My favorite items of the day were my fried pickles with a nice remoulade for dipping, the chipotle brown sugar sweet potatoes, and the coffee cocoa stout barbecue sauce I whipped up. Honorable mention goes to Deana's crab stuffed jalapeno poppers, and Jen's oreo-stuffed cookies (yes, I've decided to use people's full names, that abbreviating shit was getting on my nerves.) And, of course, Karen's amazing apple pie, my favorite. Join me on this epic quest of smoking meats and quaffing brews.
A little beverage to start the day right. 10:30am isn't too early to drink when you've been up all morning barbecuing, right? Please agree with me so I don't feel like an alcoholic.
The various components of my brisket rub.
Ain't it perty?
Another beer? Don't mind if I do!
My rib rub, fully assembled. Transform and roll out.
Whipping up a batch of barbecue sauce. This recipes a keeper for sure (the secret ingredient was a few tablespoons of brisket rub, followed by a quarter cup of that lovely stout pictured above.)
Something to snack on while I prep my meats. By far the best tomato I've had all year. Our CSA rocks!
Barbecue sauce bottled in a sweet flask I picked up at Kitchen & Co. for only $3.
Rubbing my meat is a dirty job.
Raw meat rubbed. Meat rubbed raw. Rubbed raw meat.
I have made fire.
Rublin' the riblin's. Pigs need love too.
Smokin'. Or in 8-bit if you prefer.
What a F'ing gorgeous day. While I do believe we ridiculously overpaid for our house, you gotta love the view.
Roasted sweet taters.
I don't remember how many hours in this was... Nonetheless it was looking pretty sexy. Some rib trimmings alongside that would later serve as a midday snack for the chef.
Sweet potatoes done after bruleeing the marshmallows with my handy dandy blowtorch.
MMmmmm, pimento cheese. Sweet stanky Lucifer, I love this stuff.
The art of making frickles. Goddamn they were good.
Brisket sliced and ready to devour. It was alright. I'd say it was damn good for my first attempt. I erred on the side of caution, leaving most of the fat cap on thinking I'd rather serve fatty tender brisket than lean dry brisket. There's not much of a smoke ring since the temperatures soared early on due to the intense outdoor heat (it was 91 degrees out when I put the brisket on at 9pm Friday night.) The rub also left kind of a bitter aftertaste. Ideal brisket shouldn't require barbecue sauce, but in this case the barbecue sauce was just so good that it really served to elevate the so-so brisket into hall of fame status. I was happy with the results, given the not-so-ideal cook.
The ribs were a tad overcooked (fall off the bone status) but, of course, everyone loved them. True barbecued ribs should have a little tug to them. I added a bit too much liquid to them when I foiled for the last hour.
My plate. I must apologize for the unaesthetic overturned marshmallow. I assure you the top was seriously blackened and delicious. The gorgonzola bacon potato salad was also a winner.
Jen's absurdly good oreo-stuffed cookies. I came.
Karen's retaredly fudgy brownies.
The lineup for the second meeting of the Maryland Beer Appreciation Society (MBAS). The theme of this meeting was brown ale. A damn fine turnout--better than I expected considering I'm not really a fan of brown ales.
I leave you with a visual guide to the making of burnt ends. You see, the packer brisket comes in two sections: the flat and the point. You separate the two sections (slicing the flat to serve) and put the point back on the smoker for additional fat rendering. After 4-6 hours you cube the point and add all kinds of lovely flavor enhancers to it, in this case it was de-fatted meat drippings, the rest of the coffee/cocoa/ancho barbecue sauce, and some additional brisket rub, and then you put it back on the smoker to caramelize the fat even more whilst simultaneously creating a magical crust of epic proportions. So keep this process in mind as you view the following photos. While you're doing that, I'm going downstairs to gorge on some crispety, crunchety cow hunks. Enjoy!
I had to pull them off after about 2.5 hours because I wanted to go to bed. The next morning I fired the cooker back up and after an additional 3.5 hours the end result was this thusly thine anthropomorphic cow hunk beef nubblins:
All hail the supreme manifestation of smoked meats: Burnt Ends. Caramelized fat never tasted so good.
A big thank you to everyone who was able to make it out. And a huge extra-special thank you to those of you who brought me those uber-awesome gifts. You know who you are.
Do you ever wish you had cybernetic laser-bladed claws protruding from your fingertips? I do. All the time.