National Hamburger Week / Month is back again! Now with Marisa pregnant, and having to eat her meat atleast medium-well, I had to think fast. How can I make a burger still delicious, yet still cooked all the way through. Boom, Juicy Lucy’s. Yes, made famous in Minneapolis, and covered on every single show on the Food Network, Travel Channel, and Cooking Channel. Essentially a burger with melty cheese in the middle.
So I haven’t posted in a while. I was busy making something else, a baby. Marisa and I are expecting our first child in June. I’m not going to get into the details of how I made that. But I did brine and grill a whole chicken for Easter.
I made a simple brine of water, salt, sugar, chili powder, onion powder, and some peppercorns. I let the brine soak in for two hours(osmosis baby!). I patted off the excess brine from the outside of the chicken. After that, I butterflied it, so it would lay flat on the grill and have more surface area to get crispy skin. After that I oiled the outside of the skin. I didn’t put any rub on the chicken, because I didn’t want to add any more salt, due to the large amount of salt in the brine.
Happy New Year! New York had some snow, so I figured it would be a good day to make some pickles. This was the first time I’ve made dill pickles, so I figured I would experiment a bit. I jarred half of the pickles and the other half were set in the fridge.
First off, I picked up a bunch of small pickling cucumbers. I washed them, and cut off the flower end. Apparently there are enzymes in the flower ends that soften the pickles. So I chopped those off.
So, this is my first venture into homemade sausage. I’ve had an 8lb pork butt in my freezer since the summer, and needed something to do with it. Armed with only my Kitchenaid, grinder, and sausage attachment (and hours of youtube video research, and recipe websites.) There are a ton of recipes on the net, but this was my favorite. I know, top of the line web design, right? I think that is what added to the charm of the recipe. I made both the hot and sweet.
I ground the pork the night before. Once through the larger die. Then I added my spices, and then once again through the smaller die. This really destroyed my kitchen, so I figured I would put them in the casings the next day. I cooked up a little piece to taste, and I liked it. But I knew it was missing something, but I bagged the meat and put them in the fridge.
Black Label Burger
dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pommes frites
West Village, NYC
When you make 15lbs of pork for 2 people, you tend to get leftovers. Sure I could make less, but why waste that smoker space? I have to use the same amount of fuel anyways, and more meat doesn’t usually extend cooking time. It just makes more sense to make more meat. I have a vacuum sealer, and BBQ tends to freeze and reheat very well, especially pulled pork and brisket.
Meal: Vermont Maple Ribs
Beer: Sam Adams Summer Ale
This past Saturday, I smoked some Vermont Maple Ribs. I found this recipe on Amazingribs.com Which is always my go-to Barbecue resource. There really isn’t too much to say, that I haven’t covered in other rib entries, and that is not covered in the recipe, so i won’t go into too much detail.
The second Porkth of July! This year I finally tracked down a pork butt. For some reason, in NYC it is near impossible to get an untrimmed butt. The Picnic is easy to find, but I wanted to smoke a good ole Boston Butt. After tracking one down at a butcher shop, and paying more than I should’ve (actually Marisa picked it up, and paid, sucker!), the first part was over. That got me thinking, now that I have my new WSM, why waste all that room? So I went to the grocery store, and picked up a picnic (on $ale! too)
Putting together my brand new Weber Smokey Mountain