Rustic living means rustic entertaining. Our cabin has finally been finished off enough to be comfortable and McGyver, the Baby boy and I worked hard to get the outside area cleaned up.
Our motivation to clean-up? I had invited our year-round neighbors over for dinner. If you remember my last post, my spit chicken the night before was an epic fail. I did not want a repeat. For our “big” dinner, my menu consisted of traditional outdoor get together food, I planned BBQ beef brisket, cooked on the Cowboy Grill, Cowboy Beans, Corn on the Cob, and Apple Cobbler.
The beans, corn on the cob and cobbler would be a cinch, however I was worried about doing the brisket on an open grill. Underdone brisket would be tough and chewy. My action plan was to start it at 11:00 am and slow cook it for 7 hours over low coals and hickory chunks. Paulette offered to make some shrimp scampi, I told her that it was a great idea, I may need a back-up.
I pre-seasoned the brisket before we left, using my Aunt Louanna’s recipe, got the coals started early, and the brisket on by 11:00. So far so good. I checked on my brisket regularly, I started worrying that it wouldn’t get enough smoke flavor on the open grill, so I nabbed a lid and put it over the brisket to create a smoke box.
A couple hours into my cooking, I noticed that my brisket was getting pretty well done on the bottom. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have used direct heat, no matter how low the heat was. I flipped the brisket over, covered and went to the cabin to prep my apples. After a bit, I looked out the window and saw flames! You’ve never seen a fat old lady run so fast!
If you give it some thought and you know a little something about a beef brisket, you’d know the top layer is cover in a thick layer of fat. Thick layer of fat + hot coals = fire. I removed the brisket very quicker and checked it out, I caught it in time…not ruined!
Back on the grill it went, covered and ready to smoke. Once again I left it, if you are trying to smoke something, you need to leave the cover on it. Ever time you lift the cover you lose some that tasty smoke flavor. I checked it again about 3:00 pm. Guess what, it was done. It was more than done. The bottom was like charcoal. Really? Will I ever get the hang of this open fire cooking?
Not to be out done by my meat, I sliced off the overdone part, sliced the rest of the brisket and decided to reheat it just before serving. My dogs ended up being very happy. I figured, with a good BBQ sauce no one will care.
When Jeff and Paulette came over, we had a great time. I showed off pictures of our Safari, and the boys, well they did what mountain boys do.
Once the boys were done playing it was dinner time.
Please note, the Baby boy discovered if he stands in just the right place, his text messaging works….so much for getting away from technology.
I discovered something about our neighbors…they don’t eat corn on the cob.
The brisket tasted great and Jeff and Paulette had no idea that it caught on fire and that I took about a 1/2” off the bottom.
My paranoia that my meat wouldn’t get done, meant that I went overboard with my next experience. I recovered from this near disaster and once again I learned what not to do.
Newest lesson: do not slow cook brisket over direct heat. Next time I will do it over indirect heat and plan 8 to 10 hours to compensate. Or I just grill steaks from now on.
Post Script: I learned something else, my work gloves are no replacement for pot holders.
Yeah, that burnt right through my glove. Don’t worry, after plenty of jumping around, blowing on my finger, kissing my finger and shaking the bejeezers out of it, my finger was fine.
Why do I have to learn everything the hard way?