Friday, February 7, 2020

Red Dirt Tix on sale

So I pounded on my keyboard for 10 minutes refreshing, but we got lucky this year and we'll be in the VIP line at Red Dirt again.  Yay!

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Texas pork belly bites!

sampled 11/3/19

I have been threatening to try smoking some pork belly for awhile now, but ran into an unexpected problem of actually finding some pork belly to smoke!  My racquetball buddy David in Euless solved that problem when he told me about U.S. Foods Chef'store in Farmers Branch.  We made the drive over there after the Blues, Bandits, & BBQ Fest yesterday and picked up an almost 11 pound  skinless pork belly for $2.55/lb.
This morning we sliced it up into large squares.  We don't have a fine mesh screen for the small size pork belly bites, so we just made them bigger to stay on our little bullet smoker's grate.  We dusted every square heavily on both sides with North Main BBQ All-N-1 steak seasoning and popped them on the smoker for 3 hours.
After 3 hours of heavy smoking, here's what we had.
A quick check with a meat thermometer found an internal temperature of 180 degrees, which is just dandy.  However I could tell from the probe going in that the tenderness was not there quite yet.  A few sample bites were delicious, but there was still just a bit of a chew.  On to the next step.  We pulled the meat from the top rack and coated it with BBQ sauce, honey, a few pats of butter, and wrapped tightly in heavy foil.  I committed one of my last bottles of original Dr Pepper BBQ sauce to the effort.  Next we pulled the meat from the bottom rack and did the same.  Both wrapped packages went back on the smoker for another 45 minutes for some steam tendering.
After 45 minutes on the smoker, I pulled the top package and tested the larger squares with a knife.  They needed just a little more tenderizing, so I wrapped them back up again and threw them back in the smoker for another 30 minutes.  The next test the knife slipped in like butter, so I added some more sauce on top and put it back in the smoker with the top open for another 30 minutes.  Here's what we got.
Out of 11 lbs, I think we ended up with about 7 lbs of delicious pork belly. There were a few squares that were a little chewy, probably the meatier parts of the belly.  The fat was perfectly rendered and turned to gravy when we bit down.  I think I'd call this experiment a success.  Especially for $2.55/lb.  The only thing I think I would change is to do the wrapped tenderizing and unwrapped caramelization in the oven.  One of the aluminum foil wrapped packages sprung a leak on the way from the smoker to the kitchen.  I think we'd like to avoid that in the future!

Blues, Bandits, and BBQ 2019

Always a fun event and admission of just $25 for tasting tickets is one of the biggest bargains on the BBQ Fest circuit.  It was a beautiful Fall day and the crowd seemed a bit larger than usual.
There seemed to be fewer cookers competing this year.  I think temperatures in the 30's the night before may have weeded out some of the participants.
The food this year was also weaker than usual.  There were a few good samples, several pork belly bites, some chicken, and pulled pork, but the brisket, sausage, and tacos were decidedly average.  Only one pork rib was offered and it was average, too.
Still, a beautiful day, some beer, and lots of different BBQ made for a fun day and a full belly.  We will certainly be back again next year, but hopefully the weather is a little worse and the food is a little better!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Blues, Bandits, & BBQ tickets on sale now

Always a fun event, featuring IBCA competition BBQ teams.  There's usually between 20 and 30 teams competing in the people's choice competition.  A $25 tasting ticket will get you fed while live music and games go on around you in the park.

Green's Texas Bar B Que, 10/12/19

Another awesome lunch at Green's today. We got there about 10:30 and were first in the line.  Mr. Green had been doing some "practice" half turkey breasts getting ready for a catering job and Thanksgiving.  He came out and brought us some delicious samples of smoked turkey.  If he had some for sale, I would have bought a couple of pounds.  Delicious, moist, and great smoke flavor.  He'll announce his Thanksgiving pre-order schedule later.  I think we may get a couple.
I got 5 orders of his delicious pork belly bites, three brisket biscuits, and some fatty brisket.   We took it home and had a feast.  Excellent, as always.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Pecan Lodge 10/11/19

The Trough and 2 racks of beef ribs to go makes for a very happy tummy.

Monday, September 23, 2019

The great biscuit experiment

sampled 9/23/19

Ok, this is another one of those screwy experiments I just wanted to try.  We love Green's brisket biscuits.  Everyone does.  He takes biscuit dough, wraps it around some smoked brisket, and fries it up crispy brown.  It puffs up light and flaky and is delicious, especially when you pour in a little sauce after your first bite.  Well I thought I'd try just putting some BBQ into some biscuit dough and baking the biscuits as usual to see how that would taste.  So I did it.
We got some Green's BBQ on Saturday, just before Smoked Dallas, and put it in the fridge for later.  I took some store brand flaky buttermilk biscuit dough, split it in half, and added pork belly bites and brisket.  Then I did the same with sausage.
I didn't moosh it down or crimp the edges, just pushed the biscuit top down firmly.
They went into the oven at 350 for 17 minutes.  The biscuits weren't quit browned enough after the normal cooking time, so I left them in for 2 extra minutes.  I thought they came out pretty good.  The biscuits were a bit soft in the middle around the meat, but they ate just fine!
I suspect just baking the biscuits, splitting, and adding warm BBQ would be less trouble and just as good.  Maybe better.  It was a fun experiment, though, and I'm glad I tried it out.