I know I have not been blogging like I should, but I have really been busy. Ok that is an excuse and my dad used to have a saying about excuses that I will not repeat here. Anyways, lately I have been recording cooking videos and posting them on YouTube, so that has been taking up a lot of my time. Also the BBQ trailer is rolling strong, so that is keeping my extra time limited. So I said all of that to say this. Here is the link to my YouTube channel so take a look and let me know what you think about it. Leave a comment give me some thumbs up and subscribe if you can.
Fernando and I started our BBQ team five years ago Pappy joined us two years ago. Here is Pappy and I with a little over half of our awards. We have 65 awards in five years they include Grand Champion, Reserve Grand Champion. and top 10 finishes.
We had a quick stop at Coopers yesterday on the way from Molly and Danny’s wedding I did enjoy the Q. The brisket was good but probably better a little earlier in the day, the turkey and goat sausage were both fantastic. The Q is well worth your stop and the guys serving us were real nice great service. I will stop in again.
Wow what a day last Wednesday. My son John and I got up at 5:00AM and Headed to Austin to see what all the hoopla was about at Franklin BBQ. We arrived at Franklin’s just before 8:00AM. There was already a nice sized line forming outside the restaurant. John and I parked and found our place in line. We figured there were about 50-60 people ahead of us. We were having a good time in line visiting with the people in line around us, one young couple was in from LA and wanted to try some great Texas BBQ. Around 9:00 one of the employees came by to let us know that they were already sold out of pulled pork and ribs. Now remember they do not open until 11:00, but they were taking orders. He then returned to taking orders. Now it is about 9:30 he is nearing us for our order. We are still feeling good about getting to try some of this much talked about brisket. At 9:35 he is taking the order of the people in front of us in line. One man orders a whole brisket and the other orders 1/2 brisket, the young man looks at us and says sorry we are sold out. Yes we drove for over two hours sat in line over an hour and a half and they sold out to the people in front of us. Well our search for BBQ was not over, we had alternate plans. We are now heading a few blocks south to La Barbeque, who’s pitmaster used to work for Franklin’s. Upon approaching La Barbeque we noticed no line and no smoke coming from the pits, they had closed for the holiday and would not be open until Friday. Well now we are hung on the horns of a dilemma. John searches the net for John Mueller Meat Co. and I search for Micklethwait Craft Meats. Mueller’s is closed on Wednesdays so our choice was easy we were headed to Micklewait’s. Upon arriving we see people who were inline with us at Franklin’s, so we take our place behind them. Then more people arrive that had been at Franklin’s and we all have a great conversation about not getting in. After an hour wait the line starts moving, we are in the front so there is no danger of them selling out before we make it to the order window. We spent about $60 on brisket, pork shoulder, Shiner Bock Sausage and chicken, John also got some jalapeno cheese grits. We quickly received our tray of food and we returned to our picnic table that we were sharing with a very nice young couple, their six month old son and their parents in from Florida. In line one of the ladies had told us that she eats at Micklewait’s and Franklin’s both and that the brisket at Micklewaits is just as good as Franklin’s. Now the brisket was moist and tender, but I did not think it was overly flavorful. This could be because of the simple salt and pepper rub that most central Texas BBQ joints brag about. The sausage was very good and I loved the course ground texture that it had. Chicken was very good but again there was plenty of cracked black pepper, but I did enjoy it very much. The grits were tasty but maybe a little undercooked. The plate came with red onions bread and homemade pickles, which were outstanding. Now for the pork shoulder, it was out of this world, probably the best I have ever had. John and I both agreed it was fantastic. Not sure if I will wait in line again for Franklin’s, but I will return to Micklethwait Craft Meats.
This is my reverse flow pit. My nephew and son helped me make it about four or five years ago. The cooking chamber is about 9’X3′ and will cook 30 briskets at one time and has an insulated fire-box. The pit is setting on a gooseneck trailer that has a 24′ deck with two 5500lb axles. I have a 50 gallon water tank on the neck that is connected to a sink and a 55 gallon grey water tank. I also have installed an aluminum tool box for storage. When you fold out the side braces a 12’X24′ tarp will attach to it with bungees. I did not want to cover it in metal so it would not be so hard pulling down the road. The red BBQ Vaults have been removed. my plan was to install a steak grill where they were. I am asking $12500, but the price is negotiable.
We are a little over two months into selling BBQ in Lytle. Sells have been good for a new business and the community is showing up to support us. You can find us parked downtown Lytle at 15049 Main St, on Saturdays and Sundays. We try to open up at 11:00 and we stay open until we sell out. We don’t sell out every day but we selling quite a bit of BBQ. We sell brisket, spare ribs, sausage, chicken and pulled pork along with sides. Our sides include potato salad, coleslaw, beans and Mexican rice. On Sundays we are serving a Jack Daniel’s Peach Cobbler for dessert.
In May I was surprised by Congressman Pete Gallego. I was told that he wanted to tour my facility and meet my students. Actually he was there to present me with and award and take a tour. After the tour he presented me a Certificate of Congressional Recognition for the work I do at McCollum High School with my Culinary Arts students.
The SARA, San Antonio Restaurant Association, Showcase Dinner was a huge success once again this year. This years guest chef was Steven Raichlen and he helped to make the evening at the historic Pearl Stables just north of the down town, fantastic. The evening started with drinks and hors d’oeuvre that were prepared by Chef Johnny Hernandez and True Flavors Catering. Chef Hernandez and his people did an excellent job preparing the foods that Mr. Raichlen had chosen for the evening. Upon arriving I met my friend Ruben Sepulveda and his lovely wife Cheryl, who had graciously invited my wife and I to be their guest. My first tasting was Steve’s Buffla-Q Shrimp, I could have just continued with them and been so happy. Next I tried some Finger Burner Lamb Chops and then some Bacon-Grilled Dates, along with some Gentleman Jack to wash them down.
The meal started with a Grilled Caesar Salad, and we were able to enjoy it while Steven was on stage showing us how to make the shrimp hors d’oeuvres and each of the other courses as we enjoyed them. The main course was a grilled New York Strip with Jack Daniels/Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce and Hell Fire Peppers, it was served with a Smoked Stuffed Potato, Pimenton Grilled Asparagus and a Oaxacan Grilled Corn Flan. The dessert was an excellent Grilled Pound Cake with Fresh Berry Salsa and Tequila Whipped Cream.
I had a chance to meet Mr. Raichlen during the meal and again the next day at the CIA. It was a true pleasure, he was a very nice man and was sincerely seeing that you enjoyed your evening and his meal. I was able to pick up an autographed copy of his new book BBQ Planet to go along with his other books that are in my library of cookbooks.
Thanks Mr. Raichlen for a wonderful evening and to SARA for the hard work they put into this scholarship fund-raising event for the culinary students of San Antonio.
What a great treat to stop into Smitty’s BBQ in Brownwood Texas and find Smitty himself there still cooking the Q. While spending my college time at HPU Smitty’s was an institution for us college kids. I first met Smitty lifting weights at Young’s World a gym owned by world champion power lifter Doug Young. Smitty was always nice to us young guys and always inviting us down to his BBQ restaurant for some good eating. So for the next four years we did just that. Now fast forward 30 years and I find myself having a daughter going to HPU. Now you know I had BBQ in my mind when we hit town for parents weekend. We hit town early and took Hailey to. Doctors appointment she had then headed to Smitty’s for lunch. Let me tell you I was excited to see Smitty sitting behind the counter. His daughter was running the counter and taking orders and his son was in the back running the pit. The Q was great like it always had been, moist, tender and tasteful. As I visited with Smitty he looks at me and says “trying to figure out how old I am aren’t you” I grinned and said yes sir I am “85 he says”. Wow 85 years young still in uniform and running the business he started in 1972. To all alumni make sure you stop in while passing through town and to all the new students make sure you drop in for some of the best BBQ you will have a chance to eat. Now make sure you say hi to Smitty and his family.
My mad dash to Tennessee was short one item, spaghetti.
I had always heard about it and wanted to try it while in Memphis, the the opportunity to try it never arose. So the other night I decided to give it a try. My wife thought I had lost my mind, but I talked her into trying it. Of course I had to promise to fix her something else if she did not like it, shock she was certain she would not. Well I must say she was wrong, it was a huge hit. The sauce was a deep red savory sensation that I used the left over pork butt that I smoked last weekend. I served it over some al dente spaghetti noodles , with a side salad. This is a recipe that will be used again and I hope y’all enjoy it.
2 lbs Spaghetti noodles cooked al dente
1/2 stick Butter
1 Onion diced
2 Garlic cloves minced
1 12oz can Petite dice tomatoes
1 6oz can Tomato paste
1 4oz can Tomato sauce
1 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used my chipotle sauce)
1/2 cup Water
2 tsp Basil
2 tsp Oregano
1 1/2 tsp Salt
3 cups Pulled pork (left over from the weekend)
Sautéed onions in the butter
Add garlic the last minute of sautéing
Add tomato sauce and diced tomatoes
Stir in tomato paste
Add the seasonings
Add the BBQ sauce and water
Bring to a simmer
Add pulled pork and return to a simmer
Spoon the sauce over spaghetti and top with cheese if desired