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THE UNDISPUTED KING OF TEXAS BEEF

I learned to cook brisket from a man with one thumb. Actually it was half a thumb. Three quarters if you count the bony protuberance at the end of it. The other one was intact, but his brisket thumb had been pulled off by a mule. Or bitten off in a bar fight . Or sacrificed in disgrace after a brief but disappointing ...

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CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #7: THE ART OF MAKING HOT DOGS, IN WHICH I BATTLE A DEAD POSSUM

A brief primer: I am a writer at an ad agency. That means I’m one of the people who makes up and writes the TV ads, billboards and magazine pages that people do their best to ignore. I work with a variety of clients, and over the years, the people I’ve written ads for have included a few food and/or beverage companies. To ...

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CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #5: SALSICCE, BY ANY OTHER NAME

There’s a picture of my grandfather, I think it’s probably taken in the 1970s, standing in a friend’s basement, smiling with a sausage grinder by his side and many, many links of tubed meat hanging from the rafters around him. I’ve always loved this picture of him, and when he died my mother found his old sausage ...

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CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #4: THE PIGANATOR HAS LANDED

[caption id="attachment_152" align="aligncenter" width="576"] Oh smoker. Burning fire of my loins, pork and otherwise. Scently besmircher of beards and jeans. Black iron maker of more better, when other cookery stopped at heat you stepped up and added flavor. You fill my afternoons, my backyard, my nostrils and my belly.....I ...

Pastrami

CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #3 ADDENDUM: A PASTRAMI SANDWICH

Staring into the waiting arms of death, Warren Zevon dished out one of life’s more salient pieces of advice: “Enjoy every sandwich.” This is one for Warren: homemade pastrami on rye with imported Swiss, spicy okra pickles and Stadium Mustard. It goes best with “The French Inhaler” played at inappropriately high ...

CB overhead

CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #3: CORNED BEEF, PASTRAMI, AND ONE OF LIFE’S GREAT BARS

The March Charcutepalooza challenge brings us to brining. Which for me meant corned beef, pastrami and a stinky, stinky attempt at sauerkraut. The process of making corned beef started with a very nice looking locally raised, grass fed brisket. Brisket being the national steak of Texas, this one wasn’t very difficult ...

Bacon mis

CHARCUTEPALOOZA CHALLENGE #2: SIZZLIN’ BACON, A LATE WINTER DALLIANCE

If anybody ever tells you they love bacon, your answer should be something like this: “No shit.” Everybody likes bacon. Saying how much you like bacon is sort of like going on and on about how much you like smelling things that smell good or how funny things make you laugh or how rat poison is just something ...