This last Saturday was absolutely amazing, meat surprises all morning, all afternoon. Late last week the Fatted Calf newsletter rolled in and there was a new sausage listed, Organic Beef Hot Links. The damned secret/unknown meat left me dreaming for two days about what it was like. Was it creamy like a standard hot link? Or would it be a fine grind sausage? Would I be firing up the smoker, or would the grill be the way to go. I’d just have to wait for Saturday morning to find out.
Jlee mentioned some interest in going to the market with me Saturday early. She arrived at my place right on time and swapped some fancy herbs and a ham hock or two, then hit the road. I had plans to get some of the links and maybe a stick of Taylor’s fancy salami, any kind. I don’t go for the one or two items, I go for anything they have, I don’t have a favorite. Since we arrived nearly at the opening time of the market, Taylor had plenty of the links left, got me two packages, this would be a total of 4 links. I mentioned grilling them and he said he thought smoking might be a better way to go. Apparently T-Rex Barbecue in Berkeley will be smoking these links in the near future. Okay, well if T-Rex will be smoking them, so will I. While I was standing there, I mentioned that if I’m going to be firing up the smoker, might as well fill it up. Figured I’d go get me a pork butt or something. Taylor said he had the Porchetta Style stuffed pork loin roasts. 1 please! Jlee decided to get one too, what the hell eh? I didn’t forget my stick of saucisson sec, no way. As I left the FC stall I was ahead of the game and walked my way up the aisle to see what else needed my attention. Ha! Ted from Highland Hills Farm was there, oh boy! I asked for a goat leg, no luck. I did see a little rack of lamb ribs that looked like I could get myself some chops from. Jlee said, just French the suckers here. My eyes were watering, this was a beautiful day indeed. In to my over-flowing meat bag they went. Oddly enough, the only thing else I could find that I wanted was a cup of Blue Bottle Coffee, something dripped and hot.
When I arrived home, I remembered that Chilebrown had made some fresh bratwurst and offered me a load. Time to head back out, don’t you agree? No rest for the creepy.
It’s a good thing I did, man oh man. The family and I fried up half of this for breakfast on Sunday. The taste was so mild and rich, not salty in the least. So easy to have an entire link with some scrambled eggs, opened up the door to a wonderful Sunday. Thank you CB !! But wait, it gets better. I recounted my adventures at the market on Saturday and CB just couldn’t resist to make the day even better. So he pulled out an Elk round steak and some ground Elk! YEAH !!! For one day worth of shopping I’d found myself Beef, pork, lamb and Elk!
I had planned on smoking some goodies for Saturday’s supper, but I never got to it. I spend all week ‘having’ to do things and dangit, it was Saturday. I relaxed, hung out and basically didn’t do much of anything.
Okay, it was Sunday afternoon and I literally had an entire refrigerator full of smokable meats that needed attention. At 1pm I started the mesquite fire and spent an hour tuning the smoker’s temp to a nice 225 or so with applewood that Abram from The Five Pints gifted me a few months ago, oh man it was smelling good. I had my marinating country style pork ribs (forgot to mention those earlier) on the counter, FC’s Porchetta roast resting, FC’s Organic Beef Links (just 2 for today’s repast) … and I think that’s enough for one day, eh?
Do you have any idea how good of a cut of meat this is? Take a close look, check out that marbling of fat? Check out the little layer of fat on top, the brightness of the colors. You’ll also want to notice where the tip, on the left there? See? That’s usually an inch or two shorter, if you buy from a grocery store. Take note of this meat, this is what you want to shoot for. Why? Because it cooks up like this.
Here’s about 3 hours in the smoker with applewood. Wanna see the country style pork ribs?
Egads they were tasty, a little dry. But the flavors were worth the chew. I made a marinating sauce out of a dozen red jalapenos, 5 habaneros, 2 green jalapenos, a handful of carrots, 1/3 cup vinegar, way too much cumin and some garlic. They got the food processor first, then put in to the VitaMix (most evil, bucktoothed blender of all time, powered by the Devil himself) and after that? Strained a few times until nearly like water. Hands down the strangest crap I’ve made in a long time. But as Jlee suggested, the heat will probably cook out and it did.
Still, the star of the show were the Organic Beef Hot Links.
Check out that smoke ring! 2.5 hours in the smoker did them nothing but good. Personally, they aren’t hot. A little spicy maybe, but that’s fine, the flavor is all there. Just like your favorite serving of links at your favorite joint. The casing had a nice snap to it with a rich smoky flavor. The texture of the meat was fine ground as it literally melted in your mouth. I think ol’ T-Rex is going to hit a home run with these babies, easy.
I realized by about 4pm that I wasn’t going to be able to eat a 4 lb pork roast, 2 hot links, 2 lbs of country style pork ribs all by myself. I’m smart that way and invited my sister and her husband Meathead over for dinner. Good thinkin’ eh?
My sister put together a green salad and we chowed down for a wonderful Sunday’s supper that left everyone lolling about the house for an hour or so. I’d done my duty and smoked up a storm, it was a perfect end to a wonderful wintery day in December.
The lamb installment will be forthcoming, that means not right now, foo.
It was enough for a day in the life of Biggles.