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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Four Hundred Year Old Virginia Barbecue Recipe

Virginians have been cooking southern style barbecued pork longer than people in any other state. The oldest recorded recipes used in Virginia barbecue call for hickory wood for fuel and a seasoning made of vinegar, butter, salt, and cayenne pepper. Here is how it's done in a modern, upright barbecue smoker such as the Chargriller Akorn or the Weber Bullet.
1 pork butt approximately 8 pounds
1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 pats of butter, softened
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
Mix the vinegar, butter, salt, and peppers and apply the mixture all over the pork. Barbecue at 275 to 300 degrees for 3 hours. Wrap the pork in foil and continue to cook until the meat is pull tender which should be about 3 to 4 more hours of cook time. When done, remove the meat from the smoker and let it rest for 1 hour. Pull the meat and serve. It can also be chopped.
What about the sauce recipe? Try this old Virginia sauce named in honor of a great Virginia barbecue cook named Shack - http://ocbarbecue.blogspot.com/2013/04/old-virginia-barbecue-sauce-recipe.html.
The recipes for the Tangy Virginia Brown and Sweet Virginia Red sauces will be in my upcoming book. Stay tuned for details.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Texas Barbecue Dope

This is a recipe for a Texas barbecue sauce that was very famous in and around the Fort Worth area in the late 1800s to early 1900s. It was created by two men (J. R. Hawley and George C. Battles) who were members of the Panther Club that met at Hermann's Park. The sauce was known as  "Panther Club Dope."

In a pot, bring the following to a boil:

2 quarts of cold water
1 15 ounce can of tomatoes
1 sliced onion

Then add:

1 cup vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 TBS table salt
1 Tsp of cayenne pepper

Let the dope simmer until the tomatoes and onion are thoroughly cooked. Then add 1/2 pound of butter. When the butter has melted into the sauce, thicken it by whisking in a slurry made of cornstarch and water until it is at the desired thickness.

Just before serving, strain through a colander and add a pint of sherry and the juice of two lemons. Serve hot.

Friday, July 3, 2015

1808 Independence Day Barbecue in Virginia

In 1808, a barbecue was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, for the Independence Day celebration. President Jefferson chose to remain at the Whitehouse. His youngest sister, Anne Scott Jefferson, attended in his stead. The following details of the Fourth of July barbecue were reported in a local newspaper.

The citizens of Albemarle county convened in Charlottesville to celebrate the 4th of July. The Declaration of American Independence was read to a large assembly in the Courthouse. At three o'clock the company animated by the presence of many of the most accomplished ladies in the vicinity, sat down to a handsome barbecue provided by Mr. Elijah Garth. After dinner, on the retiring of the ladies, the gentlemen drank the following toasts in the republican [spirit] of their own country.

1.) The 4th of July 1776 - May the principles it consecrated animate us in every crisis to defend the blessings it bequeathed.

2.) The People - The only legitimate source of power. May they ever beware of those insidious friends who would protect them from "their worst enemies, themselves."

3.) The Constitution of the U.S. - The solar central point of the Federative system; may its mild and beneficent attraction harmonise in their respective orbits the planets that compose it.

4.) America - The world's best hope; the last asylum of persecuted freedom. She has strangled the serpents in her cradle - she need not feat their hisses now.

5.) Virginia - In the 'war of the revolution' she led the van. In the dark period of the reign of terror, she fanned the decaying flame, and cheered the drooping sons of freedom. she will never tarnish the lustre of her fame.

6.) George Washington - His meritorious services will consecrate to his memory the "fairest page in the volume of faithful history."

7.) The President of the United States - Useful and illustrious is the consciousness of having faithfully devoted his best efforts to his country's service, will constitute the happiness of his retirement.

8.) The Judiciary of our State - Wise, republican and independent. A shield to the virtuous and a terror to evil doers.

9.) The Governor of Virginia - May his country remember his services, and his successors emulate his virtues.

10.) Wilson C. Nichols, our representative in Congress. Wisdom to discern; and firmness and independence to pursue the best interests of his country.

11.) The Embargo - A weapon of more effective hostility than the canon or the sword. It promises the advantages of war without its waste of blood and treasure.

12.) The Manufacturing spirit now moving over the face of our land. May it grow strong, may it be general and permanent; then shall we be indeed an independent nation.

13.) The Patriots of '76 - Should their descendants be called upon to defend the independence they established, their spirit will support, and their example will animate and inspire them.

14.) The Militia - The rights of the nation are their rights; they will know how to defend them. The best source of political reformation - the scourge of those who would destroy, and the support of those who cherish true republicanism.

15.) The freedom of the Press.

16.) The Minority in Congress, and the friends of that minority - "Monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it."

17.) The state of Massachusetts - A caution against the security, and a call upon the vigilance of republicanism.

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 Gordonsville Chicken Festival

Here is yours truly hosting the Central Virginia Public Access Television's special about the 2015 Gordonsville, Virginia Fried Chicken Festival.

For over 100 years before the Colonel introduced the country to his chicken, some resourceful and energetic African American women in Gordonsville, Virginia were nationally known for their delicious fried chicken. Learn more of their story here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Green Fire Steak

Green Fire Steak! This is a deliciously spicy way to trick out that steak. Just slice some fresh jalapeno peppers and sauté them in a little olive oil, butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Server over grilled steak. So delicious! This recipe can be very spicy for some people, so, if you are sensitive to hot peppers, you might want to skip this one.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Now for Something Decadently Different - Smoke Roasted Avocado

Smoke roasted avocado with creamy eggs! Here is how I did it.

1.) Fire up the smoker/grill.
2.) Fry bacon in an iron skillet.
3.) Remove bacon and sauté chopped onion and chopped chili pepper.
4.) Remove onions/peppers and set aside.
5.) Reserve bacon fat.
6.) Slice avocado in half, remove pit, slice a thin slither off the "bottom" to make a sturdy base.
7.) Add a teaspoon of bacon fat to the pit cavity of each avocado half.
8.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.
9.) Crack an egg into each pit cavity.
10.) Put a teaspoon of bacon fat over each egg.
11.) Top with the sautéed onions and peppers and jack cheese.
12.) Cook indirect at around 350 degrees F until the egg reaches desired level of safe doneness.

That's it. Serve with the bacon and some Indian hoe cake on the side. Smokers like the Big Green Egg and Chargriller Akorn make this kind of thing easy. Just fire up with direct heat for the frying part. Then, put in the diffuser for the smoking part.