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Old 05-15-2008, 06:18 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by 62overlander
I probably should have refrained from that comment. We are strongly considering re locating to Taos. We have been going out and investigating the area among many other western states. As it was explained to me, by my friends in Madrid, in Santa Fe, and in Taos, Texans come in and loudly overwhelm the state with Texas culture. They build big non New Mexican homes and create large ranches that compete or concur the land, tame it of sorts. The culture of New Mexico is to live more harmonious with nature. That is the reason folks love to live there. I personally love Texas, think it is a great place. Think most of the people living there are very kind and want to get to know you. I do, how ever see the preverbal rub. New Mexico has been invaded by many cultures that have tried to overwhelm it.
Yup, I understand where some of the recent, and some of the more deap-seated, differences derive. In many cases I can't say I blame others for their beliefs about Texans. In some other cases I'd say that people are just looking for something to complain about. Such is the nature of things.

I have family in New Mexico and visit often. I love many of the areas of that state, and Taos is a great place, among my favorite towns in the Land of Enchantment. You could be very happy moving there.
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Old 07-04-2008, 08:58 AM   #86
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Another holiday weekend wherein I have been thinking (salivating) all week about BBQ. (Hope this isn't too far off to be considered a hijack)

From the article I linked in an above post:

Beans: The beans served with Texas barbecue seem to break down into two categories, the baked variety that start with canned pork `n beans and the pinto variety, cooked in a pot with salt pork, onions and spices. The canned bean dishes have their roots deep in the cowboy trail drive tradition of the late 19th century. Over the years, the basic canned beans have been doctored with onions, tomato paste, brown sugar, catsup, cider vinegar, molasses, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce and bacon or salt pork. They always taste better the second day. The pinto variety are prepared with everything from salt pork, onions, garlic and tomatoes to chile peppers and beer. They are difficult to ruin unless the cook salts the beans too early in the cooking time and toughens them up. Trail drive cooks were shot for less.

Our neighborhood, new to us, has an annual Fourth of July block party and parade. We've been looking forward to visiting with neighbors we've not yet had to chance to meet.

Since the food provided is hot dogs and hamburgers, "sweet" beans will work better. I'll use a recipe from Grilling & Barbecue by Cook's Illustrated for my covered dish contribution.

I highly recommend that book, as it works well for RV travel I've found. The bean recipe cooks up in a 5-quart Dutch Oven which starts on the stovetop and goes to the oven for about [5] five hours. Of course, one can do it with charcoal on the lid.

And, as the beans are NOT pre-soaked, they really soak up all the good flavor when brought to a boil and then slowly-simmered!
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Old 07-04-2008, 11:22 AM   #87
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No worries about a hijack, Rednax, I'm what some might call "chatty" and therefore pretty much incapable of sticking on topic anyway.

Besides, it's nice to see this post pop up today. I'm probably not smoking any brisket this weekend, but I most likely will end up BBQing some ribs, sausage, and I'm even thinking about smoking some duck. I've never done it before so we'll see how it turns out. I've been wanting to do BBQ duck ever since I had an incredible version of it at Emeril's NOLA restuarant in New Orleans.

Anyway, the beans sound great, feel free to post pictures on this thread if you like!

-Marcus
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:15 PM   #88
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Thanks. As before, I no longer am willing to get up at 0430 to cook brisket (though I'd help someone doing a dozen on a big smoker, I get up at 0400 weekdays anyway). Pics, hmmm, I'd have to learn how to post them. Well, no campfire today so the pics might not mean much.

The one failing of most BBQ joints is that the side dishes are not what they should be. Thus my desire a few years ago to learn to cook them and instead buy the meat so that the BBQ at home or party is top notch (or, if lucky, have someone provide that; as UTee94 obviously knows how; the knowledge impressed me of what is displayed above in words and pictures).

Tomorrow will be potato salad as we will be attending a cookout in Rockport (a beautiful place, ya'll, put it on your list). My mother's family is Midwestern in cuisine (Illinois, Nebraska and Colorado), so my recipe fits that sense of taste from that grandmother. My wife and son are fifth and sixth generation Texan, so I have adopted it to fit their sensibilities as well.

Am I alone in believing that the best potato salad is the province of those over the age of 70? For some things, experience counts the most. I have about 20-years until I get there, but my stuff is FAR better than the store-bought stuff people tend to bring these days.

Again, from the linked article on BBQ in Texas from post #67

Potato Salad: Because new potatoes contain more moisture and less starch than russet potatoes, they absorb less cooking water and salad dressing and generally hold up better in potato salad. Great potato salad contains mayonnaise, good quality mustard, chopped boiled eggs, finely chopped mild or green onions, minced celery or celery seed, chopped pickles and some juice, salt and pepper to taste. At my house, the new potatoes will be sliced with their skins on, the onions will be green, the mustard Creole, the pickles bread and butter or dill. While lots of folks prefer russet potatoes with no lumps for potato salad, I find that overworked russet potatoes get pasty and ruin the salad. The use of too much bright yellow mustard is a travesty and should be outlawed.

My recipe calls for Red Bliss potatoes, a lot of chopped hard-boiled eggs, green onions, some garlic and mayo/sour cream/dried & prepared Colman's Mustard with a dash of horseradish. I forego the celery.

I find it well worthwhile to get "organic" quality pickle juice and sweet relish.

Then some Redmond RealSalt plus white & black pepper along with paprika for garnish.

NOW, I know that all of you have a type of potato salad that you like. What the author above and I am suggesting is that the accompaniment to smoked meat (BBQ) has to have, itself, some strength to stand up that/those flavor[s]. Many potato salad recipes are simply too bland, so, . . if you're preppin' the fixin's for a Texas style barbecue, then check for that quality.

BBQ I eat year round. I try to reserve making this style of potato salad for the summer season. Sort of like John Phillip Sousa, flag decorations and hot afternoons in the shade . . . my mind wanders to the groaning board accompanying a variety of smoked meats when I think of Memorial & Labor Day, and the Fourth of July in Texas.

Hope everyone has a great three-day weekend.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:03 PM   #89
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(The Barbecued Baked Beans on the second of five hours of simmering in the oven, so have some time on my hands as we finally had a good rain today that prevents me from mowing/edging/trimming this afternoon. Temps in 80's, which is a great change from Dallas where mid-90's or higher temps where the Fourth is the beginning of "too #$% hot" even for Texans; one hides in the A/C from now until about October up there).

If there is one accompaniment to Texas style barbecue that is almost universally horrid (emphasis on that), then it is the matter of cole slaw. I've only had it a few places where I would ask for more, both in Dallas: S & D Oyster Company and the late Vincent's Seafood, the latter of which was not the greatest for fish, but the coleslaw was admired by all.

Again, from Virginia Wood's article:

Cole Slaw: There are three big issues to resolve about cole slaw: cabbage chunked, chopped or shredded; sweet or savory seasonings; a dressing that is primarily creamy or clear. My personal taste runs to chopped cabbage and carrots lightly dressed in a tangy mayonnaise sauce with no sugar or shredded cabbage; carrots lightly dressed in a savory vinegar dressing with celery seeds and no sugar. Fresh vegetables have plenty of natural sweetness themselves. Red cabbage and carrots should be well rinsed in ice water for crispness, well-drained afterward to avoid colors bleeding into the dressing. Dressings should complement the fresh vegetables, not smother them in disgusting, sugary glop.

I couldn't agree more. That said, I was lucky enough to have kept a copy of the Vincent's cole slaw recipe from a local newspaper article seventeen years ago. PM me if you want it, it is a starting point for me at this time. Still doesn't sound as good as the above. Am looking for the details, cabbage and I are not friends yet.
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Old 07-04-2008, 01:17 PM   #90
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Okay I thought I smelled BBQ smoke blowing into San Antonio from Austin but now that the wind has changed direction I realized it's also blowing in from Corpus! BBQ cross-breezes. What kind of charcoal and/or wood are you using to produce that sweet smelling smoke?
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:07 PM   #91
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(The beans have been out of the oven for the single stir at the two-hour point, re-covered, and back in the oven at the mandated 290F for another two hours, whereupon they will go back in with another dab of sauce and remain uncovered for the final hour).

Now to beverages, at a traditional Texas barbecue. I understand that many think that beer is the only worthy accompaniment, and, sadly, as I drank my lifetime allotment many years ago, I have not had the high quality brews now available locally. But as a Texas barbecue may be put on by a tee-totaling church, a charitable organization or at a family reunion, many guests will not be having alcohol be they children, the elderly, the abstaining (willing or not) and those for whom beer, heavy food and high heat are not a good combination.

Thus the cultural importance -- anywhere in the South -- of Iced Tea. No, you Northerners do not know what it is, neither do Californians. The only place iced tea is understood is in those locales where the hostess asks whether you will have sweet or unsweetened tea.

This is a short article by Patricia Mitchell, from the site, Texas Cooking:
Perfect Iced Tea article on TexasCooking.com

I like using Luzianne Tea (out of Lousiana), and using the most neutral water I can get (Ozarka Spring Water). We make it daily, the same as our New Orleans style coffee-with-chicory. We also cut up limes and lemons in wedges to squeeze over the ice before adding the tea. Superfine granulated sugar is also good to use.

Many folks, remember, will not gorge themselves at a barbecue, it is just a bit much for them. A sampling of all the food, some shade and a breeze -- and always an ice-cold, regularly-refreshed glass of tea throughout the day -- for many of the guests this is the ideal.

We make enough iced tea to provide a freshly-done concoction -- never a refill -- preferably, just as at a good bar or the country club one's guests have a freshly-made drink as needed . A touch of mint, from the garden, is always good. I like mine this way, with both lemon and lime in it.

In other words, do not treat the common beverage in a common way.
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Old 07-04-2008, 02:11 PM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monocoque View Post
Okay I thought I smelled BBQ smoke blowing into San Antonio from Austin but now that the wind has changed direction I realized it's also blowing in from Corpus! BBQ cross-breezes. What kind of charcoal and/or wood are you using to produce that sweet smelling smoke?
2-onions, 4-cloves garlic, some bacon, Stubb's BBQ Sauce, a cup of coffee, mild molasses, dark sugar and a pound of small white beans, that is what is simmering in the kitchen.

The decorated tricycles-and-dogs parade begins at 4 o'clock, weather permitting.
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:11 AM   #93
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If you took pictures and can e-mail them to me, I can post them up for you. The
sides are VERY important and you've made a fine treatment of them here.

Thanks!


-Marcus
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Old 07-05-2008, 05:07 PM   #94
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Marcus,

I forgot to mention that when we have our Polishing Party that I will bring my rotisserie that I built a couple of years ago with a couple of my buddies. It will cook 24-30 briskets at one time. BBQ Texas Style! That should feed all the volunteers.

It could use a polishing job also while we are at it. It kind of reminds me of an Airstream.

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Old 07-05-2008, 05:30 PM   #95
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Nice thread...I spent 8 hours smoking food for the festivities yesterday. A rack of spare ribs, eight pound Boston Butt, whole chicken, and 10 pounds of Tri Tip. Beautiful smoke rings on everything. We were able to find a BBQ trailer locally for an amazing price, and bought it immediately. It's an old 500 gallon oil tank, and had a nice fire box welded offset to it on the rear. The weight is a bit off now, but a shelf on the front to carry the firewood will fix that.

Thank goodness it's all over...my clothes smell of smoke terribly (In a good eay).

Steve
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Old 07-05-2008, 07:14 PM   #96
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Steve, Vernon, Marcus I'm interested the favorite kinds of charcoal and/or wood you like to burn when barbecuing?
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Old 07-05-2008, 08:35 PM   #97
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After speaking with BillBerk on the forums (A Certified KC BBQ Judge), he told me the way that he runs his smoker. I emulated what he does, and it worked to perfection.

In my firebox I lit a couple of chimneys of natural lump charcoal. I fired this in my chimney starter for about 15 minutes. After pouring out the charcoal into the fire box, I used split wood logs only that are not pre-soaked in water.

From the research I have done, almost all wood smoke tastes the same up until the six hour point. After six hours, the individual flavors of the different woods begin to be distinguishable. I really like to use hickory, apple, and oak, but again no difference of taste until it goes over 6 hours.

Hope it helps.

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Old 07-05-2008, 08:54 PM   #98
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Steve, not to split hairs, cause I like you. You are from somewhere that is not the Republic of Texas, I, we are not really qualified to talk about smoking meat. The judge, he is from KC... well, after eating the meat from the Republic, it is all kind of down hill. Sorry brother, hate to be honest with you.
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