Posts Tagged ‘BBQ Canada’
Its no secret I am a huge fan of the Stockyards in Toronto (recently voted Best Barbeque in NOW’s 50 Best Restaurants in Toronto 2010).. I have had multiples of meals there and every one of them has been excellent. Their porchetta (fennel and garlic scented pork loin, belly,and cracklings served on a baguette,with garlic aioli) with rapini and shards of delicious well seasoned crackling is one of my all time favorites sandwiches. Their buttermilk marinated chicken is perfectly cooked every time (and always worth the wait!) with each bite a crunchy symphony of flavors (love it with their in house made smoked hot sauce) and their fries are decadently indulgent. My super fly fry girl and the guys manning the flat top and fry stations kick a$$. Basically they serve consistently great food all the time. They have such a dedication to serving excellent food that there is no wonder why the place is always busy and people leave happy & full.
This past weekend I made a return visit. I had to make sure my BBQ BFF Angie Quaale who had flown in for some business got to try their food. We had the porchetta and the fried chicken ( two of my all time favs) and they were both excellent. We were very happy and along with the meal one of my favorite drinks as well… Black Cherry from Boylan
Tom Davis (owner) likes to play with his food. Thank God. This tall lanky guy has all the excitement of a kid at Christmas when he tells me about some new and upcoming menu items -Korean fried chicken sandwich and Viet-Lyon sandwich. (Roasted pork belly, house made pork rillette, daikon, carrot, sriracha mayo) His enthusiasm is infectious and I can’t wait to come back and try them.
In the mean time however I got to try something I had never had before … their Pit Beans.
Now I have eaten a lot of beans from bbq Pits. I love BBQ beans. I have made gallons of them myself. However I have never had better beans than at the Stockyards. Truly I was shocked. I knew they would be good. IT pretty much goes without saying if Tom puts it infront of me I’ll probably like it. However I have never had better at any one of the BBQ joints I have visited all over North America (and that list is getting longer all the time). I personally cannot make beans this good. I don’t know of anyone who can make beans this good.
What makes these so special?? Well they come to you and they really don’t look like anything exciting. Unassuming looking bowl of beans. . Truly beans are a simple thing so many places serve them and more often than not they are a disappointing bland side dish. These beans could be a stand alone meal and you would be incredibly satisfied eating beans alone. Now think about that for a second.. How many places have you been where you could say their BBQ beans would be enough. Enough to satisfy your BBQ craving > These do. . Cooked in his homemade charcoal pit these capture the very essence of BBQ. From the second the aroma starts to fill your nose with its hint of smoke and spice.. you want to dig in. Let me wax poetic about these beans for a bit.. your first bite happens and you know immediately these are not your average pit beans. These are something truly magnificent. Starting with the texture of the beans themselves…They are not mushy they are not hard they have integrity but they meld in your mouth beautifully coating your tongue with flavor. Then a wonderful thing happens you taste some of the beautiful pulled pork mingled in amongst the beans and it is awesome meaty goodness. Seconds later the back heat builds and it is a pleasant warmth like a BBQ hug of happiness. . These beans are amazing. Well seasoned, cooked with care and truly special.
I am so glad to have tried them. I will be back for more soon. They are worth it.
In my never ending search for BBQ recipes I thought I may go in a whole different direction today. BBQ & Pasta. Not just any dried pasta – I wanted to play with some homemade dough.
I pulled out my pasta maker. I have had this thing in my kitchen closets for a long time. Never used it- not once. Today was a great day to play indoors. With temperatures hovering at about -20 and snow falling lightly I really didn’t feel like being out at the grill.
- 2 cups OO flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
Egg wash – 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water.
Pile all the flour on the counter. Add salt. Mix thoroughly. Make a well in the center add eggs and olive oil. Mix well.
Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Divide in two or three pieces covering the remains in plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out.
Run through pasta maker multiples of times until you have reached the thinnest setting making sheets of pasta. (Please note I cursed quite a bit here since the clamp for my pasta maker has gone MIA-very challenging to hold pasta and machine at the same time with no one in the house to help)
Decide on what you would like to stuff them with. Going back to my new years resolution I knew I had lots of stuffing candidates available in my freezers but decided on one:
Step 1 – Have a dinner party and overcook the ribs.
Step 2- shred the ribs and freeze.
Step 3 think of ways to use all that shredded rib meat. (I hate throwing good meat out)
I have a large container of this now. I am sure this will not be the last recipe I make with it. I am thinking chili tomorrow sounds pretty good with it.
In a bowl chop the rib meat and shred any larger pieces. Add enough BBQ sauce to hold it together. I used a new prune and sweet chili BBQ sauce I came up with for the filling.
I used a small glass cup to cut out rounds of raviolis. Boil in salted water for at least 4 minutes or so. Top with your favorite BBQ sauce.
Our year end final numbers for 2010 KCBS TOY Standings
Overall~130 out of 5713 KCBS teams !!
I am really pleased since we only had 9 competitions that qualified towards these standings.
Thats a BIG improvement from our year end last year where we came in 241 out of 4716
We still need to work and keep focused for 2011. You just never know where we may end up and at what contest!!
In my never-ending search of satisfying recipes for leftover BBQ I haven’t much discussed what I do at breakfast time. I don’t eat breakfast during the week. Its only on the weekends that I personally sit down to nosh before noon. Many times I will put together a quiche, a fritatta or some egg scramble to use up leftovers. So with coffee (ok multiples of coffees) in hand this morning I made something near and dear to my heart Eggs Benedict. I had no lemons, no english muffins, no ham or sausage to crumble. I did however have fresh limes, a whole lot of frozen brisket and whole wheat bread. I made a New Years resolution to try to use what is on hand in my pantry and fridges much more than going out to the store to pick up things I already have reasonable substitutes for. …
Smoked BBQ Brisket Eggs Benedict
- 4 slices Whole wheat bread toasted
- 4 large eggs poached
- 1 cup shredded bbq brisket (preferably from the deckle/point)
- 4 large egg yolks
- 8-10 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp lime juice
White Pepper to taste
In a medium sized bowl over simmering water, whisk egg yolks until thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Warm the brisket up in the microwave or oven until hot. Add 1/4 cup to each piece of toast.
Add a poached egg to each brisket layered toast.
Time for the hollandaise.
Here is a tip that has has saved my sauce many times: If for some reason your hollandaise looks curdled it means your sauce has broken. Don’t panic.. you can usually rescue it by adding a tablespoon of boiling hot water at a time then whisking vigorously until it returns to its sauce state.
Also you may have noticed this recipe does not call for any salt or cayenne pepper or any other spices (smoked paprika etc). Very simple reason- we heavily season our briskets before they are smoked. I have not found that any additional seasonings or spiced have been needed other than a touch of pepper. Yumminess coming up…………
Thats it. Well then of course you have to do the dishes. Ugh.
I was happy to read a while back that Barrie would be getting another BBQ joint. Currently we have one Big Chris BBQ and I already like to eat there so why not another.. Barrie with its ever growing population can always use more BBQ.
Big Bone BBQ & Wicked Wings Barrie opened up just yesterday. Their location at 190 Minet’s Point Road is within a strip plaza facing Young St. It is an interesting location as it is ideally suited for the bedroom community at the South end and central Barrie.
They have awards from various ribfests around the walls and make claim that they have won over 50 BBQ Championships (?!). The decor is casual and warm with taupe colored table cloths and walls with wood accent partitions. Each table has ketchup salt & pepper, wet naps and a roll of paper towels but no (?) BBQ sauce. It is a nice… but not too nice place to go. You would be comfortable here in dress pants as well as shorts. They have achieved a good balance.
When I arrived there was one table of 4 young men all very animated and thoroughly enjoying their meal. It was nice to see people enjoying their food so much. It was 11:30 am so no wonder that the rest of the dining room was empty. However within moments many people started coming through the door. The crowd was a mix of businessmen in suits, young teens, families and local staff from area businesses. They all looked happy to be there. There was the sweet smell of BBQ throughout the restaurant…. and a terrific selection of Jazz, country, and blues on their sound system.
Lots of options on their menu.
Wanting to try just about everything I ordered the Elvis platter. It comes with 3 bones, 1/2 lb wings, 1/2lb pulled pork, fries, coleslaw, beans and cornbread for $18.00 I also ask to have sauce on the side and the waitress went and asked if that was possible. I also asked the super friendly waitress for sweet tea. I should have known that would be confusing. In Canada no one ever refers to it as sweet tea. We usually order iced tea. (I miss my US sweet tea! ). No problem and off she goes to get it.
In the meantime I play with my blackberry but notice a couple of the staff milling about and generally doing everything they can to make people feel comfortable. The owners of the Newmarket location (Lee & Tim Rombos of the Purple Pig & Memphis BBQ Woodbridge ON, fame) were on hand as well. Certainly as this is only day 2 it is to be expected. I really hope they continue with their hospitality.
My platter arrives minus the beans. I do not say anything because truthfully I was paying attention to the meat. It looks good plus instead of 3 bones I get 4. . ….
The ribs and the wings both come without sauce but the pork had already been sauced for the day. The texture of the cornbread is good its not overly sweet or dry. Just a decent slice of cornbread that crumbles properly. The waitress came with the beans and apologized without being asked. The coleslaw is creamy, simple and crunchy. Its a good contrast for the pork which has nice chunks in addition to the pulled. I got a little bit of bark but not much. The flavor was good – mild and unoffensive with a hint of smoke. I like the fact the pork was not mushy and it still had definition. I would always prefer to order it naked and I hope that could someday be an option here. Their sauce is a tangy and sweet tomato based sauce. A typical Canadian BBQ sauce. I am in it for the meat so to me the sauce really doesn’t matter that much.
The ribs had good flavor. Smokey overtones and very mild in seasoning and to me- the lack of sauce let the taste of the meat come through. The ribs were well cooked. They were not fall off the bone. They were tender and moist and quite lovely. They were… however… a little thin on the meat side as you can see from the picture and certainly this may be why I received 4 instead of the 3 as stated on the menu. The owner Mike Miller later told me they are actively looking into obtaining some heavier racks and securing their pork for the upcoming months.
Now moving on to the beans. They are forgettable. Seriously. Just forget them if you are looking for Smokey pit BBQ beans. They taste like a can of Heinz beans right off the counter. To some people that may be terrific and perfectly acceptable but I have higher expectations from a BBQ joint. They need some oomph. They need some smoke and they need more flavor. I hope they give them some of the same love & attention they have bestowed upon their wings……..
Moving on to the wings… They are really fantastic. Lots of smoke flavor in little wing packages. To me I hold all wings to the level of Buster Rhinos in Whitby my all time favorite place for bbq wings. These come really close other than being a little on the small side they are terrific. Good things can come in small packages. I love a really good smoked then grilled wing. The dual cooking technique can elevate a simple chicken wing to heights of absolute culinary excellence. They do them really well here and offer 24 toppings for their wings from the traditional flavors to a little more unique like Rasta Jerk and creamy Parmesan.
The kitchen is open to the dining room for all to see.
They use a Cookshack with hickory to cook all of their BBQ.
I had a bit of conversation with the owner Mike Miller about the restaurant and the menu items. He pointed out that I had missed the brisket sandwich completely when I had ordered the Elvis Platter. I just had to order one and I am very happy that I did. They thinly slice all of their brisket and toss it very lightly with their sauce and a bit of additional salt. While it is not a traditional Texas style brisket it is a really satisfying beefy sandwich that has all the right amounts of spice and sauce. Its piled high on a perfectly proportioned soft bun. To me meat to bun ratio should always be taken into consideration. You should never have more bun than meat. Ever. They do it right here and its delicious.
The only real glitch I observed on my visit (and seriously its only their second day) besides the beans ..is in their layout. They have a podium at the front of the restaurant for the hostess and the cash station is at the back of the room. Its awkward. I think they should have combined the hostess station and the cash at the front and be done with it. Certainly it would free up room to put in at least 1 more 4 person table if not 2. It doesn’t make any sense to have to walk to the back of the restaurant to pay when you are heading out the door. Also for those people waiting on take out they would be standing basically in the dining room right next to the other patrons seated in tables. I really think they need to change that layout.
My bill for the brisket sandwich, the Elvis platter and the iced tea was $33.00 (not including tip). There was plenty to bring home for my better half. He was happy too. Both of us will be back next time. For sure without a doubt we will be back and I am thankful that Barrie has not just one but two great BBQ joints now.
Congratulations to the owners on their successful opening. It was a delicious afternoon.
190 Minet’s Point Road
Barrie, ON, L4N 4C3
Mon – Thurs:11:00 am – 9:00 pm
Fri – Sat:11:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Price Range:$$ (10-30)
Take – Out and Catering available.
There is nothing like deciding to go on a bit of a road trip for a contest. We decided to make a bit of a hike to Pennsylvania this past weekend with our children to attend the Inaugural competition put on by our friend Brian Nevel from Huntingdon County Custom and his partner Ed Stoddard.
They did a good job informing teams coming in of what to expect and the location was top notch. We had a great time competing in both the grilling and the KCBS contest.
You know its always so wonderful to get the opportunity to travel and see the small towns on the way to a comp. There are so many beautiful communities with interesting quirks I would love to stop at. There just never seems to be enough time. The fall foliage was breathtaking as we approached our destination. Just beautiful. My blackberry pictures don’t do it justice.
Lucky for us we had our good friends from Swamp Pit BBQ right next to us. Our kids love hanging out together and so do we!!
I also have to point out that I finally got to meet a very special little man. He is so snuggly and cute and adorable. Cooper belongs to Kristal and Josh Shade from Tiny’s BBQ and well I was just really excited to cuddle him a bit
For the grilling contest I have to give some props to our good friends Dan Hixon and Chris Hall from 3 Eyz BBQ. Since they were not competing in the grilling part they ended up being our taste testers for the trials we did ahead of the competition. I was happy with our burger, pizza and chefs choice entires. I like having the ability to be creative. We ended up with a 1st in pizza and Reserve Grand Champion.
Here is a short video I took on the BB of the competition.
It was a lot of fun and it was great to see the other teams. I loved seeing the custom made firepits. I really enjoy sitting around the fire at a competition. I also seriously enjoyed a wicked good prime rib courtesy of the Grand Poobah himself Phil. It was awesome. The morning shot was courtesy of MABA & Aporkaclypse now. The shot glasses were a really nice souvenir from the event.
Congratulations to PA Midnight Smokers who received two 180′s for the weekend. One in dessert and one in brisket.
Congrats to Chix, Swine and Bovine on their GC and 3Eyz BBQ on their Reserve GC for the KCBS competition. we came in 4th overall just missing a 180 in pork by less than 1/2 a point.
The reserve GC and the Grand Champion teams got to participate in a new tradition at Raystown Lake they both took a dip in the water and we all posed for a group picture:
It was great to be among friends for the weekend but its always nice to come home …..
Ill be making a return visit to the BBQ Central Radio show to take part in their “after dark” segment tonight at 10pm EST. The show regularly airs on Wednesdays now ( please note day of the week change) at 9pm EST and is hosted by Greg Rempe.
Tonights guests are Craig “Meathead” Goldwyn and Bob Trudnak from the BBQ Guru in hour 1 then its the after dark segment.
Tune in to hear all about our experience on BBQ Pitmasters and we will talk about all things BBQ!
Well I am really behind in my blog posts but I thought I should share a few pictures and results from the Canadian National BBQ Championships in Whistler BC as well as my trip overall.
I flew out earlier this summer to spend some time with my BBQ BFF Angie Quaale teach at her incredible gourmet food store Well Seasoned and while I was there compete.
It was a culinary indulgent trip for sure. BC is where my Mom was born and I have not been since I was just a few months old. The first thing I said after getting off the plane was holy crap those mountains are huge.
*Please note this picture was taken by Ralph Maughan
You see no picture does them justice to get their magnitude and their impressive size and beauty. Gorgeous breathtaking and majestic don’t seem t do them any justice as an adequate description.
Also I have to state the people of BC are seriously laid back. They take their relaxation very seriously. Shortly after getting off the plane we headed to Granville Island. Now this was an incredible place to spend the day just hanging out eating some of their delicious local fare and well of course having a few cocktails.
Wandering around the streets of Vancouver afterwards with my hosts Dennis and Angie was a whole lot of fun. There is so much to look at and see taste and experience that it is a bit of sensory overload.
After spending the day being tourists we proceeded to the beach at English Bay for the evening to watch one of the most incredible fireworks displays at the Symphony of Fire from Team Spain. We had a very long extended and relaxing meal with a whole lot of cocktails.
Here is part one of some video from the event.
It was an incredible way to end my very first day in BC.
The next day was all about relaxing kicking back and just getting caught up.
To top it off we went to a comedy club contest. This was held in a not so savory part of the city and was an adventure in itself. Some of the comedy was so horrible it was funny. The highlight was a friend of Angies – Art Factora who was funny, truly funny and kept us laughing long after he came off stage. they also served PBR a favorite beer of mine.
I also held a couple of recreational BBQ classes while I was there. I taught a class on ribs and also a class on BBQ desserts. Well Seasoned has had chefs from across the world come and teach at the store everyone from top TV Chefs to local favorites. Their course calendar is packed to the hilt with culinary excellence and opportunities to learn.
On another day we headed out to lunch with Anthony Sedlak famed Chef and star of the MAIN on the Food Network. Funny guy who likes to stand on his head. A lot. He was great company to have lunch with and I am really looking forward to seeing his various projects come to fruition. We tried a new burger place Romer’s Burger Bar and by the descriptions on the menu I was really looking forward to my burger. Sadly the burgers lacked in taste texture and overall appearance but the company I had more than made up for the poor meal.
One of the all time best meals I actually had during my stay was in Angies and Dennis’ backyard. we had a truly divinly decadently delicious halibut that Angie crusted with Salt & Vinegar potato chips. It was incredible. Dennis had caught the halibut himself. Paired with some fresh veggies, salads and a couple of bottles of wine this was by far my favorite meal from the entire vacation.
We also did girly things like get pedicure and one other thing I never ever thought I would do … we got tattoos. Yup. Tattoos. You see I have been calling Angie and I and a few other ladies of BBQ sisters in Smoke. Angie one day called me a said in her ever so exuberant voice you know we should get tattoos when you come to BC….. and so we did. She got hers on her leg and I got mine on my wrist. I won’t kid you it hurt like heck at first but the pain went away and I am so happy I did it. There are a few other ladies now that have plans to get the same tattoo as well and thats going to be pretty awesome.
We had to prep and get supplies for the competition in Whistler so we ended up doing some shopping and of course did a little trip to Washington as well. One of the great things about BC is the availability of incredible produce and meats everywhere you go.
I have to go into more detail about one of the places at the Granville market.
Oh My goodness this place is an amazing culinary feast. We went back to Granville to stock up on munchies for Whistler. This is where I fell in love with an incredible charcuterie place called Oyama Sausage Company.
They make everything themselves. Pate’s, hams sausages terrines salamis cured smoked meats you name it they have it and its all delicious. I want to go back and try every single thing they make. Everything.
I’ll be at Thrill of the Grill this weekend !! This is the second time I have gone to this fantastic weekend package offered by Deerhurst Resort. Last years Headliner was Rob Rainford and this years Man of the Weekend will be Ted Reader !!! Ill be serving up ABT’s and pulled pork Nachos featuring pork products from Willowgrove Hill Farms on Friday night and Saturday Ill be teaching a Southern BBQ Class on Pulled Pork using their pork.
Additionally I will be helping to MC the evening with Ted Reader. Its going to be lots of fun!! Here are the details:
Featuring Ted Reader & His World Famous BBQ
July 16 – 18, 2010
This quintessential Muskoka getaway stars grill master, sauce maker and BBQ book bestseller Ted Reader.
Come for the day, for an unforgettable dinner or make a whole weekend of it with our best value two night package.
GOURMET DINNER ON THE BEACH
Saturday July 17, 2010 6pm
Join celeb chef and cookbook author Ted Reader of Ted’s World Famous BBQ for a high-end, 5-plate dinner that proves just how much delicious food – including dessert – you can grill on the BBQ or make in the smoker.
Feature dishes include risotto; scallops; smoked duck and pulled pork; smoked beef brisket; and a bread pudding dessert with grilled peaches, roasted marshmallow ice cream and liquor-infused berries. This interactive event also includes beer and wine pairing stations, and live entertainment.
The evening starts with a cash bar reception at 6pm at the beach for the ultimate in “barefoot elegance.”
Just $99 per person plus tax and gratuity.
Includes: Dinner, wine & beer pairings (cash bar additional)
GOURMET GRILLER MARKETPLACE
Saturday July 17, 2010 11am – 3pm
Sip, stroll and sample at this showcase of culinary products and BBQ gear.
Includes: Ted Reader’s 12:30pm demo.
$5/person at the door.
Includes: Select accommodation, Friday night BBQ reception and beer tasting, Saturday breakfast, Gourmet Griller marketplace admission and samplings, dinner with Ted Reader with beverage inclusion, and Deerhurst’s famously lavish Sunday brunch, all for two. See full itinerary below.
Rate: Two night package, from $399* per night (for two people)
BOOK HERE or call 1-800-461-4393
COMPLETE WEEKEND PACKAGE ITINERARY
All workshops require advance sign-up, don’t forget to book when you make your package reservation.