Friday, September 25, 2020

The Hatch and Guac Burger

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We have made a boatload of juicy and delicious burgers this Summer, and this Hatch and Guac Burger is among the best of them. 

Hatch and Guacamole Burger recipe for the grill

It's a 6-ounce beef patty cooked on a coal-fired griddle to get the grilled taste but with a flavor-delivering crust of which Maillard himself would be proud. We put it on a bed of mixed greens and topped it with fire-roasted Hatch chiles, a slice of Grainger County tomato, homemade guacamole, and fried tortilla strips.

But a great burger isn't just about toppings and condiments. For me, a phenomenal burger patty starts with two factors - 

  1. the freshness of the grind and 
  2. the cuts used in the grind. 
We used brisket and sirloin for the ground beef that we used for these burgers. Let's talk about grinding before jumping into the recipe.

How I grind beef for the best burger

The Daily Grind

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Event: Last Year's Praise The Lard BBQ Contest

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It has been a weird year since our team hasn't competed in any BBQ contests this year and we have only cooked at one food festival. In case you are missing these events as much as we are, here is a look back at the 2019 Praise The Lard event.

2019 Praise The Lard BBQ Contest

Praise The Lard is one of the crown jewels in the BBQ competition realm for several reasons. 

  • Praise The Lard is two BBQ contests in one, featuring both KCBS and MBN sanctioned events. 
  • Praise the Lard also includes a steak contest sanctioned by the Steak Cookoff Association.
  • Praise the Lard is excellently organized and well-executed by the legendary Mills family of 17th Street Barbecue.
This BBQ event has been on my BBQ event bucket-list for years. I finally got to compete in it last year with my friends at Flavor Anonymous. We have competed together at Memphis in May for years, but this was my first time with Flavor Anonymous in Murphysboro. Here are some of my pictures from the event.

2019 Praise The Lard BBQ Contest

The Cookers (aka Smokers)

I'm a gear junkie, I admit it. So the first thing I do after our team camp is set up is to walk around looking at all of the smokers. 

2019 Praise The Lard BBQ Contest

Offset smoker at 2019 Praise The Lard BBQ Contest
This was one of the first pits that caught my eye. It is a reverse-flow offset smoker with a transversely mounted firebox. TBH, I'm not sure what mounting the firebox that way does, but my guess would be they could get more volume that way without increasing length. Or, it does allow access to the firebox from the front instead of the side.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Leftover Special: Steak and Cheese Breakfast Hash

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We kicked off last weekend with a steak and scallop dinner.  Here's what we made with the leftovers.

Skillet potatoes au gratin cooked on the Big Green Egg kamado grill.
We made our skillet potatoes au gratin on one of our Big Green Eggs. This skillet is one that we recently restored; it's a Griswold #8 from the 1930s.

Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steaks cooked on a grill
We also grilled several Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye steaks from Food City. We dry brined them in our NMT Umami Steak Seasoning for about 6 hours and then grilled them about 4 minutes per side at 450°f.

We had steak and cheesy potatoes leftover. The first thing that came to mind was making steak and cheese breakfast hash.