Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Short and Sweet

Have to say that my last post was a little on the long side. I will try to keep a little shorter in the future. After all, this Blog is about BBQ, not my life story. As I said in my last post if you made it till the end I will be making BBQ pork ribs (I prefer the St. Louis style which are a little more meaty than the baby backs) for the Superbowl.

I looked up some recipes and the basic formula is:

1.) Cook the ribs in the broiler for about 30 minutes

2.) Cut the ribs into serving size pieces

3.) Cook the ribs in your Crockpot on low for 7-10 hours on low

They also suggest cooking them in a bbq sauce, but I like to add the sauce after word so I will cook them with the just the rub.

Gotta find some good spice rubs. If anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Monday, January 28, 2008

BBQ Beef Follow Up

Have to say that all in all the BBQ beef was a great success. Both my girlfriend and roommate enjoyed it very much and I made enough that I was able to have it for dinner tonight. You really can never make enough BBQ. It tastes great, there are always people willing to eat it and it freezes well also. Case in point would be some BBQ that my roommates mom had made him had been in our freezer for well over 6 months. All it took was a zap in the microwave and it still tasted great. I bought about two pounds of beef, but now I really wish I had bought three. I'll know for next time.

I'm also encouraged that people have found my blog. I really still don't understand how blogger operates. I tried to find other BBQ blogs on Blogger, but I couldn't find a search function that would enable me to look for other people. If anyone has any thoughts about this, please share because I would like to read other BBQ blogs.

I wanted to put the recipe up for this in case somebody else wanted to try to make it. One really great thing about Crockpot BBQ is that you can pretty much make it up as you go along, adding different things and it pretty much always comes out great because the slow cooking process makes your meat taste unbelievable so as long as you are not adding things milk and pickle juice you will definitely get some good results. That being said here is the recipe for the BBQ beef I made in the last post.

BBQ Beef a la Budweiser
2lbs of Cubed Chuck Steak or stew meat
1 tablespoon (roughly) of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 of a cup of your favorite spice rub (enough to cover all of the meat)
1 tablespoon of honey
1/3 of a beer (I went with Bud, but I would bet that there are better options)
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

1.)Put the beef cubes into a large bowl

2.)Pour the Worcestershire sauce and honey over the meat and stir it with a large spoon until the meat is evenly coated

3.)Sprinkle your rub on the meat and slowly stir it with a spoon (so it doesn't go flying everywhere) until evenly coated

4.)Pour the beef cubes into your crockpot and spread evenly along the bottom. Add the beer in as well.

5.)Cover your crockpot and set it for 12 hours on low

6.)Amuse yourself for 12 hours (going to work or sleeping are usually good options)

7.)Once 12 hours is up you will notice that a good amount of liquid has built up around the meat. I recommend draining the vast majority of it because the meat will already be very moist and does not need the additional fat.

8.)Using two forks, gently shred the beef (it will come apart very easily) and add your BBQ sauce

9.)Give it a good stir and you are ready to serve.

As you can see here the leftovers heat up just fine. I had a pretty good hunch I would be eating it soon so I kept it in the fridge, but the freezer works great too. On a side note the sugar snap peas over there are really good to. I bought them in the freezer section and they were actually really crisp and tasted fresh. Green Giant makes them (they are called Simply Steam). I gave mine a quick spray of pam and then a couple shakes of BBQ rub and they make a great addition to your meal without a whole lot of effort.

A few thoughts

In retrospect I somewhat regret buying the meat from Gristedes. Not that Gristedes is a bad supermarket or that my BBQ wasn't good, but when I was in Fairway (A New York grocery store that has an full butcher shop inside) I couldn't help but notice how much better everything looks. Since the cuts of meat primarily used in BBQ (Pork Shoulder, Chuck Steak, Brisket etc...) are so cheap (about $5 a lb) it might be worth paying a little extra for a higher quality product.

This also holds true for BBQ sauce as well. There is a whole lot of crap out there made by various food conglomerates and consisting primarily of corn syrup, artificial color and other stuff I can't even pronounce. You will really do yourself a favor if spend a little more on a quality product. Bonesuckin Sauce ( is really great stuff, but there are a lot of others out there. The main thing to look for is that there is no corn syrup or other artificial stuff and that the sauce is made up things like molasses, brown sugar and the like. Be careful because there a lot of BBQ sauces that give the appearance of being all natural but in fact are made up of the same stuff that the Kraft BBQ sauce is made from.

Things to come...

With the Superbowl coming up I would like to try my hand at making ribs. For this I will use the oven for at least some of the cooking because I think the Crockpot would make them a little too moist and they would come apart too easily. I may try a combination of the two (crockpot and oven) but I'll see what has been written about this.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

BBQ Beef

Having made Pulled Pork a number of times already with pretty good success, I thought I would try my hand at BBQ Beef. I googled "crockpot BBQ beef" to try to get a few ideas, but my general formula for BBQ has been covering the meat with a spice rub (Grand Central market has a good spice store with a lot interesting spice combinations), adding a little Worcestershire sauce and I enjoy adding honey to give the meat a little bit of sweetness.

I had purchased a couple packs of stew meet from Gristedes on 85th and Columbus and I used "Char Crust", a spice rub I had purchase while I was in San Francisco a couple months ago, along with some Worcestershire sauce and honey. One change I made this time was I added a little bit of beer to the meat as I had read that it gives meat a nice flavor. I also happened to have a few beers left over from a party I had last week. I blended these things together in a bowl and then emptied them into my crockpot, setting it for 12 hours on low.

On a side note as to how easy and cheap it is to make your own BBQ, the meat ran me $10 for two pounds and I completed all of the above steps at about 4:30 in the morning after a night of drinking. I was greeted at noon with the smell of slow cooked meat, but I still had a few hours to go until it would be ready. My roommate's mom happens to make the best homemade pulled pork and BBQ beef I have ever tasted and I decided to try to emulate some of her techniques, adding the BBQ sauce ("Bone Suckin Sauce" in this case which surprisingly sold at Duane Reade) directly into the meet while I was shredding it.

The beef came apart easily with fork shredding although I wonder if maybe 12 hours was a little too long because it seemed a little overdone. The beef was also a lot less fatty than the usual pork shoulder that I use so I think that may be a factor as well. Nonetheless, it tastes pretty good but I'll wait until others try it before I make any final conclusions.

My faithful Crockpot which cost a whopping $40

Char Crust, a spice rub I bought in San Francisco

The guest star of today's meal

A sold BBQ sauce that is free of corn syrup and other artificial additives

The results. Although it looks sort of like peat moss I'm pretty sure it tastes better