Working for the Weekend
Hiroshi and I went out to the East End on Saturday morning to cook up some 'que that people ordered from us for the Holidays. It's a long day to travel 3 hours, lugging up-to 50 or more pounds of iced meat, before you even get to cooking for 10 or more hours straight. Add to that splitting the oak and hickory used in the cooking, making the rubs, trimming the meat, etc...I love it more than most things, but sometimes I'm glad that I don't do this every single day. Aw, who am I kidding. I would do it every day.
Amy and I made a night of it on Friday and had some drinks and stayed up too late talking and laughing, so Saturday morning came around hard. We thought it was
going to be a small batch, but...We had a 9 pound ham, a 15 pound brisket, 3 4lb chickens, 2 racks of ribs and their trimmings, 2 4 pound chuck rolls, and two bricks of tofu for some veggie-lovin' hippies. I've actually wanted to do some more tofu for a while. People like that stuff. Oh, well.
The brisket was pretty hefty
We cooked that and the chuck for about 17 hours. 6 of those hours were in the smoke, then they went into aluminum trays. It was pretty cool after dark and we had a flask of single malt to help us along. Eventually, sadly, the brisket and chuck went into the oven at 200 degrees while we got about 3 or 4 hours of sleep. It was a long day and we had to sleep, couldn't trust the charcoal basket which was untested when unwatched, and didn't want to use the gas. When I got up I took the brisket out of the pan, separated the fat and liquid. The meat was sliced and chunked (burnt ends). It turned out moist, tender and tasty. I put together a little hungover presentation breakfast plate for Hiroshi.
I'd never smoked any chuck before, but these were 'very affordable' and looked promising. I've heard good things before. Well, they had a 'spongy' feel before cooking and took on a beautiful color--almost burgundy. I removed them and separated the juices and the fat. They were moist, but didn't get quite pullable or tender like brisket. We chopped it up, tossed it with some jar sauce, horseradish, heinz 57 and a mixture of the jus from the brisket and chucks. We had those with biscuits for breakfast with coffee.
The ribs have been turning out pretty consistent the last few cooks. They wanted them sauced this time, so we made a little honey-bbq sauce finish for these bad boys and based on the trimmings they were just fine. We snacked on brisket and chuck, foodsaved the vittles and were back on the road for the city by 4. Here's one last rib for ya.