Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

Brisket for Easter Sunday on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

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I made a brisket for the first time a few weeks ago. I followed the directions in Steve Raichlen’s BBQ University (“Smokelahoma” Brisket), and used my large Big Green Egg.

But, there was a casualty — there was a fire in my cooker and table, discovered this the morning after my cooking was done.

I think the gasket failed. I have a picture of what looks like a “blow-out” the gasket is actually curved / curled outwards. I believe this happened because the outer shell was cracked – remember I dropped it when it was new? It finally gave out.

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It is also interesting to see how it changed when I moved it outside to store. It used to be inside the garage. I noticed the shell would sweat – water would come out of the ceramic shell when cooking with it. So there’s expansion and contraction. All contribute to the fire.

So, I think this is the scenario, CSI style:
The fire box was over-loaded. I did not want to re-fuel during my cook (9 Lb brisket). Filled it too high. Lit the fire, temp was about 200 degrees to 225, low and slow. Cooked for 6 or 7 hrs.

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After it was done, I did my usual “sterilization burn” — open all the vents fully open and closed the lid to clean everything.

The crust was sugary and so added an element of catalyst to the fire, along with the grease.

By this time it was very dark outside, I had to use a flashlight to check the temp and the meat. I thought I saw the thermometer pegged all the way, so it was more than 700 or 800 degrees.

I didn’t think anything about that, since I always burn the crud off. Went to bed. . . Next morning, I saw this:

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I wish I could have seen the fire! Easter Sunday morning, I looked outside – and saw the table. No smell, no fire, I think there was early AM dew. So the fire was out. Notice the table stopped burning by itself. Lucky.

I guess the good news is — I get to buy a new one!

The timing of the So Cal Eggfest is great, I can make it to this on on June 11 – This is a great way to see these cookers in action and meet the crazy fans of this interesting smoker – grill – oven – outdoor stove.

 

Paella on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

IMG_0609 - wayne yoshida paella almost done

Paella is a delicious rice dish. There was a reference to paella on a Seinfeld episode. I have eaten lots of paella, but never made it. So, after several Maker Faire events in the Bay Area, I really wanted to try making my own.

Based on a recommendation from a fellow Big Green Egg fan (Thanks Dale!), I bought a paella pan made in Spain and Bomba rice from La Española Meats, Inc. in Harbor City, CA.

My 15-inch pan would be perfect for my Large Big Green Egg – except for the handles. They are too big and prevent the pan from sitting on the grill grate. I think I can bend the handles so it will fit the 19-inch grate on the BGE. I didn’t let this glitch stop me. I inverted the grill basket used for the vegetables, and put the paella pan on top. If you look closely at the pictures, you can see the basket under the paella pan. Seemed to work OK.

Of course, my paella pan is not as big as the giant ones used by Gerard’s Paella at the Maker Faire, but my pan is large enough to make 8 servings.

I used Steven Raichlen’s recipe from Primal Grill, Season One as a starter. (“Paella Primavera (with Vegetables and Beans But No Meat.”) His version is vegetarian, using all roasted veggies and vegetable broth. I had some Portuguese sausage in my freezer, and chicken stock, so I used them in my first attempt.

Here are the grilled veggies – Onions, garlic, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini squash. These were direct-grilled in a basket. I used extra virgin olive oil and tossed on some sea salt, oregano, black pepper and basil.

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Next, I direct-grilled the sausages in the basket. These were Hoffy brand Portuguese sausages. I wasn’t too pleased with this sausage. It was not bad, it was just a little too plain and mild for me. I still have several other brands of Portuguese sausages from Hawaii in my freezer. I need to test those soon.

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I heated up the paella pan and added some olive oil. This is the chopped onion, garlic, peppers, saffron and chicken broth. . .

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After several minutes, I added the Bomba rice. . . .

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I almost panicked as the broth dried up – the rice was not fully cooked, and I was afraid of scorching the pan and ruining the dish. But, I quickly added some chicken bouillon to add more liquid. I had to add a total of four additional cups of liquid to get the rice just right. This is a total of 10 cups of broth. Not sure why this is so much more than Raichlen’s version. I do not recall how long I cooked this dish – I just cooked until the rice was tender.

Here is the dish with all the liquid absorbed. Bomba rice is nice and tender, and very tasty. Bu wait – there’s more. . .

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Next, I added the grilled vegetables and the sausage. . .

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This would be a great one-pan party dish for a good sized and hungry group.

 

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the BGE   Leave a comment

I had some T-bone steaks in the freezer for a while. So, I cooked all four of them a while ago. I enjoyed one with some fresh tomatoes.

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I decided to do something different with the meat. I grilled some assorted peppers – Anaheim and parsilla – and made a pizza.

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

Anaheim and parsilla peppers on the Big Green Egg

 

I cheated and used a store-bought crust. I added some diced ham. . .

 

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Ham, steak and pepper pizza

Here we go – Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza on the Big Green Egg.

 

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza

Steak, Ham and Pepper Pizza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash Back from the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

I had to perform a “sterilization” operation on my BGE this morning. Because of the recent rain and lack of use, I noticed some mold growing inside my ceramic cooker. This is not un-common, and usually happens in humid climates. The solution is to simply make a very hot fire to burn off and sterilize the cooking area.

I made a screaming hot fire, over 500 to 550 degrees F.

Since I wanted to cook a pair of tri-tip roasts later in the day, I wanted to snuff the fire and let it cool down so I could use it later. So, I closed the top and bottom vents, and let the fire starve for several minutes.

When it reached around 250 or 300 degrees (4 or 6 hours later), I “burped” the lid three times (my normal procedure to prevent flash-back), and opened the lid to see if the heat burned and killed off the inside surfaces. About two seconds after I lifted the lid, I heard that scary “whoooooosh” sound of the fire coming back to life. This was the biggest and loudest flash-back I have ever survived.

Here’s a picture of my “lifting arm” —

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I was lucky – No burns to my skin, just some very singed arm-hair.

 

Meanwhile, the two tri-tip roasts came out perfect – Those will make great sandwiches for the next few weeks….

 

Bacon Dogs on the Big Green Egg   Leave a comment

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Nathan’s hot dog wrapped with bacon and dressed with grainy hot mustard and sweet pickle relish. I know – the onions are missing.

For some reason I had a hankering for a good hot dog. My favorite wieners are the famous Nathan’s. I also had a package of thick-cut bacon in the fridge, so I decided to wrap the wieners with a nice slice to make some Bacon Dogs.

I made a two-zone fire in the BGE, and cooked 4 bacon dogs at a time to cope with the flare-ups.

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These were simple and fast and good. I think I need to try replacing the bacon with some Italian prosciutto or  cappicola (gabagoul) next time.

And always remember: As  Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood) said in “Sudden Impact” — “Nobody, I mean nobody puts ketchup on a hot dog.”

So after making these Bacon Dogs, my mind began to wander at the office today, and I thought about Maui Hot Dogs and Hawaiian Portuguese sausage. So I stopped by the local Marukai market (Costa Mesa, CA) and bought a selection of linguica. I will be doing a comparison of the various sausages at the next cook-out!

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UPDATE: Looks like someone already did a Portuguese sausage “shoot-out” 

Rewind: A BBQ Summer   Leave a comment

Getting the Big Green Egg up to temperature (250 degrees F). Hickory chips were added.

Getting the Big Green Egg up to temperature (250 degrees F). Hickory chips were added.

A recap of my first few cooks with a Big Green Egg ceramic cooker. Click the link >>>>  A Barbecue Summer

On the Grill: Hellfire Steaks!   1 comment

Hellfire strip steak with grilled corn on the cob

Hellfire strip steak with grilled corn on the cob

I had several strip and rib eye steaks taking up room in my freezer, and decided this would be a great time to stoke the Big Green Egg and cook ’em. Because anyone can direct grill steaks with the proper seasonings, I decided to do something different, and prepared the steaks using Steven Raichlen’s “Hellfire Steaks” recipe . The original recipe can be found here – and in Raichlen’s book, “How to Grill.”

http://www.primalgrill.org/recipe_details.asp?RecipeID=143&EpisodeID=19

I thought this crust – made of salt, pepper, powdered mustard and Tabasco sauce – would be very spicy, but I found out that this is not the case, and will add more Tabasco if I make this again. Here are some pictures of the steaks and some corn on the cob.

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