Friday, February 01, 2019

Indoor Smoked Beef Brisket


Here is where I show you how to cook smoked brisket like a pro ... but indoors and in significantly less time. Follow these instructions and you will be absolutely amazed by the results. I promise you.

Please don't get the wrong impression because when time and weather permits there is nothing I like better than cooking a brisket outdoors on the BBQ or in the smoker for hours-on-end while drinking
my favorite beverages and jaw-boning with family and friends. But, there are times when I use the following methods of achieving like-results by cooking briskets indoors in the oven.

Indoor Smoked Beef Brisket
I could write about how to pick out a choice cut of brisket but you can easily find out that information on the NET.

When I buy a brisket I try to find one that is whole and untrimmed (packer cut). The reason I like to trim my own brisket is that I can leave a little 'fat on the flat' so to speak. I like to trim the fat down to about 1/4" and make crisscross slashes through it. I then cook the brisket fat-side up knowing that the melted fat will act as a continuous baste for the rest of the meat. As the fat slowly cooks and melts, gravity kicks-in and coats the outside of the brisket while keeping it moist at all times.

The average briskets weigh-in at 8 -12 pounds, is 12 to 20 inches long, and about a foot wide.

That said, I must now reveal the 'secret' to my method of preparing delicious and tender smoked beef brisket indoors.

  • I use a flat container large enough to completely immerse my brisket in the brine-water solution yet small enough to place it over-night in the refrigerator. I've used the meat tray from the bottom of my refrigerator before and it works great.
  • Pour-in one 4-oz bottle of Colgin liquid smoke, 1 lb. of dark brown sugar and 1 lb. of table salt. Stir well in tepid water (usually between 1 and 2 gallons) until all the sugar and salt solids are dissolved.
  • After trimming, immerse your brisket in the brine solution and let it soak for at least 12 hours in your refrigerator.
  • Remove and apply your seasoning rub to the non-fat side of the brisket.

That's it! From that point on it's a piece of cake. Double wrap your brisket in heavy aluminum foil with the fat-side up and cook in the oven for 3 hours at 250 degrees F., then another 2 hours at 300 degrees F. Remove the foil and let the brisket cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.

I make my own seasoning rub. I use cracked black-pepper corns, dill weed, Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning Mix and other choice spices. You should experiment with your own seasoning rub.

In conclusion, this is a method of preparing smoked brisket which is "indoor easy and outdoor delicious".

Bon appetite! Ahheee!!
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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Black-eyed Peas and Cabbage

Black-eyed Peas

Ingredients

Black-eyed Peas & Cabbage
  • 1 lb. dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 slices of hickory smoked bacon
  • 2 Tbsp onions, minced
  • 2 Tbsp bell pepper, minced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Colgin liquid smoke
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

As is the case with thousands of other families across America, I also take part in the annual tradition of cooking-up a mess of black-eyed peas and cabbage in an effort to increase my luck for the coming New Year. Heaven knows we are gonna need all we can muster up. (Okay. Stop ... no politics! Moving on.)

Contrary to popular belief, black-eyed peas don't have to be soaked overnight or for any significant period of time because the peas have a thin skin and are relatively easy to cook.

Over medium (or lower) heat, black-eyed peas can be done in just a few minutes. It's the pot liquor that makes all the difference in how your peas will taste, however.

Think 'minced' and not 'chopped' when it comes to your vegetables. A couple tablespoons of minced onions and bell pepper - and about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic sautéed in the fat from a couple slices of smoked bacon creates a wonderful flavor and delicious taste. And, you can salt and pepper to your own liking.

Using a 2 quart pot begin by adding just enough water to cover the peas and sautéed vegetables by about an inch,  (or by a finger and a half as we say in Cajun speak),  and begin the slow process of cooking them to perfection, while stirring occasionally (around 1 - 1 1/2 hrs.). Keep an eye on the peas because you may have to add a little more water occasionally as they absorb and cook.You will know when they become tender enough by taste-testing.

Set them aside until the boiled cabbage is done.

A pound of dried black-eyed peas, when cooked, should yield between 5 and 6 cups.


Cabbage

Ingredients


  • 1 head of cabbage, leaves separated
  • 3 or 4 pork chops
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Tbsp Colgin liquid smoke (hickory)
  • 1 measure DIY Cajun Seasoning
  • Additional salt and pepper (if desired) 

Cooking cabbage (boiled) is also easy to do and the way I prepare my cabbage, by popular demand I might add, is to include 3 or 4 pork chops with it. This is how I prepare my boiled cabbage.

The first thing I do is season the heck out of the pork chops with one measure of DIY Cajun Seasoning (easy to make - check it out), and fry them up in my cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat in a couple tablespoons of oil.

I fry the chops for a couple minutes on both sides until they are well browned, but I don't cook them all the way because they will finish cooking with the slow-boiling cabbage.

The next thing I do is get my kitchen shears and cut-up the chops into bite-size pieces and add this to the boiling cabbage.

If you are using a heavy cast-iron skillet, chances are in your favor that a crust will form at the bottom of the skillet (it usually does when you cook meat fast on high heat).This is a good thing.

We Cajuns call this crusty material the 'gratin' - which is commonly used to complement and enhance the flavor of various meat gravies.

Here's a little secret: keep the skillet hot but add in about 2 or 3 ice cubes and stir them around the skillet and they will magically loosen the crust (or 'gratin') and will produce a savory bouillon that you can add to the cabbage mixture to enhance the overall flavor.

Once you have liquefied the crust and added it to the stock pot along with the cabbage leaves and cut-up pork chops, you just go about your business of boiling cabbage like you always have (low and slow).  Adding a little salt and black pepper always helps.

I like to also include a tablespoon of Colgin liquid smoke (hickory flavor) and not that other brand. Keep mixing and tumbling the cabbage leaves in the pot occasionally so they don't burn. The only difference with cooking cabbage this way instead of the traditional way is that you now have a delicious pot liquor and a few bites of meat to go with your good luck food.

See there! Your luck's already changing.

I hope you like this great recipe for the coming New Year.

Catch ya later.

Bon Appetit! ... and a happy New Year! Ahheee!!
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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Smoked Turkey Breast

Ingredients
  • 2 cups non-iodized sea salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground thyme
  • 1 Tbsp rubbed sage
  • 1 Tsp black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 fresh turkey breast, apx 2.5 lbs
  • 2 gallons non-chlorinated water
  • good oak, hickory, or apple-wood charcoal
  • indirect heat outdoor smoker

Instructions 
  1. Add water plus dry ingredients to container and mix well
  2. add turkey breast to liquid and put into fridge
  3. soak in fridge for about 1 1/2 hours (approximately 30 min per pound of turkey)
  4. add charcoal to smoker, and bring up to steady 250 degrees
  5. place turkey breast in center of the smoker, and shut the lid
  6. turkey should cook for apx 45 minutes per pound, or until internal temperature is 170 degrees.
  7. remove turkey breast from smoker, and let it rest for at least 15 minutes
  8. remove the skin, and slice it any way you want




There's nothing like home-smoked turkey breast.  Using this method, it will come out tender, moist and delicious.  Serve it with all the fixins, or just slice it up and have a terrific turkey sandwich.  Enjoy!
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3-Meat Cajun Cornbread Dressing

This 3-Meat Cajun Cornbread Dressing is more than just a dressing. It can become an entire meal in itself.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pork steak, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef, lean
  • 1 lb. chicken livers, boiled and pureed
  • 6 - 8 med. onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 pkg Lipton Beefy Onion soup mix
  • 20 oz. chicken broth
  • 3/4 lb. butter
  • 4 boxes Jiffy cornbread (cooked)
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • Tony Chachere's Original Creole seasoning (to taste)

Bake cornbread and set aside. You will need at least 8 cups. The more cornbread you add to this recipe, the less soupy it will become. If the mixture is too soupy, either add more cornbread or increase the oven baking time until you have obtained the desired texture.

Boil the chicken livers using just enough water to cover them. You can add a teaspoon of Tony's seasoning to give it a good taste. Mash the livers, (puree is better), and set aside for later use. Using some of the butter, brown the other two meats. Add the rest of the butter in a stock pot and saute' all of the vegetables except the garlic and green onions. (Garlic and green onions should be added to prepared foods toward the end of the cooking process.)

When the vegetables have cooked down a bit add all the meats, include the water from the boiled livers and the chicken broth; mix well. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add a small amount of water at the time, if needed, to maintain a thick soupy consistency. Thirty minutes before the meat/vegetable mixture is cooked, add the minced garlic, green onions, Lipton Onion Soup mix and Worcestershire sauce.

When that is done, add the cornbread to the meat/vegetables and mix well. Place all the mixed ingredients in a large baking pan (12" x 14"). Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes, or until the desired texture is reached. 16 servings. This can be a stand-alone food or a side-dish which greatly compliments any holiday main entries, i.e., baked or deep fried turkey, as safe turkey stuffing, pork roasts, beef roasts, baked ham, outdoor barbecues, etc.

Enjoy!
KT
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