Friday, June 10, 2011

Mesquite Smoked "West Texas" Brisket of Beef

With the weather getting hotter it will soon be time for the All American Pool Party or Picnic at the lake or river. This in turn will be the occasion for the All American “BBQ.” WHEN you have a big crowd on your hands give my recipe for, West Texas, Mesquite Smoked Brisket of Beef a try. It feeds an army and is great hot or cold. And by the way, this is a first step in becoming the person that makes that legendary Brisket we’ve all heard of!

1 whole Brisket

1 batch of West Texas Barbecue Rub (recipe below)

1 batch of West Texas Flaming Mop Sauce (recipe below)

Rub the Brisket thoroughly with the rub and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Place the brisket in the smoker fat side up and close the lid. Light a few pieces of Mequite "chunk" charcoal and keep your eye on the thermometer. You’re looking for a temperature in the smoker of somewhere between 190° and 220° and you’ll smoke the brisket for a minimum of 8 and as many as 10 hours, turning every 2 to 3 hours. With brisket it’s a waiting game where patience is truly a virtue. I find myself most virtuous (or is that patient) when drinking beer. Perhaps you may want to try this age-old technique!

P.S. If the beer isn’t working try The West Texas Slammer (recipe below)

West Texas Flaming Mop Sauce

1-3/4 Cups White vinegar

3 Tbl. Louisiana Hot sauce

1 TBL Dark Brown sugar

1 tsp. Cayenne pepper

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. Fresh-ground black pepper

1 tsp. Sugar

Mix in a non-reactive bowl and cover. Mop onto ribs, pork shoulder or brisket while slow smoking.

Makes about 2 cups

West Texas Barbecue Rub

This is called a rub for a reason. You need to rub it into the meat. I like it best rubbed in and then wrapped in plastic film and rested over night. This rule doesn’t apply to fish. Heck you can just sprinkle it on fish.

6 Tbl. Ancho chile powder or mild New Mexico chile powder

3 Tbl. brown sugar

3 Tbl. kosher salt

2 Tbl. fresh ground coarse black pepper

1 Tbl. ground cumin

1 Tbl. cayenne pepper

1 Tbl. sugar

Mix and store in a covered container.

Makes about 1 cup

West Texas Slammer

Around my house we keep the Tequila in the freezer, the bottom 1/3 of the bottle, frozen in a block of ice. The tequila comes out of the bottle thick and viscous. It’s so much sweeter than out of a hot cupboard. I learned this trick while I was a guest of the Cuervo Company in Mexico.

If you are going to make West Texas Slammers it’s best to use tequila that is as cold as you can get it… and give someone your car keys.

1 ½ oz. Jose Cuervo Traditional tequila, ice cold

a dash of Tabasco Habanero sauce

a Splash of soda

Pour the tequila and Tabasco in a small bar glass. Pour in a little club soda. Put one hand over the top of the glass and then slam it down on the bar. Then slam it down your throat while its still fizzing. So the order is slam the slammer, then slam the slammer. A process, which, by the way, when repeated, has landed many a Texan in the “local slammer.”

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bread at Last, Bread at Last, Thank God Almighty, We’ve Got Bread at Last

After a year of planning, building the oven, learning how the oven works, researching, baking, tasting, rethinking, baking again, re-tasting, re-rethinking, re-baking again… you get the idea…

we’ve finally made the bread we’ve been looking for. Today we made bread with a proper sponge, crust, color, and even the ears we were looking for.

By ears I’m talking about the ripped cuts that stand above the bread when it comes out of the oven.

We just cut into the first piece and the whole loaf is now gone! This is real bread. Now we need to see if we can produce it every time and in large batches. Stay Tuned!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Meanwhile Back at the Bread… More!

Okay, there was an unhappy time here at Mad Coyote. Our last baking did not rise. And my yeast was smelling different and getting a black crust upon coming to life about 20 hours after feeding, (yes I’ve heard all of the Viagra and yeast infection jokes). Hmmm!

Well, I let it die and thought for a few weeks, then I started some more yeast and it was slow in developing and had a sharp smell. I was puzzled, ‘what had happened?’ So I thought about my process and noticed that I was using the same towel for several days to keep foreign objects out of my starter. ‘Could there be some mold developing on the towel?’ So I changed the towel everyday… not any better!

Next, I went back through my notes and found that I had changed my flour source about the same time my problems started. I had started buying bulk flour and had moved to high gluten un-bleached flour. Which I had used in my last successful bake but was using a 50/50 white, whole-wheat mixture from a different source. I went back to feeding my starter with the original flour (King Arthur) and my starter came back to life. After three days, it was smelling sweet, like over-ripe fruit in the later hours of development.

So tomorrow we bake, 27 loaves of Country Wheat, which is a 90% un-bleached white, 10% Whole Wheat. I’ll take some pictures and keep you updated. As they say in television… stay tuned!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mad Coyote Joe’s Grilled Chicken Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin is basically the French version of meat-and-potatoes cooking.

This recipe tells you how to grill the chicken, make the wine sauce and roux, and put them all together for a wonderful flavor that looks great on any plate. It's just like Mom used to make... if Mom ate snails and spoke with an accent!

1 Large free-range chicken

8 OZ Pearl onions

1/2 LB Hardwood-smoked bacon

1/2 White onion, diced

3 Shallots, diced

3 CLOVES Garlic, minced

4 Large carrots, sliced thin

1 Ground chipotle chile

1-1/2 TSP Kosher salt

1 TSP Fresh-ground black pepper

1/2 C Cognac

1/4 C Italian parsley, chopped fine

4 Cloves

1 Bay leaf

1 TSP Herbs de Provence

3-1/2 C Pinot Noir wine

6 TBL Sweet butter

1-1/2 TSP Dark brown sugar

1/2 C Chicken broth

1 LB Small Italian brown mushrooms

2 TBL All-purpose flour

2 Roasted poblano chiles, peeled, seeded and diced


1/2 BUNCH Italian parsley, chopped fine

1. Cut the chicken into legs, thighs, wings, and breasts; then cut the breasts in half, rendering 10 pieces of chicken. Save the giblets.

2. Grill the chicken over medium-high heat until browned, but not cooked all the way through.

3. Meanwhile, drop the pearl onions in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from water; when cool, remove peel and set aside.

4. In a large Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crisp. Set aside, allow to cool, then crumble. Remove all but 3TBL of drippings.

5. Sauté the giblets, diced white onion, shallots, garlic, 1/2 of the carrots, chipotle powder, salt, and pepper over medium heat until onions are soft and browned, about 8 minutes.

6. Spoon off any excess fat. Add grilled chicken and gently pour the cognac, taking care to coat all pieces of chicken. Carefully light the cognac with a match.

7. Allow flames to die down. Add parsley, cloves, bay leaf, herbs de Provence, and wine. Bring to a boil then cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is fully cooked. While chicken is simmering, put 2TBL of butter in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions, remaining carrots, brown sugar, and chicken broth. Simmer until onions and carrots are tender, chicken broth has mostly evaporated, and vegetables are glazed -- about twenty minutes.

8. In a separate pan, sauté mushrooms in 2TBL of butter until brown.

9. When chicken is fully cooked, remove it, but not giblets, from the sauce. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm.

10. Pour sauce through a strainer, discard solids, and set sauce aside.

11. In the Dutch oven fry the flour in 2TBL of butter until medium brown (called roux), whisking constantly. Degrease the wine sauce and slowly add to the Dutch oven while whisking. If sauce needs thickening, simmer until reduced.

12. Add the bacon, glazed vegetables, roasted poblanos, and mushrooms to the sauce; stir well, then add grilled chicken. Allow to simmer for 5 more minutes for flavors to blend.

13. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning. Garnish with parsley.