[FHCx186] National Barbecued Spareribs/National Caesar Salad Day

Happy Independence Day!


Thanks to the terrific help of SPom and SPad, we had a lovely dinner for the 4th of July. If you’ll remember, we actually celebrated this holiday before the FHC even started! As SPad was master of the smoker, we got to work on the Caesar Salad inside. And really, shouldn’t Caesar Salad Day be on March 15th?

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Lettuce eat!

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Got some cheese. Didn’t snap a picture of the dressing but SPom made it from a recipe and it was really great.

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Need good croutons…

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Actually, Caesar Salad isn’t named after the original Roman dude, but restaurateur Caesar Cardini. Just a factoid. On to the main event!


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These beauties were smoked by SPad and purchased from the always-lovely Von Hanson’s Meats.

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These were so incredibly tender that we could barely cut up the racks without all of the meat falling off. Mmmmgmgmmhmrmhmmmm.

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A successful day!

Tomorrow is National Apple Turnover Day and National Graham Cracker Day!


[FHCx149] National Brisket Day/National Hamburger Day

Somebody had barbecue on the brain…


It’s Memorial Day Weekend! Most of the people around here are probably out on their annual 3-day bender for no reason other than a Monday off work. And usually what goes along with warmer weather and time off is grilling, smoking, and barbecuing. We’ll see barbecue day on Monday, but today honors two very special meats.

Brisket. And this time around, we don’t mean Jewish-style oven-baked brisket. We mean fall-apart, super-smoky, spice-rubbed meat. Brisket is one of the best parts of cow to eat because it’s got the awesome layer of fat called the point. You smoke it point-side up so that the fat renders down into the muscley meat, called the flat. Thanks to the process of rubbing and smoking, it makes this beautiful red ring at the edge of the meat, just before the bark – the blackened outside from the caramelization of the spices on the outside. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to score the burnt ends, the chef’s secret of cooking brisket. In short, it’s cut up chunks of the point that aren’t served as part of the brisket. Brisket is magical.

We got our meats today from Famous Dave’s, as Dave Anderson is one of our favorite now-local people of the Twin Cities. He is a suuuuuper nice guy, and he makes great food. Yes, we could have gone to local BBQ favorites like Rack Shack or Aesop’s Table, but we chose Dave for today. The others will get theirs!

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Two-meat platter to share!

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Look at that beautiful smoke ring! Tender and juicy and BBQy.

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The Dave’s Burger. BBQ Sauce on burgers is amazing.

So happy meat-filled meat day to us!

Tomorrow is National Coq Au Vin Day.


Our Declaration of Rib-Dependence

Well, imaginary blog audience (blogdience?)… we, SPAK, have made a terrible mistake. The two of us try to be thorough planners, but this one just sneaked by us. Surely it’ll be difficult to forgive, considering that we’ve violated your trust, but hopefully you’ll find it in your hearts and grant us this one trespass:

We accidentally celebrated a food holiday 6 months before the start of our food holiday challenge.

It really was an accident! While trying to determine what to eat with the family on 4th of July weekend, SP thought it would be a great time for ribs. So, the plans went into motion: St. Louis-style pork ribs, garlicky roasted Brussels sprouts, barbecue baked beans, homemade apple sauce, and coleslaw, all prepared lovingly by SPom and SPad (with SP‘s signature BBQ sauce). So it turns out, it’s not just National Barbecued Spare Ribs Day — it’s also National Grilling Month and National Baked Bean Month.

SPad picked up the St. Louis-style spare ribs from Von Hanson’s Meats. The St. Louis style means removing the sternum and excess cartilage to make a more rectangular shaped rib rack. This is ideal because it makes a uniformly sized, deliciously meaty rib. The dry rub is made from a mess of brown sugar and paprika with all sorts of special spices, most of which also comprise the dry ingredients of SP‘s BBQ sauce. We can’t reveal ALL the secrets of SPad‘s ribs, but let’s just say there’s a bottle of beer involved. Wiiiink.

Racks on racks.

Racks on racks.

We are primed and ready to scale Meat Mountain.

We are primed and ready to scale Meat Mountain.

Rib, meet sauce.

Rib, meet sauce.

Lots of people talk about how the best BBQ should be consumed without sauce. Those people are usually Texans. From Missouri northward, sauce is boss. A few years ago, SP spent his summer experimenting with various recipes looking for what he thought were the best elements of a masterful barbecue sauce. We don’t want to offend anybody with strong sauce convictions, but SP‘s favorite kind of barbecue sauce is not mustardy or watery or vinegary. It’s ketchup-based, sweet, tangy, smoky, and spicy. AK tends to agree. Essentially, it’s a cross between southern and midwestern flavors.

Pronounced "sowse."

Here’s the audio: glub glub glub glub. Also pictured: sprout.

Lastly but not leastly, some barbecue chicken for your consideration:

Chicken lickin'.

Chicken lickin’.

Later, you better believe we’re finally getting to those Colossal Brownie Sundae leftovers. Merry Independence to all, and to all a good night!