Two weekends ago we decided to do another test of the Yoder Smoker. I was focused on trying to do some real slow cooked barbecue. A work friend has family farming interests in Kansas where they raise beef. He provided a brisket and also wanted to smoke some meat loaf. I wanted to try produce pulled pork which required pork shoulder. With all that food, I called on my long list of eating friends to be guinea pigs for the experiment.
The brisket and shoulder starting
The results were disappointing. Everything tasted good but the brisket cooked very fast and was to final temperature way too fast and so was tough. On the other hand the pork shoulder never did get to temperature so we had nice roast pork but not barbecue. I think the brisket was very thin and required a much lower heat and that I didn't take out th pork shoulder from the fridge soon enough so the center was too cold. I also think the Yoder runs hot and that I need to adjust my temperatures lower.
On the other hand I made three barbecue sauces from scratch - a basic, a Carolina mustard, and a South American chimichuri.
They turned out real good and were easy to make. To be honest I don't see why I'd ever buy barbecue sauce again.
Then last weekend I had a long-time good client who had heard about my cooking but never had experienced it over for dinner. This was one of my classic dinners of multiple courses with wines.
To avoid guests eating too much before the main event we limited the starter to home made cheddar Parmesan crackers with Prosecco.
Wife had also made some homemade bread
The first course was a salad of roasted red and green bell peppers, roasted fennel, and cold chicken that had been brined then marinated with bay leaf and juniper berries then slow poached. It was sauced with house made aioli and basil oil with basil from the new garden. I served this with a 2007 white burgundy.
The second course was a baked polenta with a mushroom ragout of two kinds of fresh and two kinds of dried mushrooms flavored with fresh sage and rosemary. I topped the polenta slices with Italian Fontina cheese and a Parmesan herb topping. It was served with a 2006 Brunello de Montalcino
The main course was a pan seared rib eye steak with a pan sauced based on a veal bone stock (at long last I've found a source of veal bones for classic French stock. What a difference!). I had Julia's creamed spinach and sugar snap peas and caramelized shallots. The wine was a 1993 Grand Cru St. Emillion.
(sorry only pictures of the peas available)
Dessert was Wife's homemade chocolate truffles, homemade shortbread cookies and a 1996 port.