Thursday, March 18, 2010

First try @ Corned beef and Pastrami

Well seeing that I have had a large amount of time on my hands as of late, I figured I would try and make corned beef and pastrami by curing the meat myself. I bought a 15.5 pound brisket, I separated the point and the flat and trimmed off most of the fat. Instead of putting the meat in a brine for 10-14 days, I decided to dry cure the meat. I made up very simple rub of 1.5 cups of kosher salt and 1.5 cups of ground up pickling spice. I rubbed both cuts of beef with the rub and placed in to 2.5 gallon bag and put it in the fridge for 5 days. I took the meat out and rinsed off the rub and soaked them in water for a couple of hours (changing the water every hour). For the corned beef (point) I braised it in 24 oz of beer (Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale) 1/2 cup of whisky about 12 oz of water, 1 Tbsp garlic and 2 Tbsp pickling spice. I cooked it for about 3 hours @ 275, then I added about 2.5 lbs of potatoes and 2 lbs of carrots and let cook for another 2 hours. during the last half hour of cooking I took a head of cabbage, quartered it and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled it. I must say that it came out pretty good for a first time, a little on the salty side but overall Good!!
For the Pastrami I used the flat cut of the brisket and coated with a 50/50 mix of my brisket rub and coarse pepper. I put it on the smoker for 3 hours @ 250, then wrapped in foil and back on the smoker for 2 more hours. I let the meat rest for about an hour then put it in the fridge to let completely cool. A few hours later I sliced it up and made a huge sandwich on pumpernickle bread ,swiss cheese, Jack Daniels old no. 7 mustard and Dr Gonzo's Smoke Isle Elixir. I must say very good. Would I do it again? of coarse I would. I think the next time I will try with the brine method.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Snowshoe 2010

Wow!!! what a great turn out for such a fun event. The Snowshoe raised over $700 and over 200 lbs of food and supplies for the Abington Food Pantry. Congrats to all the teams who got calls and to the top teams overall:
1. I Smell Smoke
2. QHaven
3. Lakeside Smokers
5. Meat @ Slims
All I can say is the weather could not have been better for the first weekend in March, a little cool and breezy in the morning, then around 11 AM it really started to warm up, it really made for an awesome day for grilling.
The Snowshoe is usaully the first event of the NEBS season, it is a one day grilling event, and is a very fun event to do. We did pretty well for our first event of the season,We place 12th overall in a very strong field of 21 teams and we got two calls:

7th in Ribeye

10th in Chefs Choice (Salmon)

We also placed 11th in Chicken wings and 17th in Sausage Fatty (think Jimmy Dean) for those who do not know what a sausage fatty is. All in all it was a great time, and it was awesome to see everyone again. Now bring on the BBQ!!!!!!!!!