some chorizo made with pork butts instead of that everything-but-the-squeal crud sold at the grocery store. They make their own all beef franks too. If you're in Dallas you need to go to David's Meat Market, it's definitely worth the drive.

Now you're probably putting two and two together right about now and deducing that the Baron isn't truly barbecuing at all this weekend. Why go to an upscale meat market if you're cooking low and slow? Guilty as charged, sort of. I went there to pick up a couple of beef tri-tip roasts. They're ~2.5 pound cuts off the butt end of the sirloin. Pretty decent cuts of meat that get done in just a couple of hours depending on at what temperature they're cooked. Since it's a nice cut it can be served medium/medium well. The ones I picked up have nice fat caps so I can cook them a little low and slow for some extra smoke flavor, but I'm only figuring about four hours from when I light the fire until they're ready to pull off and let rest.

Like I said, I'm feeling lazy this weekend. Hopefully everyone here has got something similar planned. As you savor your delicious grill fare be sure and give thanks to those brave members of our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Bon appetit and God Bless America.


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Comments (11)

dude...i hate you. seriousl... (Below threshold)

dude...i hate you. seriously. we got nothing but rain, rain, and more rain up here. horrible bbq weather. and now i'm craving some good bbq. thanks. thanks a lot

You speak of fads, then bri... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

You speak of fads, then bring up Danica Patrick in an un-ironic sense? Egad. Never have so much ink, airtime, and pixels been devoted to someone whose single victory was the result of pit strategy.

Nothing wrong with that cookout plan but the briquettes - ditch them for some lump charcoal. And for the love of God don't use lighter fluid to get it going, use a chimney starter.

Aloha!ptwn! <a href="http:/... (Below threshold)

Aloha!ptwn! http://bgrkudii.com qqrdu wwfwc

Heh, amateurs...I'... (Below threshold)

Heh, amateurs...

I'll be doing two slabs of pork ribs, a 7~8lb pork loin and sausage.

Chimney to light off the Kingsford and on top of that, at an appropriate time, enough wet hickory to smoke it all for 3 or 4 hours for flavor.

I haven't watched much auto (if you can call it that now) racing in some time. Used to go to both Talledega races on the infield and walked two laps of the fence line shooting pictures with my Nikon and a big lens. Used to be a lot of fun, now? not so much but then again the social circle I ran with is thinning out to. "Iced tea has replaced the whiskey and beer..."

The "backwater" folks (than... (Below threshold)

The "backwater" folks (thanks for the title, Lee) here at my house in Alabama will be doing ribs and chicken, fun in the pool, and stopping to give a champagne tribute to all American troops who made the freedom we have to enjoy that possible. 'Hope we can keep it.
GOD bless 'em, every one!

BBQ in the Rain... inside.<... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

BBQ in the Rain... inside.

Here's a way to enjoy bbq even on a rainy day.

Take some nice, meaty ribs and par-boil them first.

I cut the rack into three or four pieces and slide those into a slow boiling pot of salted water and let them go for about 30-40 minutes on a low simmer, then take them out and lather them up with sauce and slow cook them in a 300 degree oven.

The last rack I got was very meaty and it took 2 hours in the oven for them to cook all the way through. I slapped some sauce on them every 30 minutes or so.

You can tell they're done when the ends of the bones are exposed by about an inch. The meat will just fall off the bone at the point.

Just put my brisket on. Sh... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Just put my brisket on. Should be ready in about 8 hours or so.

"And for the love of God do... (Below threshold)

"And for the love of God don't use lighter fluid to get it going, use a chimney starter."


Just ask Crankshaft!

I guess he's been banned an... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

I guess he's been banned and someone deleted his comment, but since this is apolitical (and at the risk of getting myself banned from the comments...) I'm going to paste bryanD's comment below because my comment above makes no sense (what else is new, right?) out of context...

Bar-B-Q is a fad! :-)

Me? I'm a traditionalist.
Hamburgers and T-bones grilled over Kingsford charcoal briquettes. In honor
of the steak and the day I will throw some apple wood slivers on the coals.

I think I posted the following link here last Memorial Day, but it's a


As for the car races? M'eh! I'll watch turn 1 of Indy in case there's a
pile-up. Then I'll check back in an hour to see where Danica Patrick is. As
for who wins? I'll learn that by osmosis before the weekend is out.

Thankfully we have two loca... (Below threshold)

Thankfully we have two locals with gastronomically different bents on BBQ that make and serve the real thing, despite being thousands of miles from Birmingham (where I've had the best BBQ AND Indian cuisine I ever enjoyed).

Still remodeling the upstairs bathroom. Aspirin and beer are my friends.

However today I'm repairing the flagpole, which was ripped down in a late season gale a week or two ago. How appropriate for this weekend. Tomorrow there's a Memorial commemoration down by the WWI Doughboy Monument. Not run by the city or even the American Legion, but by the Tea Party. To remember why people have fought and died so we live in a place where people can call each other racist pigs without thems being fighting and dying words.

Bar-B-Q is a fad!N... (Below threshold)

Bar-B-Q is a fad!

No, 'the intertubes' is a fad! Never catch on!






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