BBQ Chuck Roast, Jalapeño Cheese Grits

Locally-pastured, bone-in chuck roast is marinated in mesquite BBQ sauce, crushed chilies, cocoa and cold-brewed coffee with onions, garlic, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, then braised in a covered earthenware pot for three hours at 300 degrees.  While the roast rests, the cooking liquids are strained, reduced and thickened, then the roast is cut into thick slices, dipped in the finished sauce and served over long-cooked heirloom yellow corn grits with aged cheddar, fresh jalapeños and chopped cilantro..

BBQ Chuck Roast, Jalapeño Cheese Grits

Local sources

Pastured beef from Ross Farm
Mesquite BBQ Sauce from Stubb’s
Coffee from Chameleon Cold-Brew
Herbs and vegetables from my garden

BBQ Pork Pizza on a Crisp Cornmeal Crust with Anaheim Peppers and Crumbled Tajo

Tangy mesquite BBQ sauce and well-marbled pieces of tender, pastured pork on a crunchy corn crust with onions, thinly sliced Anaheim peppers, crumbled Tajo and fresh cilantro.  A little bit Tex-Mex, a little bit San Francisco..

BBQ Pork Pizza on a Crisp Cornmeal Crust with Anaheim Peppers and Crumbled Tajo

Cotija comes in two primary versions. El Queso Cotija de Montaña or “grain cheese” is dry and firm, with little taste beyond salt (the cheese is usually several times saltier than typical cheese, traditionally for preservative reasons).   “Tajo Cheese” is a moister, fattier, and less salty version of the cheese that holds its shape when cut, with a flavor similar to Italian Parmesan and Greek Feta.

El Queso Cotija de Montaña is a seasonal cheese and is of limited production.  Cotija cheese is produced only during the months of July through October because the cows are fed only on the rich grass that grows naturally on the mountains during the raining season, giving the cheese its unique color and flavor.  Queso Cotija is an artisan cheese made by hand, thus every cheese has something unique.  This cheese usually comes in 17 kilogram cylinders with a creamy color crust;  it is a queso de montaña because the cheese makers live in the mountains as high as 1,700 meters (5,500 ft). -Wikipedia

BBQ Heritage Pork Cheeks with Charro Beans and Vegetable Escabèche

Heritage pork cheeks are slow-roasted with tomatoes, onions, peaches and chipotle and served with long-simmered charro beans and vegetable escabèche..

BBQ Pork Cheeks

BBQ Heritage Pork Cheeks with Charro Beans and Vegetable Escabèche

Melt 1 tablespoon leaf lard (substitute bacon grease) in a Dutch oven.  Add trimmed pork cheeks and turn to coat lightly with melted fat, then season with salt, pepper and chipotle powder.  Cover with a mixture of chopped onions, tomatoes and garlic and pour in just a little water.  Seal the lid and cook until the pork is tender, about 90 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked pork to a platter, then place the Dutch oven on the burner over medium-low heat, add chopped peaches and a teaspoon of molasses and cook until thickened, about 30 minutes.  Return the pork to the pot and simmer 10 minutes.  Serve with charro beans and vegetable escabèche.

Smoked Beef Brisket

Hickory-smoked local, pastured beef brisket with chili BBQ sauce..

Smoked Beef Brisket

Smoked Beef Brisket

Trim a beef brisket of most fat and all connective tissue.  Rinse and pat dry.

Liberally coat all sides with your favorite dry rub (I use smoked chili powder), cover and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.

Place seasoned brisket in a hickory chip-impregnated smoker bag along with 1/4 cup of filtered water and some coarsely chopped celery, yellow onions and carrots.

Seal the bag and place in a 500 degree oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and continue to cook until meat is tender, about 2 hours for a 3-pound brisket.

Remove brisket from bag and allow to rest on a cutting board for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour the vegetables and juices from the bag into a blender and pulse until smooth.  Add tomato paste to thicken, a little molasses for sheen and chili base for flavor.

Carve brisket against the grain into 1/4 inch slices and serve with chili BBQ sauce.


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