Sunday, June 3, 2007

Smoking Saturday

Madi had an annual Girl Scout fundraiser that she had to attend out at the Steinbeck Center. I was official driver. We had to be there at 8:45 and as we drove up we were (I was) pleasantly surprised to find the Farmer's Market was there in the parking lot.

In the (not quite back) mid section of my mind was building a potting bench for playing with plants in the side yard. Coincidentally there was a guy at the Market that had a trailer full of craft type wood working stuff. He had mini-water wells, bird houses, and of all things-a potting bench made of scrap wood for sale for $100. I chose to abstain. I can shop at the Last Chance Mercantile (the dump) and pick up my own scrap wood. The bench is now finished (once its dry) and only cost me two days and $31.

After Scouts Madi wanted a snack so we stopped at Nob Hill on the way out of Salinas. As she searched for her snack I was lured to the meat department by a sexy little 3 lb choice beef brisket.

What seemed like an ordinary day building a potting bench, turned into a smoking adventure! When I got home I broke out the Villa stove top smoker. I bought this thing about a year ago when I picked out my Villa tabletop grinder.

I usually use my Weber kettle to smoke meats but since this was such a small portion and I've only smoked in this Villa thing twice in the last year, I thought I'd give it a shot. I made my dry rub of paprika, cayenne, black pepper, salt, onion and garlic powder(roughly).

Normally I would have rubbed this brisket with some spicy brown mustard and then the dry rub and left it to marry, but since I wasn't going to take the time to let the brisket sit overnight, and since I was wanting to use this little can of Chipotle Peppers that were in the pantry, I made a smashed yellow mustard, chipotle pepper smear and then pressed the dry rub in.

It only takes about 2 teaspoons full of wood shavings to smoke for 6 hours or so. I used half Mesquite and have hickory. After 3 hours I began hitting it with a wet mop of beer, cider, cider vin, and Worcestershire. Again, with the small quantity I had to adjust my recipe. What to do with the extra half beer? Ah heck fill it to the rim.

After 6 hours the brisket was done. I miss having a gas cook top, this stove top requires attention. The wet mop I was using spilled over to the wood chips and began steaming. Rather than finishing as a dry, thin sliceable sandwich roast, this was a moist spicy yummy meal. The heat factor was high from the double pepper, between the chipotle, cayenne, and black pepper. Still very awesome

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