Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bacon Jam Burgers

So you know we made up this recipe from the show FoodCrafters on the Cooking Channel.

  • Just over 1 pound Bacon (cut up – about finger width)
  • 1 Large Onion (sent through food processor – about 3/8’s pound)
  • 1 T Brown Sugar (Packed)
  • 1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 T Jen’s Secret Sauce (sorry, can’t tell you what this is… – but it adds sweetness)

Cook bacon in large cast iron pan over medium- to high-heat. Cook till bacon starts to leak bacon juices.

While that is happening, cut up onion in food processor. Cut that puppy up good.

Add to pan with bacon. Cook for approx 2 minutes (until onion is translucent).

Add Brown Sugar, cook about 2 minutes.

Add Balsamic, cook till done. Done being when the grease has separated from the bacon. Cook till you feel it is done for your taste.

Pour off majority of the fat.

Add it all to the food processor and grind it up – not too fine, you want it to have some small chunks in it.

IMG_6282  IMG_6285  IMG_6289  IMG_6290  IMG_6293  IMG_6296

Spread on burger and enjoy!

The first time we made this we took a few bites, then went back and doubled the serving of the bacon jam – so be liberal with it. We also used Havarti cheese instead of Cheddar. Good stuff!

We also felt like we need to add more bacon. So next time we are going to up the amount of bacon and onions and see how that changes things. Will report back here on how that goes.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tri-Tip on the Grill with Favorite Marinade from Our College Days

We happened upon some trimmed Tri-Tip at the local store, and Jen has been craving it since we had a tritip sandwich at the local Major Market (they do some food vending at the lunch hours in the parking lot). Package was about 4.3 pounds, two pieces, highly trimmed.

Back in the old college days at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (around 1989-1995) we learned about Tri-Tip and Santa Maria BBQ and all the fun foods of the CA Central Coast. There a Tri-Tip is a big ole hunk of beef, about 10 pounds or so – with a big fat cap on on side. None of this trimmed up city stuff. =)

Our favorite way to prep the meat back in the day was to skin about 5 whole garlic gloves, cut small slices into the meat, and stuff them down in there. Then we would take a dry mix of Italian salad dressing mix, make it up without the water & about double the liquids (no fancy measuring cups needed). Then add a generous helping of soy sauce. Put this all in a tupperware container, and let sit in the refrigerator till the party/weekend/dinner. We also liked to poke the meat multiple times with a fork to create little passageways for the marinade to work in. Be sure to turn it each day as it won’t be fully covered in the marinade.

Back in the Cal Poly days we always cooked on a grill with charcoal – hopefully on a Weber kettle, but not always. Don’t put it directly over the coals. Most of the time cooking these big boys is with the fat down – which works well to protect the meet from the heat and help keep the meat moist.

Fast forward to 2010, the gas grill on the porch and the highly trimmed Tri-Tips. Same marinade, minus the garlic cloves. I know, what was I thinking…?? I also did not puncture the meat with a fork. We were going to cook this on Friday night, but ended up staying in San Diego for dinner and some family time. Oh darn, that meant the meat would just have to marinade another day. =)

We are about to move, so spent a hot day Saturday cleaning out the garage, dropping E-Waste at a local collection event (Thanks! didn’t know how I was going to get rid of that old washing machine!). Finally got rid of two old Macintosh computers from our college days – after I pulled the hard drives out.

So we were pretty burnt out by the end of the day. I picked up some loaf bread on my way home from the e-waste event for the planned Tri-Tip sandwiches for dinner.

Cooked them close to the flame, but not directly over it. Well, maybe a little over it to sear a bit and get some color, but mostly no. Flipped about 6 times, cooked for about 40 minutes. Jen decided it smelled too good and that she just wanted a hunk of beef – so sandwiches Sunday!

Oh ya, it was good (sorry, no pictures – out of practice). Tender, tasty. Would have been even better with the meat punctured – the outside is the best.

Jen requested that next time I cut the pieces up a bit so that there is more “outside” to hold the marinade and all its tasty goodness. For her I will try it, may not be as tender though…

All in all a very successful Tri-Tip cook. Good memories from college (that’s where Jen and I met). Leftovers for the week. Plans for doing it again soon (house warming party perhaps??).

IMG_1685 Jen’s Sandwich

IMG_1688 Tim’s Sandwich

Happy grilling!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Way Too Long…

It has been way too long since I have fired up the smoker, and even longer since I have posted anything to this blog! I will take care of the first issue this weekend – going to clean out the pit Saturday, prep some ribs and a big pork butt, smoke them on Sunday and feed them to family on Monday – the Memorial Day holiday.

Posting to the blog is something I want to be better about too. I visited a number of local (San Diego area) BBQ joints last year, took photos in preparation of a post about the good, the bad & the ugly – and just never got too it. Always so much going on – you know the drill. But that’s no excuse. I have a number of blogs and they have all been suffering. I’ll try to be better about that.

So I will still post some thoughts on those BBQ restaurants (well, one has since folded – wonder if it was just the local one…). Why? Because. I think one was great, one mediocre and one just darn bad. And I think you have a right to know about that – heck, if I was trying to pick a place to eat I’d like to get some recommendations.

So I will work on being better about doing the Que (heck – it is fun and tastes great – why not do it!!??!!) and on the blog too. Wish me luck!  =)

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