Wednesday, July 31, 2013

First Spares To St. Louis Ribs For A Myron Mixon Contest

Myron Mixon/Jack's Old South is doing a competition during the month of July to send in a picture and a brief description of your favorite BBQ meal. The grand prize (supposedly selected by Myron himself) wins a free cooking class for 2 with Myron at his new restaurant in NY, Pride And Joy. 

I hadn't done ribs in a while, so thought this would be the perfect excuse. BiLo suckered me in with a .99 per pound sale, but once I got there it was Baby Backs. I went over to the St. Louis and they were $2+, but I looked over and the whole Spare Ribs were actually .99 per pound too. I've never cut Spares down before but wanted to step up to the plate and picked up 2 racks. 

My sister and her husband went to Savannah for their anniversary and stopped by Southern Soul BBQ. I got about 30 pictures sent to my phone while they were there and a jar of rub ... it wasn't a lost cause for me. I figured this would be the perfect use for them too. A South Georgia rub to go on ribs for a contest for a South Georgia man. 

Thanks to the weather, I had to wait weeks before I could do this cook. The news still showed a chance of scatter thunderstorms for the afternoon, but it looked great outside and I was willing to take my chances. I hadn't done ribs in months, so I was jonesing for them.

I started trimming some of the huge chunks of fat off.  

And then cut them down to St. Louis cut. I think I was closer to Carolina Cut (includes the joints) than St. Louis though. We had to throw them in the freezer over time, and they weren't completely thawed. Of course the area that was the least thawed was right at the top of the bones, so I had to guess where it was and cut. For those that don't know, to get St. Louis cut, you find the top of the longest bone and cut straight across at that level. 

The ribs are trimmed down, and still need a little love to get ready. The extra meat I'm going to put in my meat grinder (finally), and use later for meatballs or something else. 

I tried not to do a huge coat of the rub so I wouldn't use it all, but these bad boys were so big it didn't work. There's still a little in there, but it'll have to be on a tenderloin or something smaller. 

I have to give credit on the dessert to Dawn. I've done peaches on the grill before, but she questioned how they'd do in the smoker. We threw them on a tray, sprinkled some brown sugar and cinnamon on top, and threw them in for the last hour or so. 

Dawn made her jalapeno sweet cornbread and baked beans to go with it. For my entry picture I have the ribs, jalapeno sweet cornbread, and baked beans. With smoked peaches and ice cream for dessert. All capped off with an after dinner drink. 

Both racks were a little over (a little more fall off the bone than I strive for). If you got them at a restaurant it would have been what you would expect "fall off the bone" to be. I prefer mine to have a little bite to them. They were still really good, but as Dawn says, I'm a rib snob and they didn't meet my standards haha. 

As for the rub, the ribs tasted great. They didn't get as dark as other rubs tend to get, so there isn't a large amount of brown sugar in it. It was a good, classic BBQ flavor. 

If you're wondering, smoked peaches are AMAZING. Even when I did them on the grill, they were still a little tough to eat. I hit them on the head in the smoker, and they were soft and juicy and you could get just a hint of the smoke flavor. I'm not a huge peach fan (I don't hate them either), but this could be one of my favorite desserts now. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

T-Bone & Shrimp Throwdown

It's been a few weeks since my last Throwdown, so I jumped at the T-Bone and Seafood TD this week. Now, I'm not a big Seafood fan, but I can stand shrimp every now and then. I asked Dawn what she thought about doing some Shrimp and Grits, but adding steak to it. She wasn't too thrilled about that idea, but came up with the idea to do a T-Bone with Shrimp and a side of Cheese Grits. 

There's actually a difference between a T-Bone and a Porterhouse, if you didn't know. The Filet Mignon of a Porterhouse is a lot larger than that of a regular T-Bone. They're actually from the same cut from the cow, but one is on one side and the other is on the other. Don't worry, I had to watch a YouTube video to know that too. 

This steak is one of those in betweeners. Actually, I picked this one up and another that looked almost identical. The other said T-Bone and this said Porterhouse, but the T-bone one was $2 more and again, looked identical, so I went with the Porterhouse one (although, this still doesn't look like a true Porterhouse). 

We did our usual Steak set up ... Whorshirshsirehsierhesrere, Balsamic Vinegar, and The Rub Co.'s Santa Maria seasoning. 

Dawn worked on the Shrimp and gave them a coat of butter, parsley, and garlic.

First the T-Bone went on the grill while Dawn was inside making the grits. 

I pulled the steak to let it rest and then threw the shrimp on for a couple of minutes on both sides.

The steak ended up being a little further than I wanted. It was still pink in the middle but closer to medium-well than medium like I prefer it. Either way, the steak was awesome, the shrimp were awesome, and the cheese grits were AMAZING. This may be a dish we replicate in the future. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

20,000 Views Give-A-Way

My goal at the beginning of the year was to reach 20,000 views by the end of this year. I started the year off around 7,000 views, and thought if I could just almost double that for this year I'd be more than happy. Well, we're (when I say we, I mean YOU) about to hit 20,000 views a little over half way through the year. I don't even know where to set the bar for the second half of the year now. Maybe 30k? Maybe 35k? Maybe be brave and shoot to double this and reach for 40k?

I don't do this blog to make millions (I've made like $10 from having those annoying ads on here). I don't do it to become famous or any of that mess. I do it because I enjoy cooking and eating (and most recently added, movies), and I know there are a ton of other people out there that are like that too. It also gives me a hobby that allows me to spend more time with my amazing wife/proof reader/photographer/head chef/sous chef.

One of the other reasons I do this blog is for all of my friends and family and readers. I'm more happy to hear someone say "I saw your post and it looked so good, so we're going to make it tonight" than to look and see that I got however many views.

With all that said, to say thank you, I am putting together a BBQ Gift Bag (or whatever you want to call it) and will send it to one of you. It currently includes, a Pit Bulls Mean Green Injector (the same one you've seen me use), 1lb of Pit Bulls rub, 5.8 oz Bone Suckin' Sauce Rub, and 7 oz Plowboys Yardbird Rub (you should really recognize that one). I may add more to it as time goes.

To enter all you have to do is like One Nine 3's Facebook Page. For bonus entries, like, share, or comment on any One Nine 3 post (make sure it's on that page and not on a shared post so I'll be able to see it), or comment on any post on this blog. This contest will take place the whole month of August, so like, share, and comment away. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Noodles And Smoked Balls

Since I got the new Myron Mixon "Everyday Barbecue" book we've been wanting to replicate the Spaghetti and Smoked Meatballs recipe. It's a little different but simple meatball recipe and sounded delicious. 

1lb Lean Ground Beef (calls for 80%, but we did 93%)
1lb Ground Pork 
1/2 Sleeve Ritz Crackers
1 Egg (beaten)
1/4 Cup Ketchup
2 Slices White Bread, lightly moistened with water and torn (had to use a bun since we didn't have bread)
1 Medium Onion (or a half and dice the crap out of it if you hate onions like myself)
Salt and Pepper to preference

The next step is the most complicated, so get ready ... 


Put it all in a bowl and mix it together.

Ok, now I get to say balls a lot and not get smacked for it. 

To try to make as even of balls as possible we've came up with a little trick. I'll lay out a cutting board and spread the mixture out as evenly as possible. Then, take a knife or pizza cutter and cut into evenish sections. After that you can just pick that little section up and roll it up into balls. It's a lot quicker and easier than just pinching pieces off or even using an ice cream scooper. If you don't make perfect cuts, it's ok. On some of the big balls, tear a little piece off and add it to the smaller balls to make them a little more evenly. 

And here is my new Weber charcoal chimney. No, I didn't have to have a new fancy smancy Weber chimney to go with my WSM (Weber Smokey Mountain). My other chimney is about to rust out, and I like the extra handle of the Weber one ... and, yeah, I needed a new fancy smancy one. 

For the balls o' meat, it called to smoke them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. It was raining, once again, so I had to take Bullet Bill to the front porch again (loving the newest addition to the family and the fact I can move him wherever, whenever I need to), so I was having some issues getting him up to 350 from the lack of air flow up there. However, I realized if I left the door open for a little while that the extra oxygen that way would help get the fire roaring. 

The balls went on before I reached the 350 mark so I just extended the cook time a little. 

After 30 minutes or so I flipped the balls over, and wasn't ready for a picture but they definitely deserved one of their own. 

The recipe calls for spaghetti, but we went with this spirally noodle instead. I'm sure it has a fancy name, but Dawn is out of town on business right now and can't tell me what it is.

This picture was actually the wife's idea. While I was taking a picture of the plate she said "oh my gosh, it actually has a smoke ring. You have to get a picture." 

I have to say, this is probably the best meatball I've ever had. These balls might have been small, but they were filling. I ate most of my plate and was miserably fool for the next few hours. I didn't even want to move I was so full. 

While I was eating, I did suggest that we try this recipe with the cheese from the other meatball recipe we've been doing ... cheesy Myron Mixon balls mmmmmmmmm sounds delish. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bacon Bro's Public House

Bacon Bro's Public House is a new restaurant on Pelham Rd near the 85 exit. I've heard great things from others, so for my birthday, we decided to go check 'em out. 

The first thing I noticed when we walked up was that it was in a strip mall. Now, there's nothing wrong with any restaurant in a strip mall, but as you can see by the picture, the look and feel they're trying to go for is NOT strip mall. They're going for the more upscale dinning experience. The paint, wood work, and other decor gave it a nice dim atmosphere for a good sit down dinner with my wife. I had to go to the restroom, and once you walk in you immediately notice that it looks like a whole in the wall bar's. The paint is all there, and the door on the stall is still standing, but it's the very cheap plastic wall and door divider that looks like it should have written on it "for a good time call ...". Does the bathroom really matter in the scheme of things? Maybe not, it just wasn't very appealing for the atmosphere they're shooting for here. 

While we're waiting, I go up to the bar and grab a glass of wine for the wifey, and I shoot for a Jack and Dr. Pepper. I get the bill and it's $14. That's a little on the pricey side, but again, it's a nicer place so it's expected. Once I receive our drinks, I was not thrilled with the portion size to price ratio. 

We got their around 6, and was told there was a 30-35 minute wait ... ok, no problem. While we were waiting, I noticed a table right in the middle of the dinning area empty. At no point was it ever dirty, so it obviously hadn't been used in a while. There were 2 separate times while we were waiting that there were 3 empty tables in the dinning area. A table would leave, be cleaned, and then left empty for (what seemed to be) no less than 5 minutes before someone was sat down. 

Bacon Bro's also has 4 tables our on the front walk way. They were all empty when we got their, but we wanted to eat in, so we passed on those. Two other couples/parties came shortly after us and sat outside. About halfway through our wait, a couple walked in and once the hostess told them the wait time, they asked to sit outside (2 empty tables left). The hostess looked at the customer and said "oh absolutely, there's a 5 minute wait." Remember, these tables are EMPTY. Approxamity 2-3 minutes later, another couple walks up with the same request. The hostess tells that couple that sure they can sit out there, but now it had a "10 minute wait." 

It wasn't all doom and gloom. Once we sat down we had great service. Our waitress was extremely nice and polite, and quickly let me know that they were out of the Chicken Fried Pork Chops that I originally ordered. At 6:30 on a Friday, they were out of a menu item and she didn't even hesitate when I ordered them either, so that gave me the impression they didn't just run out. 

Ok, anyway, places run out of items all the time. I then turn my eyes to the ribs. Dawn gives me a hard time that I'm too picky about places ribs and that I should stop ordering them, but I was trying to find something quick since the waitress was there and it was a safe bet at this point. So, I look over and 1/2 rack of ribs is $12 or a full rack for $21. I settled for the 1/2 rack since we were splitting an order of fries ... you see, no entree comes with a side, so a side of fries was $3 extra. 

If there's one thing that burns me, it's when a restaurants menu says one thing, but you receive another. A full rack of ribs has 12 bones. Therefore, if someone was to get half of that ... they'd receive 6 bones, right? Bacon Bro's 1/2 rack of ribs is 4 ... 1,2,3,4 bones. Their ribs are at least Spare's so you get some meat with the bones, but it's not a 1/2 rack. If you're going to quarter them or third them, then say 1/3 or 1/4 on your menu. Don't say it's a 1/2 rack of ribs and then bring me out barely enough to taste. If 4 bones cost $12, I would have hated to see how much/little you get for $21.

With all that said, these were some of the better ribs I've in Greenville. The top piece you see was one of the ends so it was a little extra crispy, but that's no biggie. The flavor and texture of these ribs were spot on. When you bite into the rib it doesn't completely fall apart in your hands like some restaurants do. There's a nice pull with great tenderness. I don't know if the ribs tasting so great made up for the missing bones, or pissed me off more because I didn't have as many to eat. 

Dawn had a much better experience than I did. She got the Jerk Chicken Sausage, and really enjoyed it. I think the spice of the dish lit her rear on fire a little, but she still really liked it. 

Although I had a delicious HOME-MADE German Chocolate Cake at home, the Turtle Bacon Brownie caught my eye. The piece we got was an edge piece, which is usually my favorite because you get that good crunch. This piece was a little extra extra crunchy ... as in it was inedible. The rest of the brownie was AMAZING!!!!!

The prices weren't horrible. It was about where we were expecting before we went in (minus my $3 a bone ribs). I don't see them changing the size of their adult beverage glasses, so if you're looking to get your moneys worth you may want to stick to the beer. The rest of the "issues" I had I really think will be fixed if they realize they have an opportunity here and move to a stand alone building. This could have been their first stop and a cheaper way to get started and get their feet wet to see if they were on to something, and if so, that's understandable. Maybe they are a strip mall type business, and I should have held them to that standard, but judging by their appearance, they want to be a higher end restaurant than that so that's how I treated them. 

Although we didn't have the best time ever, I can see us returning. The food definitely saved them from the pits of hell. If I had to rank the experience without the food, it would have been about a 1 pig, but the food was the saving grace.

Monday, July 15, 2013

My First Brisket Attempt

Dawn has been begging me to do a Brisket for a year not, and this week's Throwdown is the "Brisket Master" which we will all learn shortly ... I am not. 

I went with Myron Mixon's beef injection. It's a real easy and simple injection to do, and since I was doing some Butts too, I wanted simple.

While the injection cooled, it was prep time.

I trimmed the fat and the silver skin from the top, and thinned the fat on the bottom. I wanted to leave some fat cap down there, but didn't want the 1/2 inch that was there already. 

Once everything was trimmed, I injected the brisket, threw it in a pan, and put it in the fridge over night.

At 5 the next morning it was time to get up and get things going. I let Dawn sleep in (till 5:45), and then made her get up and take pictures for me (that's what marriage is about, right?).

I've heard nothing but great things about Pit Bulls Rub on briskets, so I tried theirs out. 

Some coworkers have been begging for pork for a few weeks, so I picked up four 8lb butts with the brisket. I used the Pit Bulls injector (a must have), and added my injection.

I wanted to try a few different rubs so I put the same Pit Bulls rub on the back 2 butts, Bone Sucking on the bottom left one, and Plowboys Yardbirds.

We've gotten rain every day for 2+ weeks, and cook day was no different. I had a tent put up, but the gusts of wind was blowing wind and rain all over the place. My temps were actually fairly steady all day though.

I opened up the first Pit Bulls butt and it looks beautiful. They obviously use more brown sugar than Plowboys does since it darkened up more than usual. I sampled a few pieces while pulling (perks of the job) and the bark was amazing. It was right at the point of perfect crispiness and not burnt. 

The brisket came out with a matching dark bark. Since it was so big, and I was cooking 4 other butts, I had to put the brisket on my top rack and since heat rises ... it came out a little dryer than I had hoped.

This also gave me an excuse to finally use my (I mean "our" since it was a wedding gift) new electric knife.

We added zucchini chips and my poor, poor excuse of burnt ends that came out more like beef stew than anything else. The flavor of the brisket was awesome, but it was a little dry. We added some sauce to it and that actually made it really good. 

It wasn't the greatest brisket ever cooked, but it wasn't the worst ever done either.