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Rico

eG Foodblog: Rico (2012) - A Little Bite of Big D

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Rico - your brisket looks fantastic, especially that closeup shot.

I am enjoying your blog so far, thanks for sharing your week with us!

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That brisket does look good. If you love the bark so much, just as I do, have you tried cutting the brisket into smaller pieces so you'll have more bark?

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Taboni   

Hi Rico, nice brisket! I have the same problem with brisket thinking its done before it really is. Your bark looks impressive..any clues on proportions of ingredients?

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Rico   

FrogPrincesse - Thank you! This has certainly been a lot of fun!

Kent - I have not tried it, but I have considered it. Is there any change in how you cook it? Or just the same process with the smaller pieces?

Taboni - Thanks! My proportions on ingredients are pretty variable, but I always go at least 1:1 brown sugar to salt, if not greater with the brown sugar. Everything else is pretty much dumped in arbitrarily.

So I got roped into a round of golf for work this morning. I know: pity, right? I will report back ASAP, though!

Oh, and more coffee for breakfast. This time accompanied by a few slices of brisket.

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rotuts   

Im not that 'big' a fan of BBQ brisket, even those I've tried in TX. I think you are absolutely correct that sometimes its 'under-done'

But, those 'burnt-ends' or 'bark' would probably change my mind. They look delicious!

:biggrin:


Edited by rotuts (log)

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Looks like barbecue to me. Good barbecue. Reminds me that I need to fire up the WSM soon.

For burnt ends, I take the brisket out when the flat part is done and remove the point aka deckel. It's an ugly piece of meat with lots of fat and grain that seems to run every which way. This goes back on the smoker for 3 or 4 hours. Then cut into cubes and heat in some sauce. Usually Arthur Bryant's. Serve with cheap white bread, beans, potatoes and andouille, and pickles.

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Kent - I have not tried it, but I have considered it. Is there any change in how you cook it? Or just the same process with the smaller pieces?

I'm just theorizing. I don't even have a grill or smoker!

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Dakki   

sheepish - The tripe tacos are pretty special; they way they prepare them is unlike I've had tripe before - it's really crispy, but it's still got that distinctive ... depth, we'll say ... that lets you know you're eating something with a little character.

Tripa is one of my favorite things in the world. I recently found out it's not the same part as tripe, though. Tripa is either intestine or part of the udder (tripa de leche, which is a little less gross to think about), while tripe is part of the stomach, called menudo in Spanish. Not a big deal unless you're making it yourself but there you go.

A lot of people say smoked brisket should be good enough to eat without the sauce, but hell, if you think it tastes better with sauce, then use the sauce.

BURN THE HERETIC!

Just kidding dude. Fantastic-looking brisket. Did you use a rub/mop?

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Zeemanb   

Kent - I have not tried it, but I have considered it. Is there any change in how you cook it? Or just the same process with the smaller pieces?

I'm just theorizing. I don't even have a grill or smoker!

In my experience, making good brisket is the final stage in real bbq proficiency, and the burnt ends are the crown jewel. Once I really nailed my method, similar to what chileheadmike describes, I found them to be so delicious with the perfect levels of bark, fat and meat, that I no longer wanted to even mess with the brisket flat that you slice up (and some bbq restaurants will cube it to create faux-burnt ends).

In my quest to create ONLY burnt ends with no wasted smoker space dedicated to cooking the flat too, my local butcher managed to get me a whole case of good Piedmontese brisket points-only. In the stores, other than whole briskets you usually only find the flats for sale….you never see the point end by itself other than packaged corned beef. I figured…with all points, I’d yield the same product I was used to cooking, just way, way more of it. Now, this was true to some extent….I ended up with more bark since I could fit many smaller pieces of the same cut on the smoker, and the finished product was still good. People still loved the bumper crop of burnt ends, but I just found them lacking. Still good, but once you get REALLY good at them, anything less just sucks. I cannot explain it with science, but I firmly believe that in order to get the highest quality of the best thing about bbq brisket (in my opinion), you have GOT to keep it whole…that super fatty no-mans-land between the brisket and the flat remaining intact until after the initial cook is key. More bark with less fat/drier meat, while still tasty, isn’t the same. Moral of the story: burnt ends are a delicacy for a reason- the best example means you don’t get a ton of it. I always have enough bbq to send people home with plates of it…but if the selection includes burnt ends, that means I really, really love you.

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Rico   

Thanks, everyone! Unfortunately, today was a bit of a boring one for food - fast food on the way to the golf course, and then a work dinner tonight. Tomorrow will bring much less lameness, I promise!

]BURN THE HERETIC!

Just kidding dude. Fantastic-looking brisket. Did you use a rub/mop?

I laughed aloud at this, Dakki. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people in this state who would have said that in earnest!

I did use a brown sugar/salt/garlic powder/other stuff rub, but no mop. In fact, I've never used a mop - no real reason why, other than I've never really felt the desire. How does a mop affect it?

And I would like to illustrate how timeless barbecue debates get started:

Chileheadmike - That's a great idea. Fortunately I still have the point in the freezer, awaiting its day in the smoker.

Zeemanb - And that's a good point; part of the reason I have never tried it is that it just didn't feel authentic, you know? It's like the garlicky toasted rye chips in Gardetto's - they sell bags of just the chips now, but they just don't taste as good as the ones that you have to go through the other stuff for. And yes, I just used Gardetto's to illustrate a point on eGullet. For that I am sorry.

On to lunch - it was on the road, and it was Burger Street. It's a fast-food chain here in Dallas, and yes, it's fast food, but it's a good fast-food burger. I got this with a cherry limeade. Taken on the hood of my vehicle.

photo.JPG


Edited by Rico (log)

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Shelby   

Looks like a damn good burger.

And, yes, I too love curly fries. I don't care if they are squishy. I still love 'em.

It's the kid in me.

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Rico   

Shelby - Yup. It's the kid in me, too. Curly fries still fascinate me.

Lunch today was fried chicken at a place called Pecan Lodge. Known primarily for its barbecue, Pecan Lodge is one of the two places in Dallas that get the most buzz for their smoked meat (the other is Lockhart Smokehouse in Oak Cliff). Their fried chicken, though, is underrated. It's got a really crispy batter that doesn't fall off the meat too easily (and I hate it when I bite into fried chicken and everything just falls off - same with Chicken-fried steak, but that's a different discussion). Considering the amount of brisket I've been eating, I figured chicken was a good alternative. The side is mac and cheese with bacon bits.

chicken.JPG

Pecan Lodge is located in one of the sheds near the Farmers Market; I didn't get to take good shots of the market at lunchtime, but the Dallas Farmers Market is an interesting topic of discussion for a different time, I think.


Edited by Rico (log)

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Rico,

What are your thoughts on the Food Truck scene in Dallas? I'm heading out to "Truckstock" at Sylvan | Thirty tomorrow and am looking forward to seeing all the trucks in one place.

As for the Farmers Market... I went out two weeks ago on a Saturday morning and was very unimpressed. Way too many pushy produce dealers with moderate prices. Is the experience better in the summer? However I was impressed by the Elote Stand (never had it before) and Pecan Lodge, the mobile Knife sharpener was a nice guy also.


Edited by Logan DeBorde (log)

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Rico   

Hey Logan - I love the abundance of food trucks that have burst onto the scene here. I think in the metroplex, there are already between 25-30 food trucks, with more on the way. I think as a general statement, their food is good and it's reasonably priced.

But I also think Dallas can be food trendy. And food trucks are a really hot thing right now - I think in the end some of them will fall by the wayside and the numbers will thin out a bit, but certainly many of them are here for the long haul.

And The Farmers Market ... Where to begin? I have no idea. What I do know is that - for one reason or another - it's been poorly managed for years and its location is awful. As a result, the other towns and areas around Dallas have started their own markets with much success. I would love Dallas to have a great Farmer's Market, but there's no reason to be optimistic about it right now. But Shed 2, at least, is fantastic. Try the Italian Beef at Old World Sausage Company next time you're in there. Outstanding. And yeah, that elotes stand is great. Try the one by Fuel City, too, if you ever find yourself down there.

So, onto breakfast today. And yes, I do eat breakfast, but usually only on the weekends.

First, though: big news - my team advanced to the NCAA tournament round of 8. What that means, of course, is that I awoke today with screaming cherubs in my head, shooting arrows all around.*

So I made breakfast tacos. They always help.

I'll preface the process with the disclaimer that if the tacos I had earlier in the week were an example of Mexican food, then these tacos are a clear example of what I would call Tex-Mex. And basically, I call anything Tex-Mex that is Mexican-influenced but clearly affected somehow by food traditions and culture from North of the Rio Grande.

Anyway, onto the tacos.

I took a bunch of the fatty portions of the brisket, chopped them up, and threw them in the skillet - saves me from using any butter, too. Was out of onions, but I did find a shallot, so I used that.

The the brisket and shallots in a blurry state.

frying pan.JPG

I might add, the whole time I was doing this, I was fighting off Davy Crockett:

davy.JPG

Davy Crockett.

Added the eggs

ready.JPG

And threw it on some tortillas with cheddar cheese and salsa. Hit the spot, for sure.

tacos.JPG

Feeling better and about to get on with the day. Not sure what's planned, but I'm sure it will be filled with wonders galore! Or at least something like that.

*Thanks to the band Supergrass for the best description of a hangover I have ever heard.


Edited by Rico (log)

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kayb   

A Weimaraner! I LOVE Weimaraners -- had them for years, until I moved where I needed a small dog, thus Lucy the Pug.

The breakfast tacos look pretty awesome. Do you make your own tortillas (or did you say, and I missed it?)

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That brisket is spectacular. And the faux-Reuben sandwich makes me want to crawl through my screen to get at it. Wow.

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Shelby   

Just checking in on ya. I hope you're ok down there :)

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percyn   

Nice Brisket dude! I don't think the professional BBQ places up here make them that good, especially that burnt end. :smile:

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Jaymes   

It’s not just Texas. I’ve never heard anybody but a Yankee use y’all singular. Just wrong.

I've lived across the south and completely agree. I've never heard anybody but a Yankee trying to be cute say y'all when referring to the singular. And it really grates. Because "you all" is so clearly a plural.

And, just like Blue Dolphin explained, the plural of "y'all" is indeed "all y'all."

But to determine a true southerner, see if they ever use the possessive.

To a couple of members of a group, you might say: "Are y'all coming to the football game tonight?"

And then to the entire group: "All y'all?"

And then the possessive: "Cause I've got all y'all's sweaters in the car."

To Rico -

We love that Texas Pecan coffee as well. I send pounds of it to my son and his family out in San Jose, CA. It's really wonderful stuff.

Loving your blog...

Thanks.

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Rico   

kayb - Thank you! And no on the tortillas; I've only ever made my own corn tortillas, and was in no shape to do so when those were being prepared.

Sylvia - That reuben was great, but please don't try that. I've found that it merely leads to a chance of electric shock and computer monitor repairs. And then there's the whole explanation of why it needs repairing ... just not worth it, believe me.

Shelby - I am okay now. I realize that my foodblog ended with a whimper rather than a bang, but as Saturday night encroached, those leftover wings from Friday were just calling my name. I took the easy way out, I am ashamed to say.

Jaymes - Thank you! It was a lot of fun to write, though - and I don't know if other people feel this way, or I just manage my time poorly - I feel like I didn't get to do anything near what I had in mind! But like I said, it was a lot of fun!

And I think that's it, a day late. Thank you all for reading along!

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rotuts   

many thanks. I have a much better view of brisket from TX after seeing yours.

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Thanks for the great read this week Rich.

I learned today that the Texas Rangers will be serving up The Great Dane of Hot Dogs next week at the home opener. Twenty-six bucks for a two-foot hot dog. Maybe you could give us a report some time?

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As someone who has done an eG foodblog, I can attest to it being much, MUCH harder than it looks. At the end of my week, I had reams of leftover recipes and ideas that I was sure I would get to. I've loved this one and enjoyed a look at your food week!

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Rico   

rotuts - It was my pleasure! I hope to get a little more in-depth as the summer rolls along. As it was a weekday, I didn't really get as thorough as I would have liked.

Peter - I'm on it. I've been reading about that thing all week: a two-foot long, one pound dog. I'm not going to Opening Day, but I'm sure I'll get to a game within a month or so. I'll buy it in the name of research ... that's a legitimate reason, right?

Kim - It's crazy; I looked back and realized that I hardly even touched on most of the things I'd imagined doing! Thank you, though - it certainly was fun!


Edited by Rico (log)

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