How to go Low n’ Slow with Mr. Gobbles.

It is now less than a month from the Official Day of Eating Too Much Turkey (ODETMT for short), so it was decided that a Turkey shall be offered to the gods of the ‘cue. That and turkeys are on sale for $0.47/LB ’round these parts. This sounded like a pretty good idea.

First, this came as a frozen ball o’ ice, ready to shatter a toe with twelve pounds o’ solid at the soonest opportunity. This was overcome with a giant stockpot, a bunch of piping hot water, and a tasty brine of half sea salt and half molasses. I have been a big fan of brines in the past, although I try to keep them focused on poultry and occasionally a pork shoulder. I am getting downright cocky with briskets, and am preparing to take one down without foil, and just salt and pepper – but that’s a story for another day…

Back to the bird… The next morning, the bird (henceforth to be known as Mr. Gobbles) was injected with half butter and half apple cider vinegar, with a little bit of the ol’ Pork Rub dumped in there. All the leftover injection was poured in the “cavity” of the bird, because why not? Next, the plumped up Mr. Gobbles was rubbed down with the magic Pork Rub V2.01, which has a sweet heat, with a little twang on the end.

By this time, the pit was fired up with care, with hopes that some form of meat would soon be there – and, as luck would have it, Mr. Gobbles was ready! The bird was placed in a deep pan, and loosely draped in foil. He went on the pit for a nice nap at 235 F, with a tasty apple wood smoke.

All was going to plan – until it was time to remove the foil and pan after six hours. Mr. Gobbles was starting to fall apart at this point, but the skin need about an hour to crisp up. The pit was restoked, and the bird set back on… Then Shiznit went South.

During this process, the door opened (or I didn’t close it – prefer the door magically opening option), which allowed a boatload of oxygen (I believe that is the scientific unit of air measure) into the pit. The temperature then decided to spike to around 600+F. Fortunately, I caught this after about fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, the skin was definitely crisp. And black. And scorched.

While the skin was a loss, the meat was still very tender, with great flavor from the brine, injection, and rub. For the most part, Mr. Gobbles was a relative success (minus the part of the attempted incineration). Since his relatives are dirt cheap, another attempt at bird may happen soon, with a few nifty tweaks…

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After a short vacation from the Blogosphere, we’re bringin’ the Barbecue back to the Interwebs! The picture above is out first batch of Boudin, which was a fun (albeit pain in the keyster) experience to make. For the uninitiated, Boudin is a pork sausage made with Pork Shoulder, Pork Liver, Rice, and a magic blend o’ Spices.

Having never made sausage before, the first step was to get all the stuff together to hit the ground running. Kind of. I may have tripped a couple times. First – since it is sausage – casing was required. Where does someone find and procure slightly used pig intestine these days? Good question. I figured that people who enjoy killing stuff would probably also enjoy stuffing those dead things into tubes. To this end, my guess of Academy Sports and Outdoors was the first, and fortunately last stop. The casings were procured!

The next hurdle was finding liver. I can honestly say that I have never looked for pork liver. I knew what it looked, and I knew that the meat packer I worked for would box them up and sell them to somebody. To my chagrin, this somebody wasn’t a meat market or standard grocery or even a local supermarket. They only carry calf and beef liver. Maybe chicken livers if you wander into the hood (yes, I wandered into the hood in my pursuit). After canvasing the Interwebs, Friends, and Friends on the Interwebs, I found the House of Obscure Meats and Meat Parts – the glorious Hong Kong Market (which also happens to have the best produce in town). They pretty much sell everything here but the oink.

The adventure progressed to the kitchen. On that fateful day of August 26, 2012, the range was fired up, the scale was busted out, and the creation of twenty pounds of Boudin began. If you’re in the greater New Orleans area, you may remember this date as three days before Isaac. After starting the process, it was off to wrangle up plywood and a generator. After another ten hours went by, it was time again to keep playing with the Boudin. All was blended by the kitchen with care, and the sausage was stuffed in the casing in hopes that Isaac soon wouldn’t be there. Nothing quite says friend like helping another man stuff his sausage.

For a former Yankee, the Boudin turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself (and I do). A few of the neighborhood coonasses even gave me props – sup with dat?!?! Twenty pounds of Boudin was made that day, and as of today, almost all has been consumed.

The next meat experiment? Bacon. The harnessing of ancient and magically tools and knowledge needed to change a humble Pork Belly into Deliciousness…