Saturday, September 26, 2015

Beer Brats and Leftovers

Sep 26 2015

I haven’t done any beer brats lately. After I got my Traeger I like them about as well just smoked and then turn up the heat to finish or move to my gas grill to brown up. I wanted to do some beer brats so I looked at some recipes.

I used some of Guy Fieri’s recipe. I browned up some diced bacon on my gas burner, added some sliced onions, peppers and garlic. When the onions started to brown up I poured in a beer and then added the fresh brats from my butcher. I pierced them so they would take on the beer flavor and the brats would flavor the beer.

I simmered them for 15 minutes turning half way through; I didn’t have them completely covered. After they had simmered I removed and sliced one side some and they went on my Weber Spirit I had on medium 350 to 400 deg. I did them about 8 minutes per side to get a nice brown.

While they were on the grill I added about a tablespoon of mustard to the beer and onions; I added a little more beer since it was cooking off. I added the grilled brats back to the beer & onions and let simmer a few minutes while I toasted the tops of the brat buns on the grill a couple of minutes, then took inside to serve the wife and me.

I sliced a little off the tops of the buns; these squares them up and let’s sit on the grill to brown up. I also sprayed them with a little olive oil.

I served the brats with some of the onions and peppers and mustard. Our sides were leftover smashed potatoes and cabbage gratin. I liked the brats this way.


For the brats

Browning the bacon

Onions, peppers, garlic, beer and brats added

Ready for the grill

Browning on the grill

Ready to serve

My supper

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sirloin Beef, Smashed Potatoes and Cabbage Gratin

Sep 24 2015

Monday I could not find a beef brisket flat like I wanted so I bought this 4.75 pound beef sirloin tritip roast. Don’t know why they called it tritip; maybe because it looked to me like 3 attached muscles. I don’t like to buy meat in packages since they usually hide some bad stuff. This one had some gristle and fat wrapped in. I trimmed away about ¾ pounds when I split the roast.

The one piece was about 1.5 pounds and I placed it in some Stubbs Beef Marinade overnight turning it 3 times. After marinating it I rolled and tied it. The other piece looks like it will be good to smoke to rare then thin slice for some Italian beef; I vacuum sealed it and froze.

Tuesday I got the roast on my Traeger; I did it on smoke for 45 minutes and then placed it on a rack in a roaster and poured in some beef consume and eased up the temp to 300 deg. grill level. It took an hour 45 minutes total to get it to 130 deg. IT. After it cooled it went in the fridge.

Wednesday I went out to the Ford dealer to look at cars. I ended up buying a 2015 Escape and we were able to pick it up at supper time so the beef would wait until Thursday. It’s loaded with about all you could get on it. We like driving it.

The wife was going to the High School soccer game to see the grandson’s team run on the field with the big boys so we ate a little early.

I sliced up the roast and nuked some Dutch baby gold potatoes I smashed them’ poured some melted butter over, seasoned with dried garlic flakes, salt and pepper. I nuked about ¾ head of cabbage, dotted with butter, added 2 Tbs. of flour a little sugar and salt. I poured about ¾ cup of hot milk over and added some shredded sharp cheddar.

The potatoes and cabbage went in a 350 deg. oven for 45 minutes. I just nuked the sliced sirloin with some of the pan juice in the microwave and served the wife and me with some toasted bread and butter. The sirloin was about as tender as it gets and loved the Stubbs marinade. This was the first time I had used his beef marinade. It is good and has a little heat.

The roast

The half I marinated and rolled and scraps

In the marinade overnight

Larger one I froze

Ready for the smoker

Done at 130 deg. IT


Cabbage with butter and flour mix

Some hot milk and cheese added

Potatoes ready for the oven

Cabbage done

Potatoes done

My supper

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BLT's, Grilled Romaine and Tomatoes

Sep 22 2015

A while back I thought I had the last of my garden tomatoes for a BLT. I had one nice one that was just starting to turn and picked two green ones. After about 4 days the one was ripe and the other two had some green on them. I would fry those.

I had a pound of Kah Meats good thick cut bacon to have and some English toast bread for the sandwiches. I bought some Romaine hearts to do on the grill along with tomatoes. I sliced up the two tomatoes that had some green on; breaded them with flour, egg and Panko bread crumbs and placed in the fridge. Surprisingly they were ripe enough to just eat so I was having fried tomatoes instead of fried green tomatoes!

I did the bacon up on my Traeger. The frog mat will hold ¾ of a pound. After I got them on I sprinkled with a light coat of Savor’s Super Pig. When it was time to eat I cut a Romaine heart in half; sprayed with some olive oil and did them on the Weber Spirit along with the tomatoes. When they were about done I toasted the bread in my toaster lightly.

I made up the sandwiches and we had a balsamic reduction and some parmesan on the Romaine. The BLT tasted great; especially since I thought I had my last one a few weeks ago. We liked the fried tomatoes too.


Bacon on my Traeger

All done

Grilled Romaine and tomatoes

My supper

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

Sep 21 2015

I have wanted to smoke a beef brisket flat since I have not done one for 4 years! I went to Krogers yesterday and theirs was $7.99 a pound and they only only had one small one. I figured Meijers in Lima would have some so I went up this morning. They did but were $9.99 a pound; I am not paying $10 a pound for brisket. I know my butchers are less than that but he only has whole ones.

I drove across town to Sam’s club to see what they had. They didn’t have any briskets but had a 4.75 pound sirloin tritip roast that looked good so I bought it at $5.83 a pound. I split it into two roasts and the smaller one is marinating overnight in the fridge.

I knew I would be tired from running around so I took some pulled chicken out of the freezer this morning. I would throw together some enchiladas for our supper. I had bought some salsa verde to use as my sauce and after tasting I knew it was a little hot for my wife so I didn’t use as much sauce as I usually do.

I know this is not as good as making your own sauce but for something quick and easy you can make some tasty ones with store bought sauce.  This Herdez salsa verde is the best I have tried; it does not give the heat level but I would put it at Medium. I usually pour some sauce in the dish before adding the corn tortillas but skipped that this time.

I used a 7X10 Pyrex dish that just holds six enchiladas. I cut up the chicken some, added it to a soft corn tortilla, topped with some shredded taco cheese, folded them up and placed in the oiled dish. I added some more of the cheese to the top and poured some of the salsa verde over all.

This went in my Traeger heated to 300 deg. grill level. After 25 minutes I added some of the Queso Fresco crumbled cheese, about ½ cup. I went to 320 deg. grill level for another 40 minutes; the cheese was melted and getting a little brown.

I sprinkled on a little Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle and served it with some sour cream on top. I had a salad with some blue cheese dressing with mine. It was pretty good for something quick and easy to make. This is probably just as good done in the oven, I don’t think I got much smoke flavor added but it was a nice day and I enjoyed sitting on my smoke deck with a beer while it was cooking!

For the enchiladas

Chicken and taco cheese added

Added a little cheese

Some salsa verde poured over

Ready to top with cheese

Ready to serve

My salad

My supper

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Old Aint Fun

Sep 15 2015

Over 4 years ago when I built my smoke deck I had some nice pieces of 2X6’s left. I built a box large enough to store two 20 lb. gas bottles in and keep out of the weather. It had a top lid I could just lift off. I didn’t realize just 4 years later after having a back operation I could no longer lift the bottles in and out.

I always had a bottle hooked up to a grill and two spares in the storage box. I had a gas single burner but I only had it hooked up in the summer. Last year when I bought a new Weber Spirit 2 burner grill I gave my almost new Weber Q120 to our son along with a full bottle of gas.

This spring I was hobbling around with a cane. I bought a new Camp Chef Pro 30 single gas burner. When I wanted the gas bottle I had to have the son get it out of the storage box for me. I can still roll them around and use a 2 wheel cart to move them. I got a nice cover for the gas burner and wanted to leave it out for the winter.

I looked at the box and after some measuring all I had to do was remove 3 of the front boards and saw the cross piece out of the bottom. Then I screwed the lid on permanent. I was able to slide the gas bottle in and leave my burner hooked up. It’s a comfort to know it’s there and if the snow isn’t too deep and I can get to it I can use it. Before winter sets in I want to buy another bottle and get it filled; I have room in the box for it.

Over the 42 years I have lived here we have only been without power twice in the winter; once for 2 days and once for 3 days. We never lost power during the 1978 blizzard.

The two times I needed it the gas heated water for bathing and gave us some hot meals. Meanwhile as long as I can hobble out to my smoke deck and cookers I am going to keep on smoking and cooking.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Brined Spatchcocked Chicken

Sep 13 2015

I wanted to do a chicken today and pull it for meals through the week. I had read somewhere to get a little flavor in the bird while brining add a teaspoon of pepper corns and a whole lemon. The lemon is cut in half, juice squeezed in and halves added too. Leave in the brine for 8 to 24 hours.

My brine mix was 2 quarts of water, 1/3 cup of Morton kosher salt and ¼ cup of brown sugar. I never boil the brine to get the salt and sugar dissolved. I add the salt and stir until it is all dissolved then do the sugar. You can see when there are no more crystals in the bottom of the pan. This save the time you need to cool it down. After stirring I added the lemon and pepper corns.

My chicken had been in the brine for 21 hours this morning when I removed it, rinsed and dried then on a rack in a pan and in the fridge to air dry. It had been in the fridge over 4 hours when I seasoned it and got it on the smoker. I just seasoned it lightly with some Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle, (an herb and garlic seasoning salt). The skin would be a treat for me and not saved in the meat.

I had the Traeger heated to 200 deg. After the bird had been on a half hour I eased the temp up until I had 300 to 310 deg. grill level. It took an hour and 45 minutes to get the breast temp to 174 deg. IT.
Before it cooled too much I had the wing tips and middle joints for a treat, delicious! I don’t tuck the wing tips in like some do; they are a good crispy treat for the cook.

I pulled all the skin off and nuked it for some chicarones. They make a tasty treat. I pulled the chicken meat and it was fall apart tender; it will make good sandwiches or salads, and maybe a casserole this week. I thought the lemon and pepper corns did add some flavor.

Brined, seasoned and ready to smoke

At 174 deg. breast IT


The skin

My treats

Fall apart tender

For meals this week

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Meatloaf, Potatoes and Peas W/Gravy

Sep 12 2015

When I got the ground meat for the meatballs I got enough for a meatloaf too. As cold as it was today, 64, chili would have tasted good but I had some carrots, celery and potatoes that needed used.

At noon today I got a chicken spatchcocked and in a brine to do tomorrow and then made up the meatloaf. It went into the fridge until supper time.

At 5:00 the meatloaf went on my Traeger at 200 deg. I had figured it would be done at 6:30. I peeled, cut up some potatoes, and boiled them for 10 minutes. I coated them with butter and seasoning then on the smoker for the last hour.  Just before I added the potatoes I started easing the temp up but I was too slow getting it up to 300 deg. so it took another 15 minutes for the meatloaf.

When the meatloaf was about up to temp I went inside and made my gravy, a packet of Pioneer brand Country Gravy. I turned the oven on for the rolls and had a package of peas in the microwave to nuke.

When the meatloaf was done took it and the potatoes inside, popped the rolls in the oven and cooked the peas.

I served the wife and me but she didn’t have any gravy, doesn’t know what is good! The meatloaf was good enough I will write up the recipe.

Click here for printable recipe


Ready for the smoker

Meatloaf and potatoes done

Ready to slice and serve


Country Gravy

My supper