Over the past six months I have been extremely busy with a very tough project at work. During that time, I fired up my eggs only a handful of times and for those of you who know me, it was really getting to me.
Anyway, after an overnight product implementation last Thursday and with four hours of sleep, we finished the project around 1PM on Friday afternoon. My wife and I had planned a small get-together at our house for Memorial Day with just hot dogs and hamburgers because I could not guarantee that I would be there. When I was all done on Friday afternoon, my first reaction was to get to the West Side Market to pick up the meat that I would cook for Monday. My wife had told me that she did not care what I cooked as long I made Pulled Pork.[p]The first stand that I stop at was my pork supplier to get a Boston Butt. I got the biggest one that I could find which was 6.7 pounds with a nice fat cap. Right across the isle was my beef supplier, so I stopped to talk to him. In their case was a nice brisket flat, they said that it was the last one that they had. Keep in mind that this was Friday afternoon of a very busy holiday weekend for them. The brisket had a decent fat cap and weighed in at just over five pounds. The final stop was to sausage maker. Here I purchased a variety; Fresh Hungarian Kielbasa, Sicilian, Smoked Sloviean and Cajun Andoulli. With the caveman in me feeling like I had slain many beasts to feed my family, I left the market vowing to return the next day for the breads and vegetables that I would need to round out the impending feast.[p]Saturday:
Although I would have loved to sleep in I knew that if I did not get up and go back to the Westside Market early, not only would I not find a parking spot but everything would be picked over. I got my wife and daughter out of bed at 7AM and off we went. I picked up everything that I would need for Cole Slaw, some bacon and Salt Pork and a wide variety of other fresh fruits and vegetables. Actually going to the market early on Saturday morning makes me happy and relaxed. By the time that we were leaving at 8:30, the parking lot was full and it was getting hard to walk through the market because of all of the people.[p]We got home and put all of the food away, and then did some cleaning. Then we just started call our friends to show up on Monday if they were free. Around noon, I was worried that I would not have enough time to cook all of the meat that I purchased, so fired up the Medium egg. I cover the butt with some Dizzy Pig Coarse Grind and put it on the medium with a large chunk of hickory and small chunk of pecan. I used an inverted plate setter, a throw-a-way aluminum drip pan and some kiln posts to keep the drip pan off of the plate setter. Over the next three hours, I let the dome temp slowly rise from 150 to 225 with smoke just pouring out of the egg. We went to dinner with a couple of our friends and actually made it an early night. Before I went to bed, I rinsed a pound of dried beans and put them on the stove to soak overnight.[p]Sunday:
When I went to bed, the dome was sitting nicely at 225. By the time morning came, I bounded out of bed to check the progress of my butt only to find that fire had gone out overnight. So I grabbed the MAPP torch and in no time, we were back on track. Since I had the MAPP Gas out, I figured that I would uncover my small BGE for the first time in eight months. I actually had to pry it open with a putty knife. I had some damp charcoal in it as well as some mold. I cleaned out all of the charcoal and ash by removing the firebox. I then proceeded to add some new lump. I fired the small egged up and let it run wide open until it burned itself out. It took about four hours. [p]By now it was approaching noon again and I figured that I needed to get the beans started. I pulled out the cast iron Dutch oven. I lined the bottom of it with alternating slices of apple-cured pepper bacon and salt pork. I then layered in the beans with some sliced and chopped Vidalia and yellow onions. I poured the baked bean concoction over it, dumped in a can of beer and brought the water level to just about an inch over the beans. The beans went on the small with a large chunk of hickory. I let the egg stabilize at 300 where I let beans cook uncovered for seven hours. I did not mess with them much until the last two hours or so. The most important part was watching the water level. I really did not even stir the beans until the last hour. [p]I had to stop here and reload the medium egg with charcoal because the temperature was dropping and the butt had been on for almost 24 hours and the internal temp was only in the 160’s. I dropped in a small chunk of pecan just for general principle. I let medium climb up to 275, as I was ready for the pork to be done.[p]At this point my wife and I made the Cole Slaw and then I made the rub for the brisket. Upon the competition of these tasks, I was able to rest for an hour and then the pork was finally done after 28 hours. I pulled the pork, ate a sandwich and promptly put it in the refrigerator. The beans were still cooking, but really did not take that much time.[p]Now I had a dilemma, what to do with the brisket. I figured that it would cook in 6 hours. I consulted my local BBQ Sage, KennyG, and he suggested that regardless what I thought, the brisket was going to take me 12-13 hours. I also knew that I had to be at two different parades in the morning and I would not be around to mess with a brisket. [p]Monday:
After much thinking and a couple of barley pops I decided to start the brisket at 2 AM, which I did. My intent was to keep the brisket cooking at 250 overnight and see what I ended up with in the morning. I removed the plate setter and just put the brisket on an adjustable V-rack and another throw-a-way aluminum drip pan. I used a giant chunk of hickory and oak as well as mixing some mesquite charcoal in with the hardwood lump. I got the dome temp to 250 and it held there for a half hour. I tried to stay awake for another half hour to make sure that the temperature was stable. I crawled into bed around 3 AM.[p]Somewhere around 6:30, I heard this distant beeping and I got up to see what it was. What I found was the dome temp at 350 and the internal at 212. I figured that it was ruined, but kept a positive attitude since I knew I had plenty of sausages. I pulled it off the egg, took it inside and covered it with foil. Believe it or not it was actually time to get up and get the day started. My parents should up an hour later with my two sons. I was not sure what to do with the brisket since I did not know if it was shoe leather or not. My dad thought that I should wrap it in foil and toss it the refrigerator so I did just that and headed off to the parades. [p]When we got back, I just tossed the still wrapped brisket in the oven to heat up along with some sausage and peppers that my mother-in-law had brought. By 1PM every started to show up and everything was ready. I pulled the brisket out and started to slice into it. I was not juicy, but it was tender and moist. I was very surprised. After everyone had made a first pass through the line, I noticed the brisket was gone. Everyone said that it was the best roast beef that they had ever had. I was floored. Everyone was stuffed and never even cooked the sausages that I purchased.[p]Here is where the fun started; one of our guest purchased some sausages for a shop that claimed it had over 125 flavors of sausages. Here are the flavors of Sausage that they purchased for us to try: Chicken Picata, Bean Burrito, Cheddar Chicken Broccoli and Banana’s Foster. I fired up the medium and cooked all of the sausages. I cut them up and served them Eggfest style by walking around with a cutting board in hand offering sample.[p]After the final guest left, we figured that we had had over thirty people that we stuffed with food. I really enjoyed myself by cooking that much and have it all turn out great and on time. [p]Thank you for reading. I think that I hear the mountains calling,