Posts Tagged ‘BBQ Lady’
I love Texas. Hopefully this year I will be able to go back and eat at some of the legendary BBQ joints. For now though I spend a lot of time over at Full Custom Gospel BBQ reading his reviews and experiences. These ribs were inspired by my last trip there.
One of the challenges that I always have is finding beef ribs that have enough meat on them. It seems that outside of a few locations this is quite a daunting task. A friend of mine Mike the owner of Big Bone BBQ came to my rescue. His restaurant serves up BBQ Beef ribs once a week at Big Bone BBQ Barrie. I got some from him and I was all set.
Removing the membrane was easy with a clean bar towel. Better grip than a paper towel for this tough membrane.
I also used a spoon to scrape off the large pockets of fat. Whatever you do though don’t discard the fat. Put it aside into a small saucepan and Ill get to it in a bit. After a bit of trimming I had about 2 cups of fat and beef bits.
Decided to keep the rub super simple only 4 ingredients. Granulated garlic, granulated onion, Morton’s Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper.
3/4 c Salt
3/4 c Pepper
1/2 cup garlic
Generously rubbed (I used about half of the rub and stored the rest for future use) they headed to the grill at 225F . I used mesquite pellets for these.
Then I got around to making the mop. The first step was to render out some beef fat from the trimmings. This measured out to be 1/4 cup when finished. You could also add 1/2 bottle of beer to this Mop if so desired. In addition pay attention to the sodium levels on the beef broth. Some are horrendously high. I used a reduced sodium broth and opted not to use Soy Sauce in this recipe.
2 c beef broth
1/2 c Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c Apple Cider vinegar
1/4 c Rendered Beef fat
1/2 bottle BV beef upper ( approx 1.5 oz – you can also substitute Kitchen Bouquet)
4 tbsp Tiger Sauce
2 tbsp Mustard powder
2 tbsp dried onion flakes
Bring all of the Mop ingredients to a simmer. Set aside.
About 4 hours in I started Mopping every 15 minutes. I wanted to wait until the ribs had developed a very thick bark (crust).
After two additional hours mopping every 15 minutes the ribs were done. Rested them covered tightly in foil for 15 minutes. They were dark and crusted over and absolutely delicious. Some of the ugliest ribs I have ever made and it just didn’t matter. Paired with cornbread, cheesy pasta casserole and green beans they made an excellent meal.
Bacon apple chestnut stuffed pork loin
3lb pork loin
10 slices bacon
For the stuffing
3 c large seasoned croutons
2 ½ c diced apple
1 c reduced sodium chicken stock
1/3 c chopped parsley
¾ c chopped roasted chestnuts
6 slices bacon chopped
2 onions diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
In a medium sized pan on medium level heat fry bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon or bamboo strainer remove the bacon and set aside.
Add chopped onion, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic to the residual bacon fat. Stir often scraping any bacon residue from the bottom of the pan. Sauté until the onion has softened. Add the diced apples and reduced sodium chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add the croutons. Mix thoroughly cover and remove from heat.
Butterfly the pork loin using 3 cuts to open like a book. See this video for instructions -
Cover the pork loin with plastic wrap. Pound the pork with a mallet to make it a uniform thickness. Remove cover from the stuffing and fluff with fork. Add parsley to the stuffing mixture.
Spoon the stuffing mixture onto the pork loin leaving a 1 inch frame around all of the edges.
Starting at one end – roll the pork and stuffing together to make a tight roll.
Wrap pork with bacon lightly overlapping each layer. Secure with butchers twine.
Grill indirect at 275F until a digital thermometer reads 155F. I used oak and hickory wood pellets. Rest for 10 minutes then slice. Feeds a crowd.
I love peppadews….. absolutely gorgeous cherry tomato sized peppers with a hint of heat.. Super Yummy!!
For this recipe I used a jar of their hot peppadews. Currently we can buy hot mild and golden at our local grocery stores. Taking a note from my love of ABT’s I decided to stuff and smoke them. Due to the incredible flavor of the peppadews I did not want anything other than a simple cheese and a very complimentary rub. These were absolutely delicious. Highly addictive and a new favorite for many of us. I didn’t even get a finished picture they were gone soo fast. Smoked with pecan on my BGE they were a really easy appetizer to assemble and make.
Its important if you are stuffing these to let them thoroughly drain. I emptied out the jar rinsed them and placed them on paper towels cut side down:
Bacon Wrapped Smoked & Stuffed Peppadews Recipe
- 1 jar Hot Peppadews ( approx 36)
- 190 gr cream cheese
- 2 tbsp John Henry’s Wild Cherry Chipotle Rub
- 18 slices bacon
Rinse peppadews and drain cut side down on paper towels. Fill the cavities of the peppadews with cream cheese. Wrap with 1/2 slice of bacon attaching it with a long toothpick or skewer placing the cut side up. Sprinkle generously with John Henry’s Wild Cherry Chipotle Rub. Place in fridge for 1 hour to firm up the cheese.
Smoke the peppadews in a disposable aluminum half pan at 250F for 1-2 hours. Using your favorite wood chips. Serve warm.
Happy New Year!!
A couple years ago I was reading some friends posts and they all were talking about making black eyed peas & rice dish called Hoppin John and Collard greens for their New Years day menu. For me New Years day menus in the past usually meant something with heavy duty carbs to combat the post libations festivity pain from the revelry the night before. Since then for the last couple of years I have been making this meal hoping to fortify my good luck for the upcoming year. It is completely soul satisfying to me to make and consume this dish.
It starts the night before I soak a couple cups of black eyed peas in a large bowl of water. Then head off to whatever party you have been invited to celebrate with copious amounts of libations and ring in the new year.
Once you roll out of bed the next day (pounding headache aside) and grab a few glasses of water, pickle juice, and in my case a few bottles of Gatorade you need to get on with the meal. Please note this is also the time you should realize that you are no longer 19 and that jello shots combined with copious amounts of sparkling wine are never a good idea period.
There are countless variations on this recipe on the net. This can be modified in many ways by adding hot sauce, kielbasa, smoked sausages or pieces of ham. Add what you like to customize it to your preferences.
I start with an onion sauteed with some evoo & 1/2 pound of bacon sliced into strips.
Add the black eyed peas drained from the water once the onions have softened and the bacon has rendered out some fat. You can also use a ham hock instead of the bacon. I would add some bacon fat if just using the ham hock a tablespoon or two is a great addition.
Add a couple of bay leaves, a pinch or two of red pepper flakes and a few pinches of dried thyme. Also add 1 1/2 cups raw uncooked long grain brown rice. Season with salt & pepper. Cover with water completely.
Simmer until the rice is cooked and the beans are soft enough to your liking. I like to wait until the dish is creamy from the starches in the peas and rice.
Then its as simple as putting a lid on it removing from the heat and forgetting about them till dinner time.
Moving on to the greens. I ♥ collard greens. I order them whenever I see them on a menu. I don’t make them often enough.
I started with three large bunches of collard greens. I trim them of all the hard stalks and tough veins. Then I chop them roughly and soak them for an hour. * Please note this is a great time to take a New Years Day nap. Recovery from the night before is still ongoing.
Once the greens have soaked thoroughly and all signs of grit is gone – rinse them once again in cold water and strain them out.
At this point I add copious amounts of vegetable stock to a large pot and add something I love dearly….. Willowgrove Hill Farms Pork belly. This is my last piece until I visit the farm…. I have had the distinct pleasure to get to know the Hills this past year and they are just lovely people. I have been enjoying their pork all year. This piece was about 2 pounds. I sliced it into three large pieces and added it to the stock pot.
Then its a matter of getting all the chopped greens into the pot as well as another sauteed onion, a few pinches of salt and a splash or two of apple cider vinegar. Personally I like adding the vinegar to the cooking water (or pot likker as it is called in the South) versus adding it after.
Then its time to let the vegetable and time do its magic. Simmer for an hour then test the greens to make sure they are soft enough to your liking. Remove the large pieces of pork belly. Cool the belly until you can slice it into manageable bite size pieces. I like to sautee the slices of belly until they are nice and crispy.
While you are waiting for the belly to crisp up you may also want to make a batch of cornbread to go with your meal…. Its a perfect addition and great to sopping up the collard green liquid.
Then its just a matter of putting together your New Years dinner plate. A pile of black eyed peas, a mound of collard greens topped with some crispy pieces of belly and a warm piece of cornbread.
This dish is apparently eaten to promote good fortune and prosperity for the New Year. I sure hope it works. For other Lucky foods for the New Year check out this link from Epicurious.
All the best to you and yours for the upcoming year. May it bring you all peace prosperity good fortune, love and of course lots of BBQ!
I am just going to put it out there. One of the best places I have ever eaten BBQ ever is at the Stockyards. Yes. It is. Period. But wait. Theres more. How about the sexiest damn burger, the best onion rings, the most flavorful porchetta, the best tasting limeade and some of the nicest sandwiches a girl could ask for. It was freaking awesome. That sums up the whole meal: freaking awesome.
I have been wanting to go to this place for a year. Since they opened last April. I never got the chance till tonight. I was worried it would not live up to its reputation. I was hopeful that the hype was true. It did not disappoint. I think for anyone coming into Toronto missing The Stockyards would be a sin. Truly.
I got to enjoy this meal with Ben Kaplan a writer for the National Post. He had written a story about the Stockyards previously and knew the owner Tom Davis. Tom is a tall lanky guy who has an intensity about him and a true warmth and passion for all things BBQ. He was on a mission to feed us both enough food to kill us. He seemed to take a real delight in it.
As we sat through the meal and talked back and forth I was thinking about the episode with Anthony Bourdain where he visits Au Pied de Cochon in Montreal QC. Martin Picard serves Anthony dish after decadent dish of fois gras items. All more decadent than the one previous. It just about kills him with the deliciousness and indulgence of it all.
Now imagine that instead of fois gras you were served outstanding BBQ. Then burgers, and in house made pastrami and andouille and bacon and well you get the picture. That was my culinary adventure for tonight. Oh my goodness.
I started out the night with a photo-shoot in the rain on the back of my truck with my super cute Traeger pig BBQ. Then I moved on to the culinary indulgences. Limeade. Ahh limeade. I love you limeade. It is a perfect pairing with BBQ in my opinion. Their limeade puts all others to shame. Crisp clean and not too sweet. Lovely. Just lovely.
Now the first taste of the night came with the onion rings. Too many places forget the onion and all you get is batter. These were the best I have ever had period. A good onion ring is soooo hard to find. These were delightfully crisp. The batter had a pepper kick that made you want them more and more. The integrity of the onion never got lost with the batter. It stood on its own still retaining its crisp. Deep fried perfection.
I’d like to thank the fly fry girl Allison. She is a very hospitable friendly lady who worked the fry station all night like a champ. She rocked.
Our seats were right at the full view of the kitchen. Prime real estate at the Stockyards considering there are only 14 seats . The lineups never cease for takeout and on a Tuesday night its all about ribs and chicken. Their full menu is plentiful. Additionally all of their takeout containers are biodegradable. Even the straws are biodegradable. Kudos to them for being environmentally responsible with their packaging choices.
Before the onslaught of food started we took a tour of the back room and the smoker. Tom runs it on hickory and apple wood he sources from the Niagara region and sugar maple hardwood lump charcoal. Its no secret I am a HUGE fan of sugar maple hardwood lump charcoal. It really does add to the flavor of the food. The smoker itself is a J&R Clone. Its a fairly large smoker that can accommodate a lot of meat. Tom had it custom made to his specifications. After years of playing with smoke fire wood and charcoal on a cheap $100.00 Canadian Tire Smoker he knew what he wanted. He got it and it runs beautifully. It was great to see it in action as he was still smoking chicken when we got there.
Getting back to our seats from the tour of the kitchen the first 6 dishes arrived. The smell was truly intoxicating to me.
Pastrami, ribs, pulled pork, andouille, brisket and coleslaw.
The pastrami they do in house. It was wonderfully tender and nicely spiced. I think it will soon rival Caplansky’s.
The pulled pork had lots and lots of really great texture and definition. They do not serve it with sauce on –it is served on the side. Their sauce is not the syrupy sickly sweet consistency of so many other BBQ joints. It has twang and depth with apple cider vinegar and just a touch of sweetness. KUDOS to them. There are glorious shreds of bark through out. It was incredible. As we were doing a tasting it was served on its own. Truly a good pulled pork in my opinion should be able to stand on its own without sauce without a bun and without coleslaw. This pulled pork stands on its own and sings. Its that good.
Brisket. Oh my brisket. I love the point on brisket, all that delectable fat. My sandwich was full of delicious point. This brisket was sliced thin and served on a French Baguette with caramelized onions garlic mayo and just a touch of their BBQ sauce. It was divine. Tender morsels of brisket that pulled apart with just a little tug. It was an incredible sandwich and the addition of the mayo and onions was just taking it to a whole other level.
Their slaw is different, in a good way. Its not some afterthought. It really has a great crunch factor and peppery bites with touches of celery seeds. Its a great accompaniment for any of the dishes.
The andouille was a really nice surprise. Its available on their brunch menu. The coarse grained meat had a wonderful smoky flavor and an abundance of defined texture. I can’t wait to go back and try their brunch menu. I would not want to miss it. I may need a while to recoup from tonight though.
Tom smokes his spare ribs for 7 hours. You would think that after 7 hours that they would fall off the bone be mushy or be overdone. You would be wrong. These ribs were one of the best I have ever had and certainly one of the best in Canada. Seriously meaty they would rival any rib I have had any where in North America. They held their shape after biting through. The bone turned a nice whitish color and the meat was tender but not mushy. The rub is simple and effective - it does not mask the actual flavor of the pork but compliments it thoroughly. Too often the rubs and sauces that are used by restaurants mask too much of the pork. This rub is like the best supporting actor ever. It just helped it along but didn’t overshadow them. I loved how much of the rib was caramelized. Goodness. Pure Pork Goodness.
Fried Chicken, BAT, Porchetta Sandwich and the sexiest burger ever.
I am going to say this for the record I am jaded about fried chicken. After over indulging earlier this year on a couple of trips to Memphis and eating at Gus’s fried chicken I never thought I would ever find anything close again. I was wrong. Now I am going to say this chicken is almost as good as Gus’s. Almost. Pretty darn close in fact. The batter is awesome. The chicken is moist and succulent. However I think it needs more spice. Thats just a personal thing. It’s an easy fix with a couple dashes of hot sauce. Thats all it takes to bring this chicken to just about the same level as Gus’s. Once again its deep fried finger licking, lip smacking deep fried greatness. The chicken is not greasy at all. It is crunchy and savory and truly yummy.
BAT. What a name LOL. Its the Stockyards house cured bacon, Arugula, fried green Tomato, and lemon aioli on a ciabatta roll. Out of everything I had this was my least favorite. There is nothing bad about this sandwich. I just wanted to eat the bacon and nothing else. The bacon is so lovely with smoky overtones and full bodied flavor that it seems almost sacrilege to cover it up with anything.
I have now had the burger of my dreams. This burger was the sassiest, tastiest and sexiest burger I have ever had. It is a griddle smashed burger. This burger is unabashedly fierce. Smoked green chilies give it sass,pimento cheese gives it depth, the ground beef, brilliantly cooked and a buttered grilled bun like a perfect pillow. – I am in love with this burger. It was like sex on a bun. It was that amazing. I cannot wait to have another one. In fact I may go again Thursday when I am in Toronto again.
Last but most certainly not least is something I would recommend above everything else. It is their Porchetta sandwich.
I love porchetta when it is done right. Here is done exceptionally well. There is so much to love about this sandwich I do not know where to begin. It could be the fact that within the first bite you know there is a whole lotta love in the making of this wondrous sandwich. It is a fennel and garlic scented pork loin, belly,and cracklings served on a baguette, with garlic aioli.
This is truly a dream of a sandwich. While you are smelling the beautiful fennel and garlic you are experiencing the most satisfying crunch of the cracklings and while you are enjoying the cracklings your mouth is flooded with pure pork pleasure and if that wasn’t enough the silkiness of the garlic aioli comes across your tongue like the caress of a lover. While their chili burger is unabashedly sexy this is more like the most incredibly orchestrated symphony of flavors, tastes, and textures. I could not dream a better sandwich that this.
It was a culinary adventure like no other.
Many thanks to my dining partner tonight Ben Kaplan. His is an exceptionally smart guy who was funny as hell. Truly talented – I know everyone will be hearing about him and his writing accomplishments.
Many thanks to the staff of the Stockyards and to Tom Davis himself. Thank you for sharing your passions about BBQ.
I have no doubt I will be back. Soon. Very soon. Like maybe in 48 hours.
Smokehouse & larder
416 658 9666
Tuesday 11:30 to 9:00pm
Wednesday 11:30 to 9:00pm
Thursday 11:30 to 9:00pm
Friday 11:30 to 9:00pm
Saturday 11:30 to 8:00pm
Sunday 11:30 to 8:00pm
I figure its only right to finally post my own BBQ Pitmaster audition tape. No matter what I am happy that I submitted it and took a chance to be on the BBQ Pitmasters show. Since the beginning of the series I made no secret that I want to be on the show. I think TV needs more BBQ shows. It has only been good for all facets of BBQ from restaurants to products and all competitions. I think they need a Canadian Chick that knows how to BBQ.
I have been to Disney World Florida more times than I can count when I was a kid and once with my eldest daughter Lexi and my parents. One of my fondest memories besides spending time with family was the Giant Turkey legs. If you ever go make sure to stop and get one. It will be enough to feed at least 2 people. You will feel like a carnivorous Neanderthal while chowing down on one. You won’t care. They are that good. Every time I think of juicy delicious turkey legs my memories take me back to Disney World.
I did my best to recreate those turkey legs on the BGE. I used Clubhouse brand Montreal Chicken seasoning with a dash of poultry seasoning as well. I generously seasoned the legs and placed them on the BGE with some pecan wood chips and a drip pan underneath. I kept them low at about 225F and I went back a couple of times and basted them with the juices. They were not exactly as I remembered but they were juicy and delicious. It was really fun to tell my kids I was serving them dinosaur birds. Much more fun than telling them they were eating turkey.
The BGE performed nicely. As it was the first cook I got to experience how little charcoal it takes. Overall the BGE did terrific and I was really pleased with the ease of cooking on it.
Well today has been a very exciting BBQ day!! I got to see the new Traeger 300 in person right after it was unloaded. It is even more impressive in person. Really solid design. I am looking forward to playing on one in the upcoming weeks.
Here are some pictures of the unit
As soon as I get the spec sheet I will update this post!