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snowangel

Barbeque

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In the intro you posted, which is pinned at the top of this forum, you mentioned that you will be "a guest judge at the Jack Daniels World Barbecue Championship in Lynchburg, Tennessee."

True barbeque, the stuff I ate as a youngster in College Station, Texas (in a wondeful place, where you got your food on butcher paper, sat on benches ala picnic table style; it was "undressed" with sauce served on the side with squishy white bread) was divine. This, I do not believe exists in Minneapolis. So, I've become pretty adept, if I do say so, at smoking various cuts of meat (pork shoulder and whole brisket, primarily) at home on my good old Weber Kettle.

Talk about barbeque, and what you look for. This is a subject near and dear to the hearts of many of EG'ers.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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In the intro you posted, which is pinned at the top of this forum, you mentioned that you will be "a guest judge at the Jack Daniels World Barbecue Championship in Lynchburg, Tennessee."

True barbeque, the stuff I ate as a youngster in College Station, Texas (in a wondeful place, where you got your food on butcher paper, sat on benches ala picnic table style; it was "undressed" with sauce served on the side with squishy white bread) was divine.  This, I do not believe exists in Minneapolis.  So, I've become pretty adept, if I do say so, at smoking various cuts of meat (pork shoulder and whole brisket, primarily) at home on my good old Weber Kettle.

Talk about barbeque, and what you look for.  This is a subject near and dear to the hearts of many of EG'ers.

Boy, this is a huge subject and I hope to write a book on it in the future. Not about how to do it, there are plenty of good ones out there already, but about the passion that exists in this uniquely American sub-culture. Very similar, in fact, to pizza passion, which really begs a deeper question that we touched on in an earlier post: from whence does this passion spring? We could get into serious riffs on the various regional styles (I love all the styles and whenever I travel I gladly partake of whatever that region is noted for). I especially love brisket, thin or thick, cooked long and slow, but really, there isn't any kind of 'que that I don't love. I think it's partly the smoke and partly that I love char, but there's much more at work here.

The larger category, of which barbecuers and wood fired pizza and bread bakers are offshoots, is what I call the fire-freaks--people who just love cooking over or eating food cooked over or in live fire. It's primal, it's deep reaching, it's intense and delicious, did I say it's primal? I think this is key, not just because it seems to connect with our most ancient lineages and almost recapitulates our entire genetic history (how does it go: phylogeny recapitulates ontogeny?). But it's also communal, it's mysterious, it evokes both earthly and mystical images and emotions. It's powerful.

Fire freaks, as personified by the barbecue circuit riders in competitions, are a community unto themselves, almost a church, and barbecue lovers who just like to buy and eat it, also partake of that community by proxy. And all of it speaks to the human condition, our heirarchy of needs, both existential and transcendental. So yeah, I love barbecue and I love the energy that comes out of the people who cook it--it's charcoal-stoked love. Hey, I think I just wrote the opening chapter of that book!

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Thanks for sharing the first paragraph of your new book with us!

Yes, you are right. There is something very primal about it.

I enjoy cooking all sorts of things for friends and family. But, I probably derive the greatest satisfaction from smoking a brisket or pork shoulder. There's something sublime about the process -- the slow cooking, the tending, but best of all is the looks on peoples faces as they eat it. I always serve sides with the smoked meat, but I've really been upping the quantity of meat and decreasing the sides. It what I am doing considered que? Long and slow.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Thanks for sharing the first paragraph of your new book with us!

Yes, you are right.  There is something very primal about it.

I enjoy cooking all sorts of things for friends and family.  But, I probably derive the greatest satisfaction from smoking a brisket or pork shoulder.  There's something sublime about the process -- the slow cooking, the tending, but best of all is the looks on peoples faces as they eat it.  I always serve sides with the smoked meat, but I've really been upping the quantity of meat and decreasing the sides.  It what I am doing considered que?  Long and slow.

Oh yeah, sounds like 'que--I'm getting hunger pangs just hearing about it.

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I just helped my dad with a brisket for a small group that has various competitions. They have done ribs, green chile and a variety of themes.

I didn't trust my dad to keep a consistent fire for 12hrs and he had trimmed most of the fat cap off before I could stop him, so I outlined the preparation for him. The rub was pretty bassic but weighted a little with cracked pepper. The cut was painted with mustard and rub applied. We smoked for about an hour and a half with apple. Not the best wood but it was all we had. Then the cut was finished in the oven at about 200 for about 8hrs. The mop was onion, garlic, beer, and basalmic. I made a basic vinegar tomato sauce with the heat coming from that asian hot sauce with the rooster on the front. I forget the name of it but it is a great tool for adding flavorfull heat. Mix a touch of it with ketchup for an emergency coctail sauce.....be carefull. I consider it to be a "mother condiment" allong with woschesteshire, ketchup, mustard, and sour cream, you can make most classic American sauces.

I also made a nontraditional sauce. I lightly browned onions, then baslmic vinegar, then port, then brown stock (actually it was a bunch of roast drippings from work), reduce, adjust acidity and sweetness, season. It turned out pretty tasty.

The cut has a nice smoke ring and is not overly smoky. I wanted to do the whole thing in the smoker but knew that without a fat cap and a better wood, we would be flirting with disaster.

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