Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beer Bread

First bread recipe on the Big Green Egg!

My dad gave me this great cast iron bread pan this week. I've been dying to try it out, so I whipped up a simple beer bread recipe and mixed in a Saranac Pale Ale I had sitting around.

I heated the Big Green Egg up to 350f with the oiled cast iron pan already in there and then poured the dough in. About half way through the 1 hour cook time I checked on the dome temp and it had gotten away from me and shot up to 500f! I brought it back down and took it off a few minutes early.

I'm going to guess that that blast of high heat gave the bread a harder than typical crust, which frankly I liked.
Of course you gotta eat it while it's hot. The pale ale gave the beer a good flavor.

Beer Bread recipe:

3 cups flour
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 (12 fl oz) can or bottle of beer.

Combine all dry ingredients. Pour in beer and stir until a stiff batter is formed. Scrape dough into oiled loaf pan and cook for 50-60 minutes.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Attn NASA: New Heat-Resistant Brisket Discovered

What I thought was an ambitious amount of cooking for the Super Bowl turned out to be good diversification. I tried to do a brisket and baby back ribs on Sunday.

The ribs were great and a pretty close re-do of last weekend's project.

The brisket was a different story. Now I understand brisket to be a challenging cut of meat. This was only my second ever and my first on the Big Green Egg. I got this 6 pound bad boy at Costco. Everything I read led me to believe that I was working with a smallish brisket and that I could expect a thing like this to get to an internal temp of 190-200f in about 6-8 hours.

Within those parameters (and with the help of my head grill consultant, Labon) I threw the thing on at 10am thinking on the late end of things, it would still come off the Egg before kickoff ready to eat.

Things were looking pretty good. I had rubbed it using Elder Ward's rub. We stabilized the dome temp at 250f. Using the advice of the BBQ Guy we flipped it to fat side down after it reached 130f on the inside.

Somewhere after a few hours the internal temp got to the mid 150s and THE BRISKET STOPPED ACCEPTING ADDITIONAL HEAT.

More on that later. Here are the tasty (and cooperative) ribs.

Rub 'em:
Bathe 'em:

Slather 'em up good:

Eat 'em:

So that's what we ate for the Super Bowl. Bourbon Street was already starting to wind things down a little and the brisket wasn't budging out of the 160s. I was tired and mad. I wrapped it in foil and stuck it back on the Egg at 250f and went to bed.

Fortunately, my son woke up at 4:30 am on Monday, so he and I got up and checked the Egg. 18 hours later the dome temp was 100f. I got the brisket out of there and lo-and-behold it actually FELT different in the foil. No longer was it the tough disk that had been so stubborn. It was now much floppier.

I sliced it up and ate it for breakfast at 4:30 a.m. and have been eating leftovers all week. It's actually good, but dang. I'm still mad at this hunk of meat.

By the way, the best leftovers this week were the tacos that my co-worker (who used to live in Houston) recommended. Some salsa, avocado, chopped brisket and cheddar cheese in a taco shell? Man. That was tasty. It almost made me glad it wasn't ready to serve to everyone else on Sunday.