Author Archives: Tom Lindsay

About Tom Lindsay

Just a regular guy who likes to shoot and cook barbecue. As it turns out, I've also got leukemia, but I'm now in remission and getting stronger every day.

The Perfect Margarita

While a student at Georgia Tech back in . . . the day, my fraternity, Sigma Omega Beta, perfected an easy margarita mix. Here it is.

  • 1 can frozen limeade
  • 1-1/2 cans tequila
  • 1/2 can triple sec
  • 1 to 2 cans water or ice, to taste*
  • 2 whole limes, washed and halved

Add the frozen limeade to a pitcher, and add the tequila, triple sec, and water, and mix well. Squeeze in the juice from the limes, and drop them in the pitcher.

Serve over ice in a salted glass.

My comments on this is that you don’t have to use top shelf tequila, but do buy a good limeade mix. Having said that, I find that Wal-Mart’s brand has a great flavor, although it’s a little more concentrated than others, so the original can is smaller, so you need to adjust the tequila and triple sec. But you can also adjust all this to suit your taste.

 

* If you want frozen margaritas, add only 1 can of water, then pour it into a blender full of ice and mix until slushy.

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No, I’m Still Here

Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I posted.

Okay, so today it’s a Boston butt rubbed with a mix of salt, pepper, brown sugar, garlic salt, chili powder, and a bit of paprika.

Of course, brats on for the first 50 minutes.

Today I used some really big wood chunks and it seems to work better than the smaller pieces. I guess I learn something all the time.

 

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The Barbecue Deck – Part 2

As you may remember, I built a deck back in the Fall of 2014, to support my barbecue efforts. It wasn’t anything extraordinairy, but I thought it was rather nice.

I built it from pressure treated wood, so according to all I read, I needed to give it at least a year for the wood to be ready to finish. Then, it would be a matter of cleaning and painting.

So in the Fall of 2015 I bought a pressure washer, and got ready to do the work. But about that time, I started having some sinus infections, and I didn’t feel like doing anything on the deck.

Come Spring of 2016, though, we found out that the sinus thing was symptom of a bigger problem, which we now call The Late Unpleasantness. You can read about that on my other blog, Plumb Mad Dog Mean.

In any case, I’m now in remission from the Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and doing much better, so I finally got around to finishing what I started.

First I pressure washed it

then painted. I think it turned out nice.

Now to enjoy it!

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Where Have I Been?

I know it’s been long time since I’ve posted here. Believe me it’s not because I’ve lost my taste for good barbecue. Rather, other things have seemed to take over my life.

Rather than go into all of that, it’s probably best that I just change, and get back to sharing with you all the joys of my meat world.

So here goes.

Look for these coming up in the near future:

The Deck

Bourbon

Holiday treats

Tweaks and experimentation

Bourbon

Thanks all!

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How to Boil Ribs

From the Old Skool Smokers page on the Book of Faces: someone posted a facetious question of how long to boil your ribs. One post wins the interwebs:

I always start with a very large soup pan, fill with water, boil the shit out of it until the water is all gone.  Then you can take your meat out of the fridge and go stick it on the grill.  By no means do I ever even think about letting the meat touch the boiling water as it will take a lot longer for the water to fully boil away, and I am not a very patient of a man.

Props to Dustin Fiegel of Cedar Springs, Michigan.

Categories: Relief, Ribs | Leave a comment

Introducing the Roughrider

In the 2014 film Chef, star Jon Favreau builds a food truck business based on selling awesome Cuban sandwiches. In the film, he and his team are driving the new food truck across country, and stop in Austin. Naturally they go to Franklin’s BBQ, and sample the brisket.

They then make a Cuban sandwich using brisket in place of the pork, and name the sandwich The Austin Midnight. This name comes from the medianoche sandwich, so named because it’s traditionally made at midnight; it also uses a milder egg bread instead of the hearty Cuban bread.

Recently, we were making cubanos for dinner, and I decided to use barbecue pulled pork in place of the Cuban pork. The pulled pork was tossed in a little light sauce and heated, along with the ham, prior to adding. The rest of the sandwich was the normal cubano with pickle, mustard, and Swiss cheese, grilled.

The result was an awesome, all American version that I have decided to name The Roughrider, in honor of Teddy Roosevelt and his troop, who showed their stuff to the Cubans in the Spanish American war.

Feel free to pass the word.

Categories: Pork, Sandwiches | Leave a comment

Pork Ribs

Over the past couple of years I’ve gotten used to the Smoke Wagon, and over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my experience making different types of barbecue.

First up is pork ribs!

Cuts of Ribs

First, let’s talk about terminology. You will hear about three kinds of ribs: baby back ribs, spareribs, and St. Louis style. Let’s take a look at them:

The baby backs come, as the name implies, from near the backbone. They generally have more meat than the other cuts, and are, correspondingly most expensive per pound. They’re smaller, too. Compare them: spareribs on top and baby backs on bottom.

As it turns out, spareribs and St. Louis cut come from the same cut, with the difference being that St. Louis cut has the flap and sternum removed. 

Which one I buy depends on cost – some stores near me will price them the same, and if that’s the case I go for the St. Louis cut, because that’s my favorite cut. Even if I buy the whole spareribs, I trim off the flap end and the sternum any way. Yes, when I do that I cook those parts any way, but I’m not so needing of them that I won’t let someone else trim them for free.

Preparation 

So now we’ve picked our cut. Next, if I bought spares I trim off the flap and the sternum, but this isn’t a must.

The next choice is rub. Here, it’s totally up to you and your taste. Here’s what I do.

At a minimum I use salt and pepper. There are those who insist on kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, and given the choice that’s what I use. But to be honest, I also went a few months using table salt and regular cracked pepper, because they were left over from a party and didn’t cost me anything. I can’t honestly say if they changed the taste any.

Of course, you can stop here, and I guarantee no one will be turning down your finished ribs. But I usually go farther. My favorites are brown sugar, garlic powder, and a small amount of cayenne pepper. Sometimes I also add some chili powder. All I can say is try it yourself and find your favorites.

The Cook

Prepare your smoker the normal way and heat to 250ish. Make sure the grills are clean. I also add a pan of water under the ribs to keep the atmosphere moist. 

If you use an offset smoker, place the ribs crosswise if possible so the whole piece sees the same temperature. If the piece is longer than the grill is wide, then lay it at an angle, with the thicker end closer to the heat.Here, I have a slab of spares, and you can see the sternum and flap, because nothing goes to waste at my house. I’ll use the sternum as an appetizer since it will be done sooner. The flap – all meat – goes to the cook as a reward.

Wood choice can vary. I use white oak for sure, and I add hickory a lot of times. I’ve also used a small amount of mesquite, but I have found that a lot of mesquite is too much for pork. 

Turning the Ribs

Just kidding. Leave them where they are. The smoke will get to both sides just fine.

Wet or Dry?

This depends on your preference, and I’ve made them both ways. If you choose to leave your ribs dry, then you don’t have to do anything until the Wrap.

If you like them wet, do like I do and spritz the ribs every so often with some diluted apple juice to keep them moist.

The Wrap

After about 2 hours of cook, I then move the ribs to a large piece of heavy duty foil. If you want them dry, wrap them and put them back on. 

To me, wrapping gets me all the goodness of wet ribs, without all the hassle of mopping every so often. Just coat them with sauce before sealing the wrap. Here again the choice of sauce is up to you, but my experience is that thinner is better than thicker. I’ve gone to using a mixture of thick store sauce and a thinner sauce, diluted down to the right consistency with a little bourbon. Then they go back on the grill for another couple of hours.

Serving

After 4 hours of total cook time, I find most ribs are perfectly done to my liking. To test, the best way is to twist one of the bones slightly – ofthe bone slips and moves, this means they’re done.

Remove the ribs still wrapped. I let them rest a few minutes because I’ve always been told to. Then, cut between the bones with a sharp knife, and serve. 

Enjoy!

Categories: Pork, Ribs | Leave a comment

Now THAT’S an Education

Education

The way to get ahead today is with a great education and I’ve discovered just the course of study to make it the best:

Undergraduate:

Start with a Bachelor’s degree in Barbecue. Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers a number of programs in food production, and while you are there, take advantage of the Texas Barbecue Program. Studies include a semester long class in barbecue (you can see the syllabus here) and barbecue camps and retreats, taught by experts like Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue.

Honestly, I have followed this program for a while, and the Brisket Camp is one of my life goals.

Graduate:

Once you graduate, consider an MBA in Bourbon. Kentucky Midway University, set in the heart of Bourbon Country, offers an MBA in Tourism and Event Management which includes a semester in Scotland, visiting distilleries and learning all about their history. Classes include The History and Evolution of Bourbon, Kentucky Bourbon Tourism & Distilleries, and Bourbon Women: Craft to Consumption.

 

Check it out. All I can say is, the graduation parties must be a blast.

 

Categories: Bourbon, Brisket | Leave a comment

Cuban Sandwich


Cuban Sandwich

Thanks to the movie Chef, I renewed my hankering for Cuban Sandwiches. For those unaccustomed, these are grilled sandwiches made on crunchy Cuban style loaves, and are layered thus, from bottom to top:

  • Yellow mustard
  • Dill pickles
  • Cuban roast pork
  • Smoked ham
  • Swiss cheese or similar (provolone, for instance)
  • Yellow mustard

For years I had settled for regular roast pork, but I decided to do some research on Cuban pork. Here is what I have come up with over the past few months.

Makins

Starting with a trimmed pork shoulder, and marinate overnight thus:

  • Orange juice
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Cilantro
  • Basil

Then, I put all of this into a crock pot and add just enough water to cover*, and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Let the pork rest 10 minutes, then shred for the sandwiches.

I then get the George Foreman grill going, and start out searing the ham and toasting the bread. I then layer the sandwich as listed above, and butter the top and bottom, then grill until done. With a George Foreman, you can turn 60 degrees halfway through the cook for a nice hatched effect.

Serve with crispy chips and a cold beer.

 

*Use this water to rinse out the baggie

Categories: Pork, Sandwiches | Leave a comment

Introducing a New Contributor – Johnny Bravo

Some time ago, during my musings on the Twitters, I became acquainted with a fellow Yellow Jacket who goes by the handle of Johnny Bravo, or @gt24880a. Besides our common love for the Ramblin Wreck and hatred for the dwags, we soon found a common bond in the nurturing and consumption of smoked meats.

In fact, I will confess here, that it was his photo of his CharGriller Pro that led me to choose my own.

Johnny's Smoker

I am happy to say that I have met Johnny (honestly, in these days of Twitter, something I cannot say about many of those I follow), and sampled his home smoked bacon, and it is all I had hope it would be. Wonderful.

++++

Then, a few weeks back, a phenomenon took the interwebz by storm – Swineapple. Like most things from the social media world, I tried to ignore it, thinking it would soon end up on Snopes.

That is, until Johnny Bravo took it, and I saw that it, indeed, was A Thing.

So, I have invited Johnny to post about it here, and he graciously agreed, and I think you will agree the results make me want to give Swineapple a try.

Further, I invite him to share as he wishes on these pages in the future.

Welcome, Johnny!

Categories: Admin, Pork | Leave a comment

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