Thursday, March 26, 2015

Smoked Beer Braised Beef Sandwiches W/Chipotle Cheese Sauce

Mar 25 2015

I had a 2 /12 lb. chuck roast frozen from Sam’s to use. It looked like Wednesday would be warm enough I could get it on the smoker for some smoke. I took it out to thaw Tuesday. I knew it would be partially frozen but it could thaw out on the smoker.

I found a recipe by Taylor Kadlec at that looked good. The beer braised beef chuck was pretty typical of the way I do them but the chipotle cream cheese sauce was one I wanted to try. If you are a recipe hound like me check out the site, there are some interesting recipes there.

I changed the method of doing the beef chuck. I seasoned it with some of Tee’s Top Secret rub from Savor and went on the Traeger at 210 deg. for three hours. My new Savannah Stoker v.3 controller did a great job; averaging about 225 deg. grill level.

It then went in my Crockpot on chopped onions, diced carrots and celery added and the beef broth and beer. I used beef granules to make the cup of broth; I didn’t want to open a quart of broth. Some sea salt, rosemary and the garlic went on top of the roast. I set the Crockpot on high and was on just over 4 hours.

When that was cooking I did the chipotle cream cheese sauce. I used one pepper, minced and some of the adobo sauce from the peppers. When it was done I tasted and added two teaspoons of the adobo sauce.

When the beef was done I removed it to cool, skimmed some of the fat off and pureed the veggies and broth with my immersion blender. The beef was fall apart tender and when it was cool I removed the fat, shredded and back in the pot. It was on high just over an hour before serving.

I was having some parmesan potatoes. I had some baby Dutch yellow potatoes I cut in half. I melted several pats of butter in a small casserole dish and sprinkled some Kraft parmesan over the butter. The Kraft powdered parmesan works best for this. The potatoes went in cut side down and sprinkled some seasoning over. They went in a 350 deg. oven for 35 minutes. They could have stood another 10 minutes to brown up more.

My other side was some thin sliced carrot strips sautéed in butter and a little olive oil. I slice the carrots with a veggie peeler and they are done after about 5 minutes in a med hot skillet while stirring some. I seasoned them with some Penzey’s 4S salt.

I toasted buns for the sandwiches; my wife had mustard and dill pickles on hers and I had the cheese sauce. The beef was extra good but wasn’t as crazy about the cheese sauce as I thought. It was still a little cool from the fridge and would have been better heated first. To me it needed more heat and something for some tang. I will use two of the chipotle peppers next time and may try adding some good mayo.

Click here for link to Sandwich Recipe I followed

For the Beef

The Beef Chuck

After 3 hours on smoke

New controller did a great job

In the Crockpot for 4 hours on high

For the cheese sauce

Onions, seasoning, peppers and tomato sauce in

Cream cheese added

Cream in and done

Beef cooling




My supper

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Shrimp, Andouille over Cheesy Grits

Mar 23 2015

I have loved grits and shrimp for a long time; but it was only about 10 years ago I first had Shrimp and Grits. Our kids were living in S.C. just south of Charleston N.C.  They took us to a place called the Flying Biscuit and said you have to try their Shrimp and Cheesy Grits. I did and wished I had known of this dish ages ago!

I have made this a lot of different ways since then; with water, milk, or chicken broth to cook the grits in and with cheese and without, with just shrimp and with shrimp and sausage, it’s all good! I had some Aidelles andouille sausage and a 10 oz. bag of wild caught gulf shrimp and my peasant bread would be good with it.

I followed a recipe I will give a link too but I changed it some. I did a ½ cup of stone ground grits that were half yellow and half white and cooked in chicken broth. It took about a half hour to get cooked down and thick. I added the ¼ cup of cream cheese and about a cup of shredded sharp cheddar. I placed a lid on the pan and in a 200 deg. oven to hold while I cooked the shrimp and sausage.

My wife did not want the sausage so I just sliced up one link to brown for mine. I browned the sausage in a skillet a couple minutes on each side and sautéed the shrimp with Cajun seasoning in a little butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes. I had heated some BBQ sauce for in mine too.

You will note I didn’t spend much time on the presentation of my wife’s bowl! For mine I ladled in some of the grits, a couple Tbs. of the BBQ sauce, topped with the sausage and the shrimp.

That was a good supper, I think I prefer my grits a little less cheesy but the wife thought they were great!  The BBQ sauce was lemony with some heat. 

Click here for link to recipe I followed

The shrimp

The sausage

The Grits

Wife's bowl

My bowl

My supper

Monday, March 23, 2015

Artisan Bread in 5 Peasant Loaf

Mar 23 2015

About two years ago I discovered no knead bread by Jim Leahy that you baked covered in a Dutch oven. It turned out nice crusty loaves but you had to mix it the day before and let set overnight. Besides that a 5 quart Dutch oven is heavy to mess with. I baked about a half dozen loaves this way then discovered Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. There is a link to their site under my favorite sites. The recipe for a standard loaf can be found on the back of a 5 lb. Gold Medal all-purpose flour bag.

I like it a lot better, one batch mixed up will make 4 loaves and it lasts two weeks in the fridge. It only needs a two hour rise and then it says you can bake a loaf then but the dough is easier to handle after overnight in the fridge. When I am ready to bake a loaf I can do it in less than two hours.  Just form your ball and let rise for 20 to 40 minutes then bake at 450 deg. for about 35 minutes. I bake mine on a Lodge cast iron griddle I preheat in the oven. I lay some parchment paper on my metal bread peel and lay the ball on it to rise. Then I just slide it and the parchment onto the griddle and remove the parchment paper after 20 minutes.

Winter is my time to bake bread but with my back operation I never got any baked. The last loaf I baked last winter was a peasant loaf; it has a ½ cup each of whole wheat and rye flour added to white flour. I had the flour left I kept in the fridge so I wanted to do a batch before it got warm and I got busy with outdoor cooking.

I mixed the dough up Sunday afternoon and wanted to bake a loaf today to go with our supper tonight. I didn’t have the dough mixed good enough; had some dry spots in it and had trouble getting a nice ball cloaked right. It was not the prettiest loaf I have done but turned out good, nice texture and a crisp crust. Tasted great with our supper.

The flour and yeast

Dough mixed up

A 2 hour rise and in the fridge overnight

Ready to bake


Sliced for supper

Saturday, March 21, 2015

French Onion Soup, Steak and a Salad

Mar 20 1015

The past month I saw Art’s (ACW3) post of French onion soup and several other members made some too. I hadn’t made any for ages and it is one of my wife’s favorites. About two years ago she lost a back rear bottom tooth and then lost the one on the other side and has had trouble chewing. The Dentist said she would not like the plate & she should do transplants if we could afford it. She went with the transplants and just got them done this week. I told her we would have steak tonight to celebrate, but now I am afraid she will always eat her share of steak now!

I bought a Ribeye at my butchers, $10 and told her I thought it would be enough to split after having the soup and have a salad and some sautéed mushrooms with the steak.

I copied the recipe that Art uses and it was close to the way I usually make mine except I don’t use any wine and had never simmered the caramelized onions and broth that long. Instead of wine I use a TBS. of Worcestershire sauce. I have never made my own broth like Art did but I bet it is better!

For my bread I like to toast some English muffins and use a half to float and top with cheese and then under the broiler to melt the cheese and brown some. For my wife’s I used a slice of Swiss and a mix of shredded mozzarella and provolone. For mine I used some Applewood smoked gruyere and the shredded mozzarella and provolone. I think I prefer all Swiss or gruyere. My batch of soup was about half a recipe, I used 3 med. onions, a quart of Swanson’s beef broth and a Tbs. of Worcestershire.

I served the soup about 5:15, it was great and I think the extra simmering really brings out the flavors. My wife commented how good the broth was.

After I ate my soup I seasoned the ribeye with some Penzey’s Chicago steak seasoning and heated up two skillets with a little olive oil spray. I preheated the oven to 350 deg. it was almost there from melting the cheese on the soup.

I did the steak on med. high 3 ½ minutes on the first side and turning the heat back to med. then 3 minutes on the other side and then in the oven for 4 minutes. Meantime I was sautéing the sliced baby bella mushrooms, added some white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

It was a little after 6:00 when we ate; the wife had made salads and the steak was just the way we like it rare +. I gave my wife the best half of the ribeye; well it was celebrating her teeth!

Printable soup recipe I followed, click here

The onions


Flour added

Broth and a pat of butter added

Making up my soup

Wife's soup

Ribeye steak


My supper

Friday, March 20, 2015

Polish Sausage, Cabbage, Potato and Onion Skillet

Mar 19 2015

I had cabbage and potatoes that needed used so a trip to my butcher for some Polish sausage would make up my supper. If you can find a butcher like mine you have it made. He makes more than 6 kinds of fresh brats besides fresh sausage. As you can see from his label on the Polish sausage there is just pork and seasoning and no preservatives.

A one skillet supper is easy to do and there are not many dishes to clean up after. The sausage was frozen so I threw them on my Traeger for a little over 3 hours to thaw and smoke at 200 deg.

I peeled and diced some red potatoes, coarse chopped a med. sweet onion and cut the cabbage in about 1 inch squares. I heated some olive oil med. high in my Lodge steel skillet, added the potatoes, covered and turned down to med low. After about 5 minutes I stirred the potatoes added some salt and pepper and re-covered for about another 5 minutes.

I had brought the sausage in from my smoker, cut 3 into short links and added to the skillet and covered until heated through. I added the chopped onion and when the onion started to soften I added the cut up cabbage. I covered and cooked all about 10 minutes, removed the cover and stirred a few times and it was ready to serve with some toasted English muffins. Total cook time was about 35 minutes. I missed a photo of the final skillet with the cabbage.

I had some of my homemade mustard with mine. That hit the spot on a cold spring evening!

Kah's Polish sausage

After smoking

Potatoes browning

Sausage and onions added

My supper

Monday, March 16, 2015

Nice Day to Smoke BBRibs

Mar 15 2015

It was a nice spring day to be outside and smoking some BBRibs! Ribs are probably the hardest cut of pork for me to do and get done consistently the way I like.  I usually end up with them too done and fall off the bone; but I would rather have them too done than not done enough.

This would be the first time for doing ribs with my new Savannah Stoker v.3 controller. I knew I could hold my temps closer to what I wanted it to be so I decided on a 5 hour cook; 2-2-1, 2 hours on smoke 215 deg. 2 hours wrapped in foil at 225 deg. and one hour unwrapped at 250 deg.

Still using a cane most of the time and the back not completely healed I want sides that are quick and easy to do. I would have some baked white sweet potatoes and Bush’s Grillen beans Southern pit style from the can. I had some crusty bread for bread and butter.

I wanted my ribs done my usual way with a little red wine vinegar to wet, ample Penzey’s Galena Street rub and I would add some Kah’s BBQ sauce when I wrapped them. I was out of Kah’s sauce but had some Walnut Creek apple butter BBQ sauce that is good.

I usually do up the ribs with the vinegar and rub the night before but being a little lazy waited until this morning and they went in the fridge a few hours before smoking.  When I did them they were not completely thawed out so figured 2 ½ hours on smoke mode. They were previously frozen but from my butcher and no additives, just good pork.

I put the ribs on the smoker at 12:30 and planned on supper at 6:00. My wife had gone to a movie with a friend so it was just me & the dog here to cook and enjoy the afternoon sippen some good beer too!

The cook went fine; my new Savannah controller had it right where I wanted it. I was keeping a close eye on my grill level temps with my Maverick temp probe.

At 3:00 I placed the ribs on foil, brushed on some sauce and wrapped for two hours. When I unwrapped them at 5:00 I knew another hour they would be too done but the sweet potatoes were not ready so I waited until 5:45 to take all inside.

Too done but the ribs were tasty and all was pretty good. My wife said they were the best tasting ribs I have done in a while; if Mama is happy so am I!!! I figure if I live long enough I will get my ribs right one of these days!

Vinegar and rub applied

After 2 1/2 hours on smoke, 215 deg.

Sauce added and wrapped in foil

Sweet potatoes on at 4:30

After 2 hours in foil at 225 deg.

All done and ready to take inside

My supper

A slice after it was cold