Tag Archives: Slow Cooking

Hatching a Dinner Scheme :D

I teased in a reply to my burger post that I would be doing NY Steak tonight. I did too! The equally fabulous side dish ends up SORT OF getting the headline though. For those who don’t know, I *love* Tex-Mex cooking. Three peppers in particular are my absolute favorites; Chipotle, Tomatillo and Hatch.

Hatch chilis are green chilis grown around the Hatch, New Mexico area. They can get as hot as Jalapenos, but typically are fairly mild. Great for when you have somebody who doesn’t like hot food, but can appreciate savory, OR you want to add some flavor to an otherwise delicate food.

Trying to tell Hatch that they’re not the chili capital is like trying to tell a Texan they didn’t invent BBQ by the way. LOL. More on the side dish in a minute. First lets take a look at that slow cooked New York Steak:

Just a hair overdone today. They came out on the low end of Medium. Slow smoking them meant they were still moist and tender though

Slow smoked for almost 2 hours at 185 degrees (85 Celsius). You can see that delicious Hickory and Mesquite smoke ring in the first picture. Topped off with a little Sucklebusters 1836 seasoning rubbed in before cooking, and it’s nearly perfection.

Not an affiliate link BTW, just one of the companies I trust to do right by people and make a killer product. All their rubs and seasonings are good.

The show stealer turned out to be the baby Yukon Gold potatoes with hatch pepper seasoning though. Just something I found at Kroger. Fabulous flavor, and something I’ll try again. 🙂 Next time, I’ll try to do the Hatch seasoning myself and will hopefully have a recipe for you all.

Oh, and did I forget the Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Mousse for dessert? 😀

Texas and Asian Spare Ribs

Yes, a 2 for 1 here. After trying the Korean Bulgogi recipe that’s been in my family for a good 40 years on chicken, I threatened to try it on pork as well. When I did spare ribs yesterday, I did just that. One one rack of ribs anyway. The other was old school Texas.

All that was missing was a little green onion added to the Asian ribs as garnish, and some sauce for the regular ribs, but that came later. 😉

The flavor was heavenly on both. I’ve seen a ton of complicated recipes to get ribs to turn out flavorful on a pellet smoker. Nothing beats plain old LOW and slow at 185 for 6 hours however. The only extra is a light basting with apple juice every 45 minutes or so to keep them moist. Results? Judge for yourself:

Magnificent smoke ring on both of them, and deep flavor. The Bulgogi ribs tasted like the best Chinese (well, Korean) restaurant food you’ve ever had. 🙂

BBQ Time Again! Beef Tri-Tip!!!

In between all the chores, I did find time Monday to apply my tasty slow cooking techniques to some beef Tri-Tip from Costco. It’s just taken a couple days to get to blogging about it.

Half the time, I’ll use my dual grill method and slow smoke until the meat hits an internal temperature of 100 degrees, then put it on a hot charcoal grill to put a nice sear on the meat and get the IT to 135 degrees. This time, I didn’t feel like fussing with two grills. I slow smoked at 180 degrees for a little over an hour to get the meat to 100 degrees, then I just cranked up the heat on the pellet smoker. So, no grill marks, but it did turn out very tasty:

Perfect medium rare with great smoke flavor

And for those who are curious… Yes, just basic salt, pepper and garlic for a rub. That’s almost all I ever use. Good meat doesn’t need sugar and other fluff. 🙂

Leftovers…

Tonight, It was time to finish off the spare ribs from last week. Luckily smoked meat keeps longer than with regular cooking. 🙂

Even a week later, I’d pit my ribs against any local restaurant’s.

Th curlie fries are left over from a burger joint last night. 🙂

There Was So Much at Steak…

Nope, not a misspelling of steak. It’s time for my also promised nearly 3 pound (1.3 kg) tomahawk cut ribeye steak cook. 😀

As the picture hints at, the cut got it’s name from the bone being left in and the size of the cut. It bears a passing similarity to tomahawk.

As usual, it was salt, pepper and garlic for the seasoning, and then onto the smoker:

Notice I did go lighter than with the ribs yesterday also. A good steak should be seasoned lightly to let it’s own flavor shine through. Those ribs were a bit over seasoned also to be honest.

Since a good steak should also have a nice sear or grill marks on it also, I do something fairly unique here. Pellet grills and other smokers almost never put good grill marks on meat. So what I do id cook the meat to an internal temperature of about 95 degrees (35 degrees C).

Cooked slow and low, by the time it reaches that internal temperature, the meat has a nice,moderate level of smoke flavor. From there, it goes onto the Weber charcoal grill.

One thing I should mention here… If you’re going to BBQ with charcoal on a kettle like this… You ideally want the charcoal on two sides and a clear space in the middle where you can place your food. This prevents flare ups of the fire and the food getting burnt or cooked unevenly. I got in a hurry here and was sloppy with the charcoal.

Getting back to the actual cook, it stays there long enough to get to a nice 135 degree (57 degrees C) internal temperature. That’s just long enough to get it a perfect medium rare and put a nice surface sear on it for extra flavor:

This particular steak is a good example of learning to trust your instincts also. My thermometer lied and said it was still raw. When I pulled it though, here’s what we got:

That’s right on the high side of “medium” in terms of how cooked it is, which means it had an internal temperature of 140 to 145 degrees (62 degrees C). Still very edible, but not quite as tender as it could have been.

Cultivating that instinct takes work. You have to regularly make a mental note of how long items cook each time you do them, and their appearance as well.

Here’s a finished dinner plate, with the green beans and bacon now mixed with the Marsala sauteed mushrooms, some biscuits, and the raspberry yogurt fruit salad from Friday.

Smoked Chicken Breasts for Dinner

It’s time for another Silk cooking post! Tonight, I made smoked chicken breasts for dinner.

The finished product above is smothered with a slice of provolone cheese, and some vegies on the side. Here’s what the chicken looks like before the cheese:

My cooking philosophy is simple is better. Spices and seasonings should accent the flavor of the food they go on, not overpower it, etc…

With that in mind, all I used for seasoning here was salt, pepper and garlic. SPG as it’s known in some circles. 🙂 After I had them on the grill, I lightly dabbed a little hatch chili sauce on top of them.

Some of you who cook may wonder why not baste early and let them sit in the fridge before grilling. The reason is that they were slow smoked. Basting both sides would have acted as an insulator from any smoke flavor getting into the meat.

Due to time constraints, I had to turn up the heat a little over an hour into the cooking. Because of that, i didn’t get a nice smoke ring on the surface of the meat. The initial slow cooking did do a great job at sealing in the juices.

The faint pink around the edges is the start of a smoke ring also, not undercooking. The full cooked center establishes that.

Leftover Brisket = Taco Tuesday!

Briskets, as I mentioned in last Friday’s post, are a big slab of meat. Unless you’re serving a large group, you’re going to have leftovers. We had 12 people and still had leftovers actually.

So, after you cook enough of them, you get really good at figuring out what to do with the leftovers. Brisket hash, sandwiches, omelets, and various types of Tex-Mex dishes are common alternatives to plain leftovers. Tacos are exactly what we did earlier tonight.

Tacos are a really easy option. All I had to do with the meat was trim the fat and cut it into small squares, then I warmed it up in a pan with some Hatch Chile sauce to give it even more flavor and put a little moisture back into it:

We buy our shells pre-made and the cheese and lettuce pre-shreded, so aside from washing the lettuce, prep work was a breeze. End result; some really tasty Tacos:

On the small chance anybody noticed and is jealous of my Le Creuset cookware, the patent is apparently up on their designs. Crock Pot makes a clone that’s almost impossible to tell from the Le Creuset originals. The pot above is authentic, but most of our cookware is Crock Pot brand clones that work and clean up just as well. All for a third the cost. Although now that Le Creuset has competition, I expect their prices will start dropping a little also. Then again, Yeti still charges a fortune for their coolers…

After Brisket Report!

I’m a bit late paying this one off, but I was exhausted after babysitting the brisket 16 hours and cleaning house, etc… Overall the brisket turned out pretty good, but was probably my least successful yet. It was still far better than anything I could buy at a restaurant here. It reached 210 internal temperature and was a little on the crumbly side. Flavor was there though and it was moist too.

Major smoke ring as you all can see, but I’m a perfectionist with my cooking. I’d give it an 8 out of 10.

4 Hours Down…

12 to go…  What am I talking about?  My writing distraction for the day.  We’re having dinner guests who have all but demanded my brisket:

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But 16 hours?!? I hear some of you saying.  A good brisket is slow cooked over wood to give it maximum smoke flavor and tenderness.  Beef brisket and pork ribs are weird critters anyway.  To get to a proper Texas competition tenderness and flavor, you have to cook them to a higher internal temperature than something like a steak.  Ribs are done at about 185.  Brisket can be anywhere between 195 and 210 depending upon the individual piece of meat.  When slow cooked properly, both should hold together but the meat should tear with a gentle pull and still be tender and juicy.  Something like this:

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That lovely red around the outer edge is a smoke ring.  The darker the better.  🙂

Oh and another reason a brisket takes so long; a full “packer” cut of brisket starts at about 14 pounds.  You can count on having to trim a couple pounds of fat away though.

I’ve been told by Texas competition BBQers and judges that they like the look of my brisket.  I’ve been told by other Texans that mine is the best they’ve had since leaving Texas.  DivaQ eat your heart out, hehehe.

And for those of you who don’t get the Texas references, brisket is solidly a Texas thing, and they take it serious.  You can talk bad about a Texan’s momma before you badmouth their brisket, LOL.

So yeah, a little food bragging to take my mind off the neighborhood, the way nobody listens anymore, and having to clean house for tonight.

Oh and since I’m bragging…  Remember I said I bake too?  Here’s a Goo-Goo Cluster cheesecake I made last year:

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Now, as far as offering any Brisket lessons; just check out Aaron Franklin’s youtube channel or get his book “Franklin Barbeque; A Meat Smoking Manifesto”.  His BBQ is so good people line up at his restaurant at 4am for a noon opening.  He’s free with his secrets too, unlike many professional chefs.