Sunday, November 16, 2014

Meat Fight 2014!

Sampled 11/16/14
This was the second year Scott was lucky to grab us VIP tickets to Meat Fight in Dallas. This is a charity event to raise funds to fight MS and sells out very quickly.  The concept is they get celebrity chefs from various restaurants in town to form four teams to cook brisket, sausage and other meats.  Then celebrity judges pick the winner.  Some of the best pit masters in the State of Texas (meaning The World) were on hand to do the judging this year, including these three captured by Scott.
Last year temperatures were near a hundred degrees but this year they were in the low 40s.  The event was held indoors in a big green barn of a building but they had heaters near every entrance and temperatures were not too bad inside, especially once the masses came in.  We cued up for our goodie bags and wrist bands at 1:30 and stood around in the cattle pen until the gates were opened at 2 o'clock.  
It took awhile for the meat to arrive but there was plenty of delicious beer from Four Corners Brewery and desserts from several venders to start off with.  I started off with some Boss Lady beer and the delicious maple bacon donut from Hypnotic donuts.  Mmm Tasty.
Next up was some Bourbon Banana Pudding from the Swiss Pastry shop.  They had other goodies to try, too, but now I was ready for some meat.  Fortunately the meat started arriving.
The lines were short and moved quickly, which was a good thing as we only had about 30 minutes before the general admission folks came in.  My first stop was the "Qu Tang Clan".  Everything was tasty but not much smoke flavor to be had.

My second stop was the "Meat the Cleavers" team.  Brisket and sausage were on offer here but again were devoid of smoke.  The sausage had a nice spicy kick and Scott thought it was heavy in cilantro.  I liked it, Scott not so much.
My third stop was "The Notorious P.I.G." team.  The brisket was bursting with smoke flavor and perfectly tender and moist.  The sausage was just a bit mushy but the surprise inside were nice chunks of smoky brisket.  Outstanding!  The pulled pork and chopped brisket were ok, but needed sauce.
The last meat stop was the "Fearsome Fourcemeat".  Again nice tender brisket and tasty sausage but without the smoke flavor I am always searching for. 
Overall I enjoyed all of the meats and had a very good meal, but the brisket and sausage of "The Notorious P.I.G." team stood way out from the pack to my taste buds.  We didn't stay to see who won the contest.  My feeling is we were the real winners because we had some very good que for a good cause.

We spent another hour wandering around, taking photos and drinking more of Four Corners' wonderful brew.  After a couple of cups of Boss Lady I found they had a few cans of their excellent porter and switched over to that.  I did get a funny caricature done and was on hand as The Snob and Chef Luscher unveiled the longest sausage in Texas.
A very fun event and hopefully a big fundraiser for a most worthy cause.  Kudos to all the chefs who stayed out in the cold Saturday night smoking a mighty feast for all the attendees.
UPDATE:  Meat Fight reports they raised over $100,000 to help fight MS.  Not bad for a bunch of carnivores.

More photos in another post below. As always you can click on any photo for a larger view.

More Meat Fight photos


Monday, November 10, 2014

Hutchin's BBQ, Mckinney, Texas

Sampled 11/10/14
So we had some friends in town today and the question came up about where do you go for great evening BBQ in DFW?  That was a noggin scratcher.  Most of the better joints open at 11 and run out of food a few hours later.  Even Lockhart Smokehouse can be iffy after 7 pm.  We finally decided on making the trip up to Hutchins BBQ in McKinney.  They are one of the few joints that keep "regular" hours and yet have very good que.  After a long wait in Central Expressway traffic, we managed to roll up at 8 pm. 

Now 8 pm might not be the best time to go for great BBQ, but Hutchin's did a very nice job.  The brisket was fresh, moist, tender, and smoky.  Fat was perfectly rendered and delicious.  I ordered 2 spare ribs but the cutter gave me more than that and for free.  He said it was the last rack and he didn't want us to judge their ribs on the last rack.  We didn't, and they were pretty good for the last rack.  I made sure to pass them around for all to enjoy.  The jalapeno cheese sausage had a nice beefy flavor but not much of a kick.  Mac and cheese was average.

I thought it was well worth the drive but I could have done without all that traffic.  I still need to fast up one day and head over for lunch for their all-you-can-eat special.  Very friendly service and the best BBQ you can find at 8 pm on a Monday!