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Posts Tagged ‘barbecue’

BBQ&A: Pitmaster Ed Mitchell’s Grilling Tips

When it comes to barbecue obsession, Ed Mitchell goes the whole hog — literally and figuratively.  The pitmaster of Raleigh-Durham’s The Pit and the new Ed Mitchell’s Que is revered for using farm-raised pigs and traditional cooking methods. We caught up with the legend at the Big Apple BBQ Block Party to dig into his BBQ secrets.

Cooking Channel: What’s the most common mistake people make when barbecuing at home and what is the one thing a home cook can do to take their barbecue to the next level?
Ed Mitchell: One of the mistakes people do at home is that they’re not experienced knowing how hot to get the grill. The temperature has to be right so the meat will come out perfect. It’s something that I can feel from years of doing it. To take the barbecue up a notch, you need the right selection of meat. If you’re a person who’s not knowledgeable about how to cook beef, then don’t try to cook beef. Cook what you’re very skillful at. It’s the selection of the product.

CC: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever barbecued?

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How to Make a Champion Brisket

BrisketTown's Winning Brisket

In my experience, there are two primary schools of brisket: Texas-style (slow-smoked for hours and served with white bread, pictured above) and Jewish-style (oven-braised for hours in a sweet-sour sauce often spiked with Manischewitz). But last week at the annual Brisket King of NYC competition, I experienced this fatty, flavorful cut of beef in ways I’d never imagined.

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Your Cue to Make Q

Every time I’ve traveled in Italy, I’m impressed by the micro-regionalism of the food. For example, in Romagna, near Bologna, they make a flatbread called piadina. It’s always the same ingredients: Grade 0 flour, lard from the prized moro pigs, sea salt, baking soda and water. But in one town it’s maybe 5 mm thick, and in the adjacent town it’s more like 6 mm thick, and on and on through the province. And, of course, each of them is the right way to do it.

There aren’t too many hyper-regionalized foods like that in America, but there is one biggie: barbecue. The word evokes clear and specific things depending on where you’re from. Through much of the south it’s pork, slow-roasted and smoked until extremely tender, then pulled and tossed with sauce, though in western Kentucky you’re prone to find mutton, and in Texas it’s brisket and nothing other. (And for those of us who grew up in the Northeast, “barbecue” just means grilling.)

The sauces vary the most. In the Carolinas, they favor a thinner, more vinegary “mop.” In Memphis it’s thicker and sweeter, and smokier in St. Louis. And in Texas you can bet it’s spicier.

It doesn’t stop at a regional level. Q aficionados toil and tinker to develop their own signature recipes, striving to develop the very epitome of their local sauce.

Even here in San Francisco, a place not at all famous for its barbecue culture, my friend Michele makes her own special blend. She gives a nod to the classics, but folds in flavors iconic of San Francisco: Coffee, chocolate, red wine vinegar.

Why not make your own masterpiece? The basic building blocks of barbecue sauce are not esoteric; it’s all about how you put them together. Put your own stamp on it, and develop a microregional cuisine all your own.

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Meaty Madness: Thrillist Delivers With BBQ & The Blues Event

Smoked, roasted, braised, or steamed — no matter how it was served, the vendors at Thrillist’s New York City Wine & Food Festival’s BBQ & The Blues event delivered down-home meaty goodness in its finest form.

Hosted by Rocco DiSpirito at the Hudson Terrace, the sold-out affair on Oct. 12th was classy, cool and packed with eager party-goers energized by the ‘30s-style street jazz of Brooklyn’s Baby Soda band, an open bar and mounds of gorgeous meat for the taking.

In addition to a few seafood-themed options and delectable mini brownies from Fat Witch Bakery, the focus was singular: meat. From Wildwood’s Big Lou Elrose serving up colossal 2-lb. ribs to the best damn chicken wing I’ve ever tasted from Virgil’s, the event made Manhattan’s BBQ scene proud. And most importantly, it helped raise $50,000 for the festival’s benefactors, the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry initiative.

Some highlights from the night:

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Cookbook Giveaway: Slow Fire

Barbecue like a pro with this recipe for Barbecue Championship Ribs from Slow Fire.

If you’ve ever aspired to cook championship ribs, homemade pastrami or other smoke-kissed, slow-cooked meats, this is the cookbook to get you started. In Slow Fire: The Beginner’s Guide to Barbecue, cook-off champion, food writer and cookbook author Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe shares simple no-fail recipes tailored for beginners.

Ray covers all the basics, starting with tools and techniques for great barbecuing; devoting a whole chapter to spice rubs and sauces; and then delving into recipes for ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked chicken and more. Whether you’re planning a backyard barbecue or just looking for a last-minute Father’s Day gift, Slow Fire is a great new cookbook for all barbecue lovers.

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Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue

Photo: Roberto Ferdman

How can you make eating barbecue even better? Add unlimited beer and bourbon tastings, of course. At the Beer, Bourbon and Barbecue Festival that kicked off in New York City this past weekend, revelers ate their way through pulled pork sandwiches and classic collard greens while sucking down craft brews and whiskeys. New York City was just the first of an eight-stop tour that might be coming soon to a city near you. Check out what we chowed down on, below.

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Best Barbecued Bites from Cook Out NYC 2011

Grilled Chicken from Jimmy's No. 43

Flame-Grilled Whole Chickens. Photo: Roberto Ferdman

We’re at the height of summer and running out of time to cook up all the delicious grilled foods and serve all the ice-cold, boozy drinks we planned on enjoying before summer’s end. But we decided to put these cooking adventures on hold last weekend to try some of the best barbecue New York City has to offer.

We joined the hordes of hungry ticket-holders that flocked to Governor’s Island for Cook Out NYC, a celebration of everything and anything seared to perfection over a piping hot flame. Just as we had hoped, there was no holding back: From kimchi-topped hot dogs to grilled buffalo tongue, each kiosk did its best to separate itself from the crowd.

We made sure to keep tabs on all our favorite bites to share with you. Check out the round-up and find some inspiration for your next summer BBQ.

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A-Brisket A-Brasket: NYC Brisket Cook-Off Inspires

The Kitchen NYC's Wagyu beef brisket.

The first time I tried brisket, it was many years ago at a family friend’s house. The gentleman sitting next to me—someone I knew not in the least — caught me biting my fingernails, leaned over, and into my ear whispered “Just wait ’till you try the brisket.” And wait I did, red-cheeked and all, until finally I had my first mouthful, and immediately turned to tell the man that he was right. In between chews, barely able to open my mouth, I exclaimed: “Brisket is good!”

Not too long after, I tried another brisket, this one shelled in a layer of fat and deeply browned on its extremes. It too was absolutely delicious, and so again I couldn’t resist the urge to say it out loud. Over the years, it’s seemed to happen each and every time I try a new take on the classic cut. Dry-cured pastrami, thin-sliced corned beef, Texas-style barbecued—you name it. They’ve all floored me.

So when I learned that fellow brisket enthusiast Jimmy Carbone of NYC’s Jimmy’s No. 43 was hosting a cook-off to celebrate the versatile beef, I couldn’t help but dream up what some of NYC’s most experienced meat lovers would enter into the contest.

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2011 South Beach Wine & Food Fest

Bobby Flay and Michael Symon Turning It Out In SoBe

If you have ever considered taking a break from your daily grind to go on one of the most decadent food vacations around the globe, the South Beach Wine and Food Festival has your name all over it…

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Blend: Your Secret Weapons + Ours

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Food People have secrets they can’t help but share. We’ll show (and tell) you ours, if you show us yours…

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