One of America’s Favorites – Barbecue in the United States

July 1, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A slab of barbecued pork ribs at Oklahoma Joe’s in Tulsa.

In the United States, barbecue refers to a technique of cooking meat outdoors over a fire; often this is called pit barbecue, and the facility for cooking it is the barbecue pit. This form of cooking adds a distinctive smoky taste to the meat; barbecue sauce, while a common accompaniment, is not required for many styles.

Often the proprietors of Southern-style barbecue establishments in other areas originate from the South. In the South, barbecue is more than just a style of cooking, but a subculture with wide variation between regions, and fierce rivalry for titles at barbecue competitions.

There are 3 ingredients to barbecue. Meat and wood smoke are essential. The use of a sauce or seasoning varies widely between regional traditions.

The first ingredient in the barbecue tradition is the meat. The most widely used meat in most barbecue is pork, particularly the pork ribs, and also the pork shoulder for pulled pork. The techniques used to cook the meat are hot smoking and smoke cooking. These cooking processes are distinct from the cold smoking preservation process. Hot smoking is where the meat is cooked with a wood fire, over indirect heat, at temperatures between 120 and 180 °F (50 and 80 °C), and smoke cooking (the method used in barbecue) is cooking over indirect fire at higher temperatures, often in the range of 250°F (121°C) ±50°F (±28°C). The long, slow cooking process take hours, as many as 18, and leaves the meat tender and juicy. Characteristically, this process leaves a distinctive line of red just under the surface, where the myoglobin in the meat reacts with carbon monoxide from the smoke, and imparts the smoky taste essential to barbecue.

The second ingredient in barbecue is the wood used to smoke the meat. Since the wood smoke flavors the food, the particular type of wood used influences the process. Different woods impart different flavors, so the regional availability of the various woods for smoking influences the taste of the region’s barbecue. Smoking the meat is the key, as otherwise cooking meat over an open flame is simply “grilling” the meat, whereas barbecue is the actual process of “smoking” it.

* Hard woods such as hickory, mesquite, pecan and the different varieties of oak impart a strong smoke flavor.
* Maple, alder, and fruit woods such as apple, pear, and cherry impart a milder, sweeter taste.
Stronger flavored woods are used for pork and beef, while the lighter flavored woods are used for fish and poultry. More exotic smoke generating ingredients can be found in some recipes; grapevine adds a sweet flavor, and sassafras, a major flavor in root beer, adds its distinctive taste to the smoke.

The last, and in many cases optional, ingredient is the barbecue sauce. There are no constants, with sauces running the gamut from clear, peppered vinegars to thick, sweet, tomato and molasses sauces to mustard-based barbecue sauces, which themselves range from mild to painfully spicy. The sauce may be used as a marinade before cooking, applied during cooking, after cooking, or used as a table sauce. An alternate form of barbecue sauce is the dry rub, a mixture of salt and spices applied to the meat before cooking.

Typical plate of chopped pork barbecue as served in a restaurant with barbecue beans, sauce and Texas toast

The origins of American barbecue date back to colonial times, with the first recorded mention in 1672 and George Washington mentions attending a “barbicue” in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1769. As the country expanded westwards along the Gulf of Mexico and north along the Mississippi River, barbecue went with it.

The core region for barbecue is the southeastern region of the United States, an area bordered on the west by Texas and Oklahoma, on the north by Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, and on the east by the Atlantic Ocean. While barbecue is found outside of this region, the fourteen core barbecue states contain 70 of the top 100 barbecue restaurants, and most top barbecue restaurants outside the region have their roots there.

Barbecue in its current form grew up in the South, where cooks learned to slow-roast tough cuts of meat over fire pits to make them tender.

These humble beginnings are still reflected in the many barbecue restaurants that are operated out of “hole-in-the-wall” (or “dive”) locations; the rib joint is the purest expression of this. Many of these will have irregular hours, and remain open only until all of a day’s ribs are sold; they may shut down for a month at a time as the proprietor goes on vacation. Despite these unusual traits, rib joints will have a fiercely loyal clientele.

Barbecue is strongly associated with Southern cooking and culture due to its long history and evolution in the region. Indian corn cribs, predecessors to Southern barbecue, were described during the Hernando de Soto expedition in southwest Georgia, and were still around when English settlers arrived two centuries later. Early usage of the verb barbecue, derived from Spanish barbacoa, meant “to preserve (meat) by drying or slowly roasting”; the meaning became closer to that of its modern usage as a specific cooking technique by the time Georgia was colonized. Today, barbecue has come to embody cultural ideals of communal recreation and faithfulness in certain areas. These ideals were historically important in farming and frontier regions throughout the South and parts of the Midwest with influences from the South. As such, due to the strong cultural associations that it holds in these areas, barbecue has attained an important position in America’s culinary tradition.

Parts of the Midwest also incorporate their own styles of barbecue into their culinary traditions. For example, in Kansas City, barbecue entails a wide variety of meats, sweet and thick sauces, dry rubs, and sliced beef brisket. Kansas City barbecue is a result of the region’s history; a combination of the cooking techniques brought to the city by freed slaves and the Texas cattle drives during the late nineteenth century has led to the development of the region’s distinctive barbecue style. Barbecue as a cultural tradition spread from the South and was successfully incorporated into several Midwestern regions such as western Missouri, again owing to the cultural ideals that the barbecue tradition represents and the need for locals to express those ideals. Variations of these ideals by region are reflected in the great diversity of barbecue styles and traditions within the United States.

Barbecue has been a staple of American culture, especially Southern American culture, since colonial times. As it has emerged through the years many distinct traditions have become prevalent in the United States. The pig, the essential ingredient to any barbecue, became a fundamental part of food in the South in the 18th century because the pig requires little maintenance and is able to efficiently convert feed to meat (six times quicker than beef cattle). As a result of the prevalence of hogs in the South, the pig became synonymous with Southern culture and barbecue. The origins of the pig symbol with Southern Culture began as a result of its value as an economic commodity. By 1860, hogs and southern livestock were valued at double the cotton crop, at a price of half a billion dollars. The majority of pigs were raised by residents of the South and as a result the pigs contributed considerably to the economic well-being of many Southerners.

A barbecued pig

Pigs and barbecue were not only valuable for economic reasons but barbecue “scores of hog” were set aside for large gatherings and often used as an enticement for political rallies, church events, as well as harvest festival celebrations. Barbecues have been a part of American history and tradition from as early as the first Independence Day celebration. In the early years, Independence Day was celebrated as a formal civil gathering, in which egalitarian principles were reinforced. The traditions of Independence Day moved across the country as settlers traveled to western territories. By the 19th century, the role of barbecue in public celebration and political institutions increased significantly and it became the leading practice of communal celebrations in the South as well as the Midwest. The important social, political, and cultural gatherings of barbecues have spanned three centuries and its cultural significance remains important today.

While the wide variety of barbecue styles makes it difficult to break barbecue styles down into regions, there are four major styles commonly referenced, Carolina and Memphis, which rely on pork and represent the oldest styles, and Kansas City and Texas, which use beef as well as pork, and represent the later evolution of the original Deep South barbecue. Pork is the most common meat used, followed by beef and veal, often with chicken or turkey in addition. Lamb and mutton are found in some areas, such as Owensboro, Kentucky (International Bar-B-Q Festival), and some regions will add other meats…………..
(To be continued)

 

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Kitchen Hint of the Day!

June 22, 2019 at 6:00 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Tied or netted roast……….

Remove any string or netting on roasted meat while it’s still in the pan, so any seasoning or crusty bits fall into the delicious pan juices.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

May 19, 2019 at 6:00 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Hold the foil….

Don’t cover a roast with foil while it’s in the oven. The meat steams rather than roasts, and it toughens.

One of America’s Favorites – Roast Beef Sandwich

April 1, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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A roast beef submarine sandwich

The roast beef sandwich is a sandwich that is made out of sliced roast beef or sometimes beef loaf. It is sold at many diners in the United States, as well as fast food chains, such as Arby’s and Roy Rogers Restaurants. This style of sandwich often comes on a hamburger bun and may be topped with barbecue sauce and/or melted American cheese. The roast beef sandwich also commonly comprises bread, cold roast beef (either the leftovers from a homemade dinner or deli meat), lettuce, tomatoes, and mustard, although it would not be uncommon to find cheese, horseradish, fresh/powdered chili pepper and even in some cases red onion. Roast beef sandwiches may be served cold or hot, and are sometimes served open faced.

Some trace the origins of the modern (American-style) roast beef sandwich as far back as 1877, with the then little known “beefsteak toast” recipe: cold beef, bread and gravy dish. In 1900, the dish was described by The Washington Post as “unattractive” and as “a tired ark in a gravy flood”. The dish gained popularity in the coming years and by 1931, some critics even went as far as to describe it as “a true taste of South Dakota”

 

A fast food hot roast beef sandwich with fries

Roast beef sandwiches have been a specialty of the Boston area, in particular in the North Shore of Massachusetts, since the early 1950s, typically served very rare, thinly sliced (sometimes referred to as shaved) and piled on an onion roll. Restaurants specializing it include Londi’s in Peabody, King’s of Salem, Hot Box of Somerville, Mike’s of Everett, Nick’s of Beverly, Harrison’s of North Andover, Land & Sea of Peabody, and Bill and Bob’s of Peabody, Salem and Woburn. In Brooklyn a small handful of establishments, beginning with Brennan & Carr in 1938, have served a variant of the sandwich, and two more directly Boston-derived roast beef restaurants opened in the early 2010s.

A modern variety of roast beef sandwich has become a staple in Eastern Massachusetts. Their most popular toppings are mayonnaise, James River BBQ sauce, and cheese (white American cheese on the bottom) individually or in some combination of the three, all together being called a “3-Way”. A horseradish cream sauce can also be added for extra tang/zest. Kelly’s Roast Beef restaurant of Revere, Massachusetts, claims to have invented the sandwich in 1951.

Similar sandwiches

A traditional beef on weck sandwich

Beef on weck
A traditional beef on weck sandwich
The beef on weck is a sandwich found primarily in Western New York. It is made with roast beef on a kummelweck roll topped with salt and caraway seeds. The meat on the sandwich is traditionally served rare, thin cut, with the top bun getting a dip au jus and topped with horseradish.

Chivito sandwich
The chivito sandwich is a national dish in Uruguay, and consists primarily of a thin slice of filet mignon (churrasco beef), with mozzarella, tomatoes, mayonnaise, black or green olives, and commonly also bacon, fried or hard-boiled eggs and ham. It is served in a bun, often with a side of French fries. Other ingredients might be added into the sandwich such as red beets, peas, grilled or pan-fried red peppers, and slices of cucumber.

Corned beef sandwich
The corned beef sandwich is a sandwich prepared with corned beef. The salt beef style corned beef sandwiches are traditionally served with mustard and a pickle. In the United Kingdom, pickle is a common addition to a corned beef sandwich.

French dip

A French dip sandwich

A French dip sandwich
The French dip sandwich is a hot sandwich consisting of thinly sliced roast beef (or, sometimes, other meats) on a “French roll” or baguette. It is usually served au jus, that is, with beef juice from the cooking process. Beef broth or beef consommé is sometimes substituted. Despite the name, this American specialty is almost completely unknown in France, the name seeming to refer to the style of bread rather than an alleged French origin.

Pastrami on rye
The pastrami on rye is a classic sandwich made famous in the Jewish kosher delicatessens of New York City. First created in 1888 by Sussman Volk, who served it at his deli on Delancey Street in New York City. It became a favorite at other delis, served on rye bread and topped with spicy brown mustard. Delis in New York City, like Katz’s Delicatessen, have become known for their Pastrami on rye sandwiches.

 

Healthy Pulled Pork Recipes

March 24, 2019 at 6:01 AM | Posted in Eating Well | Leave a comment
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From the EatingWell website and Magazine its Healthy Pulled Pork Recipes. I love Pulled Pork, and here’s some Delicious and Healthy Pulled Pork Recipes with recipes like Shredded Pork Burrito Bowls with Veggie Slaw, Five-Spice Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and Slow-Cooker Red Curry Pulled-Pork Sandwiches. Find these recipes and more all at the EatingWell website. Enjoy and make 2019 a Healthy One! http://www.eatingwell.com/

Healthy Pulled Pork Recipes
Find healthy, delicious pulled pork recipes including pulled pork sandwiches, crockpot pulled pork and spicy pulled pork. Healthier recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Shredded Pork Burrito Bowls with Veggie Slaw
This burrito recipe may lack a tortilla but it doesn’t lack anything in taste. Spicy shredded pork, crisp and vibrant veggie slaw, and warm pineapple-lime rice combine to deliver a beautiful presentation in your bowl………

Five-Spice Pulled Pork Sandwiches
These pulled pork sandwiches are designed to travel to a tailgate or picnic. Plan ahead to prep the pulled pork in the slow cooker a day ahead. Tote the pork in an aluminum pan and reheat it on a portable grill…….

Slow-Cooker Red Curry Pulled-Pork Sandwiches
Thai flavors—curry paste, fish sauce, lime and coconut milk—and a cabbage and cilantro slaw update this healthy slow-cooker pulled-pork sandwich recipe. A smaller slow cooker (such as a 4-quart model) is ideal for this healthy crock pot pulled-pork recipe. Look for red curry paste in jars in the Asian section of the supermarket……..

* Click the link below to get all the Healthy Pulled Pork Recipes
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/19021/ingredients/meat-poultry/pork/main-dish/pulled/

Wild Idea Buffalo Recipe of the Week – Wild Idea Stuffed Bison Roast with Red Wine Gravy

January 23, 2019 at 6:02 AM | Posted in Wild Idea Buffalo | Leave a comment
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This week’s Wild Idea Buffalo recipe of the Week is Wild Idea Stuffed Bison Roast with Red Wine Gravy. You’ll be using the Wild Idea 3 lb. Sirloin Tip Roast along with an incredible homemade stuffing (recipe below). You can find this recipe or purchase any of the healthy and delicious Wild Idea Buffalo Products at the Wild Idea Buffalo website. Enjoy and Make 2019 a Healthy One!
http://wildideabuffalo.com/

Wild Idea Stuffed Bison Roast with Red Wine Gravy

I tested this recipe out on visiting guests, and it was a big success! prepping the roast will take a little effort, but a sharp filet knife will make it very manageable. The end result will be a very tender, medium roast, with a delicious, savory sausage stuffing and red wine gravy!

Ingredients for Roast & Gravy:
1 – 3 lb. Wild Idea 3 lb. Sirloin Tip Roast 
1 – tablespoon olive oil
½ – tablespoon black pepper
½ – tablespoon salt
1 – onion, coarse chopped and flash processed
½ recipe Savory Buffalo Sausage Stuffing (Use other half for your organic Turkey or chicken or just heat by itself.)
2 – sticks butter
¼ – cup flour
1 – quart buffalo, organic beef stock
2 – cups wine
1 – tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
½ – tablespoon thyme
½ – tablespoon sage

Instructions: *Preheat oven to 185°
1) Rinse roast and pat dry. Remove any exterior fat. Using a filet knife butterfly roast, in a jelly roll fashion. You will make 3 major cuts lengthwise, starting about 1½ inches in from left, slicing down about 2 inches, flip roast slightly and slice again, repeat. You will encounter a piece of sinew that runs through the roast, slice through and contend with after flat.
2) Flatten out meat with hands. Using the tip of the filet knife remove visible sinew, but avoid cutting through, which will produce holes. Cut away any miss-shaped end pieces and reserve. There will still be a little sinew in roast, which can be cut away during serving time.
3) Cover roast with plastic wrap and using a mallet or rolling pin, pound out to about 1 inch thick.
4) Place stuffing down the center of the roast and wrap meat around until meat touches. Secure with heavy toothpicks.
5) Pour olive oil, salt and pepper in roasting pan and mix together. Roll roast in seasoned oil, until evenly coated. Add miss-shaped meat pieces to the roasting pan.
6) Place chopped onion in food processor and flash process, to create smaller pieces and release some of the onions juices.
7) Pour onions with juices over roast, and press lightly in to meat.
8) Place roast in pre-heated oven and roast for 5 hours.
9) Remove roast from oven, and from roasting pan and wrap in foil. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 500°.
10) In a saucepan melt one stick of the butter over medium heat. Scrape onion bits and juices from the roasting pan, into the saucepan. Whisk in flour, and stir until well incorporated and lightly brown.
11) Slowly whisk in stock and wine, stirring constantly.
12) Add seasoning and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer until reduce by a third.
13) Remove roast from foil and return roast to pan. Melt remaining stick of butter and pour over the onions on top of the roast. Return roast to lower shelf in oven, and turn oven to broil. Roast until onions are golden brown.
14) Remove roast from oven. Transfer roast to cutting board, for carving. Pass with Red Wine Gravy.

Savory Buffalo Sausage Stuffing
Ingredients:
2 – Tablespoons butter
2 – Tablespoons olive oil
1 – 1 lb. Chorizo Sausage or Italian Sausage
1 – onion, diced
3 – stalks celery, sliced
2 – teaspoons dried sage
2 – teaspoons dried thyme
1 – teaspoon ground fennel1 – teaspoon salt
1 – Tablespoon pepper
1 – 14oz. bag herbed seasoned stuffing
2½ – cups organic chicken stock

Instructions:
1) In heavy skillet over medium high heat, heat butter and olive oil.
2) Crumble in Sausage, add; onion, celery and all of the dried seasonings. Sauté for 8 minutes.
3) Add herbed stuffing and stir to incorporate.
4) Slowly add you stock. Mixture should be moist and hold together.
5) Transfer stuffing to a different pan to cool, and follow instructions above.

http://wildideabuffalo.com/blogs/recipes/55195073-wild-idea-stuffed-bison-roast-with-red-wine-gravy

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

January 11, 2019 at 6:00 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Reducing the fat…….

Grill or roast meat on a rack so the fat drips away.

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

January 9, 2019 at 6:00 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | 2 Comments
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Don’t slice that yet…………

If you slice into meat right after it finishes cooking, precious juices will escape. Wait 5 minutes before biting into burgers or grilled chicken, 7 minutes before cutting into steaks, and 15 minutes before carving a large roast.

Healthy Pot Roast Recipes

December 22, 2018 at 6:01 AM | Posted in Eating Well | 3 Comments
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From the EatingWell website and Magazine its Healthy Pot Roast Recipes. It’s Comfort Food time with these Healthy Pot Roast Recipes. With recipes like; Mushroom and Thyme Roasted Beef Tenderloin, Fork-Tender Pot Roast, and Wine-Braised Beef Brisket. Find these recipes and more all at the EatingWell website. Enjoy and Eat Healthy in 2018! http://www.eatingwell.com/

Healthy Pot Roast Recipes
Find healthy, delicious beef stew recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Mushroom and Thyme Roasted Beef Tenderloin
The beef tenderloin in this main dish recipe really benefits from a long soak in the mushroom- and thyme-flavored marinade. Roasted in the oven alongside onions, carrots, and more mushrooms, this meal is a definite crowd-pleaser…………

Fork-Tender Pot Roast
For a meal that’s ready when you get home after a long day, try this flavorful and hearty pot roast……………..

Wine-Braised Beef Brisket
Got the weeknight “what’s-for-dinner” blues? You’ll sing another tune when you come home to a slow-cooked, tender beef brisket with a wine-enhanced sauce. Served with mashed potatoes, this is comfort food at its finest…………

* Click the link below to get all the Healthy Pot Roast Recipes
http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/22801/ingredients/meat-poultry/beef/main-dish/pot-roast/

Kitchen Hint of the Day!

May 23, 2018 at 5:00 AM | Posted in Kitchen Hints | Leave a comment
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Kepping Pork tender………

Keep pork from drying out in the refrigerator by keeping it tightly wrapped. If the meat dries out it will become tough.

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