Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Visit to the Burnt End Mecca

Yesterday I had a meeting in KC at the Grainger 408 Branch, which happens to be right next to the original Arthur Bryant's Location on Brooklyn. I don't eat much bbq, let alone restaurant bbq, but Bryant's is different. They basically invented burnt ends as we know them today- chunks from the point section, re-seasoned and returned to the pit covered in sauce, to cook down. I met Rod Gray of Pellet Envy at Bryant's for lunch. It was good to see Rod and get an update on his life as a traveling bbq guru.The bbq did not disappoint and the burnt ends were as good as ever.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

2009 Beef Fest Blues and BBQ

Last weekend, we competed in the 9th annual Flint Hills Beef Fest- Blues and BBQ, in Emporia, KS. There were 36 teams and the weather was perfect. We arrived at 9pm, which is about 4 hours behind schedule, but I was late last year and did pretty well. I think its actually good for me to show up late at Beef Fest because it minimizes the chances of me getting caught up with my old buddies in my hometown and a bunch of beer. On the way down, I found out that one of my friends who cooks on a local team in the contest had passed away the week before. Bruce Neill was 49 and we worked together at Neenan Co. He was a great guy and will be missed. We finally got set up and meat prepped by about 11:00pm. The teams are around this square, open area and in the middle, they set up a tent with a stage where the blues acts perform. Its a good Friday night atmosphere. Another bonus about that contest is that my friend Jim Callow lives across the street so once we put on our meat, Luke and I went over and slept in the AC at Jim's. 5 hours of sleep at a bbq contest is really good... Because I was late, I missed the cooks meeting, which isn't really a big yank since the rules are always the same....right. Well, the rules were the same, but the standard KCBS turn-in times had been pushed up one hour...now starting at 11...luckily my friend Greg from Ribs 4U mentioned it to me at about 7am...as I was going to put on my ribs as usual...so I was an hour late. I ended up finishing the ribs in the foil on a really hot green egg with direct heat-set to grill my tri-tip steak for misc beef...one slab was inedible and thrown away...the other slab I literally scraped char off the backside...painted with sauce and got 5th place in a tough field...go figure. My scores were all pretty good, 4th place chicken, 7th place pork (which was my only real disappointment b/c it was the best I've ever cooked) and 7th place brisket. In the extra categories, I received 6th place for sausage and 10th place misc beef. Overall, our ranking was 3rd, which is pretty good for our 2nd contest of the year...Bart Clarke-Twin Oaks was the winner and he is one of the best in the country.
This image is one of the judges leaving the tent with their little coolers full of leftovers...nothing like eating 3 or 4 or pounds of bbq and then wanting some to take home...the guy on the right is a real overachiever...two coolers

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gun Smoke

My friend Michael Bright, Don of the "Southern Mafia" sent me this pic. Not sure who built it, but I heard Dave Klose built one once. I don't know how well it would cook but it sure looks cool.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jambo Pits

Just in case anyone out there is looking for a top notch bbq pit, or if you happen to have some "venture capital" and would like to sponsor a KS bbq team or even get me a sweet Christmas gift...I thought I'd share a cool site with you. Jambo pits are the coolest rigs ever! Jamie Geer has built pits for many of the top teams in the country, and until recently, they were very tough to come by. Jamie is a metal fabricator from Texas and has recently transitioned from building pits on the side to building them full time. Check out his site at http://www.jambopits.com/ and trust me when I say, they are even cooler in person.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Kid Rock Hot Summer Video

Kid Rock has become one of my favorite artists, in part due to his concert Sherry and I went to in February. The tickets were cheap, he played for 3 hours with an intermission. Dicky Betts, Allman Bros. guitar player came on and played "Ramblin' Man" and kicked ass. Then, Rev Run of RunDMC came on, with Kid doing the DMC parts, I thought I was in 1986 again. The last song with RevRun was "This Little Light of Mine"...yeah...the one from sunday school. Sherry looked at me and said, "only kid rock would perform that song and have it be cool".I got the greatest t-shirt, on the back it says, "You cant teach tall, you can't sell short and you can't buy cool.

Here is his new video on you tube . Its a cool mash up with licks from Warren Zevon and Skynrd.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Cafe Nostimo

On Tuesday of this week, I visited Cafe Nostimo in Portsmouth, NH. The restaurant was very clean and nice. We had a large group and the service was great as well. I had the Beef Souvlaki (Kabobs), which were excellent. It was served with great pita bread, rice and greek green beans. I'd highly recommend this restaurant.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chicken Practice

Last weekend I decided to practice on a few chicken thighs. The goal was taste and skin texture, so I didn't take time to trim the skin. I cooked the chicken hot ~325-350, indirect with the smoking plate and some pecan chips. The rub was a mixture of Lawry's Chicken Seasoning from Sam's and dry mango jello mix found in the mexican section of the grocery store. The rub was excellent. I glazed it with a mixture of 3 Little Pigs Competition Blend sauce and peach nectar. The end result was a good tasting product.
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