The Tastiest Takeaway from #ASAE12

The Bent Buckle Barbecue Rub from the Visit Dallas team at the ASAE 2012 Annual meeting

ASAE’s 2012 Annual Meeting had many amazing things. Thought provoking sessions, controversial speakers, an expo that included a carousel, an amazing opening session… and food.

So while more thoughtful posts are marinating, this is a good opportunity to share perhaps the tastiest takeaway I got from this year’s annual meeting.

You see, I love to grill and barbecue. So as I walked past the Visit Dallas booth (aka @visit_dallas), my taste buds did a double take as I saw they were handing out a Texas Barbecue rub.  I couldn’t resist.

I’d been dying to make another attempt at a smoked beef brisket and this was just the opportunity. So after a few days of recovery and with a bit of preparation, I embarked on my journey this past weekend to make my first official “ASAE Annual-Texas Beef Brisket.”

The recipe is below, and I hope you your brisket turns out as great as mine. More important, be sure to share. And when you dig in… think of Dallas and the 2012 ASAE Annual meeting.  I did for sure.

Supplies:

  • One bag of hickory smoking chips (also a good idea to have a smoking box but you can use aluminum foil if you have to).
  • Aluminum foil pan about the size of the brisket (to put under your brisket when cooking).
  • A roll of cling wrap and a roll of aluminum foil
  • Oven thermometer
  • Meat thermomenter
  • Barbecue Sauce Mop

Ingredients:

One 7 – 8 pound beef brisket. Be sure to get at least USDA choice graded meat. If you can find it vacuum packed that’s even better.

Seasoning Paste

  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons beer

Mop Sauce

  • 1 quart apple juice
  • 1 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 table spoon salt
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes

Rub and Seasonings

  • Authentic Bent Buckle Texas Barbecue Rub from the Visit Dallas booth at ASAE12
  • 2 cups barbecue sauce

Instructions

The night before, make sure to prepare the brisket and get it ready for a day of slow cooking.

  • Trim the fat cap on top the brisket so it is about ¼ inch thick. Place the brisket in a deep dish or on a cookie sheet with a raised edge.
  • Prepare the seasoning paste mixing together the ingredients. It should have the consistency of slightly runny pancake batter. Add a smidge more liquid if you need to.
  • Slather one side of the brisket with seasoning paste and let sit for 15-20 minutes
  • Flip the brisket over and slather the other side. Let sit for 15-20 minutes
  • Prepare several sheets of cling-wrap to completely wrap up your brisket. I cut 4 sheet long sheets of wrap and put them on the counter setting them up so I can fold them over the brisket both lengthwise and across.
  • Transfer the brisket to the cling wrap.
  • Generously cover your brisket on both sides with the Bent Buckle Texas Barbecue Rub rub.  I ended up using about 1/3bottle of rub.
  • Wrap the brisket tightly in the cling wrap and place in the refrigerator over night.

The next morning, you are ready to start cooking. Yes, you read right. MORNING.  Start early – around 8 AM – by setting your grill for indirect cooking and getting things ready.

Here are the steps I follow on my gas grill:

  • Soak about a handful of smoking chips for 15 minutes.
  • Get your grill going on high.
  • Place the smoking chips in a smoking box or make a foil pouch for your chips. If making a foil pouch, put a hole in them. If you are lazy (like me), just put the chips on a piece of aluminum foil and crunch it up so it looks like a garlic bulb, leaving about an inch opening at the top.
  • Let the chips start to warm up until they are smoking.

Now it is time to get the meat going.

  • Start by turning the gas off on the grill. Remove one of the grates and place your aluminum pan under the area where your brisket will be (hint: with indirect cooking, it will be the area without the heat.)
  • Turn the heat back on and keep the flame low.
  • Unwrap the brisket and place it fatty side up on the cooking grate.
  • Now, close the grill and keep the temperature low.  This is where the oven thermometer comes in. You want to keep the temperature between 225 and 250 degrees for the next 4 to 4 ½ hours.  While it is cooking, take the following steps:
  • Check the temperature two or three times an hour to make sure it doesn’t get too high.
  • When you do so, go ahead and baste it with your mop sauce.
  • Every now and then, add more smoking chips (I generally do not soak these chips as I did the first batch). To get the chips smoking you might want to turn the heat up higher (to around 350 to 400 degrees). But keep the grill open so the temperature of the meat doesn’t get too high.  Once the chips start smoking, turn the heat back down and close the grill.

After about 4 hours – or when the temperature has hit around 150 degrees, it’s time to switch gears and finish your brisket in the oven with a process called The Texas Crutch.

  • Baste the brisket in your favorite barbecue sauce and place on several sheets of aluminum foil with the fat side up.
  • Baste one more time with your mop sauce, and wrap the brisket tightly in the aluminum foil.
  • Place it either in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet with a raised edge and put it into the oven at 225 degrees.
  • Let it finish in the oven for the next 4 ½ hours or until the meat gets to 190 degrees.
  • When you check the temperature, feel free to drain off some of the juices (save it) and either baste the meat in the juices or a bit more mop sauce.

Once the meat hits the right temperature, unwrap the brisket, place it on a serving platter, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

Now you are ready to serve. Thinly slice the meat across the grain and serve. Put out the juices you drained off and/or a bit of barbecue sauce.

For some other serving suggestions, it goes great with my favorite Baked Potato Salad from Wegmans and corn on the cob (cooked on the grill is even better). Some people like to serve it on a bun and make a sandwich, but it’s also wonderful just by itself.

So there you go. My tastiest takeaway from ASAE’s 2012 Annual Meeting.

Yes, everything in Texas was bigger. And the Authentic Bent Buckle Texas Barbecue Rub courtesy of the Visit Dallas team made sure a bit of the meeting made it home to my family and friends.

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Winter hits Northern Virginia

It’s gotten cold here in Northern Virginia.  17 degrees when I walked the dog this morning.  And the wind chill?  Let’s just say BRRRRRRRRRRR…….

So it was perfect night to come home and enjoy the butternut squash soup my darling wife had made for dinner.  I opened the fridge and looked for a hearty winter brew to compliment it.
And here’s where I have to take back my previous post.  I had picked up some of Old Dominion’s Baltic Porter.  Paired with some sourdough bread, savory soup and fresh sharp cheddar cheese it provided a smooth compliment to the meal and an even better after dinner beverage.   Dark in color, smooth, chocolate-like flavor and a pleasant aftertaste.
I have to agree with David over at Musings Over a Pint that this is a fine example of another good seasonal brew from Old Dominion – and I do hope they keep up the quality when they move to Delaware.  I just wish that a beer named after my state was still going to be in this state.