In a normal week, for the sake of our budget, I make a lot of veggie meals and occasionally incorporate chicken from a "family pack". We have always been attracted to the idea of visiting a local butcher and getting our custom meat cuts for the week [a la Ina Garten wandering down into the Hamptons and visiting her local butcher before visiting her florist best friend before popping in on Gwyneth Paltrow] but it was never in our budget. This week we found a coupon for a cool local butcher shop, Oliver's Meat Market [www.oliversmeatmarketllc.com] and, conveniently, didn't need to buy a lot of grocery staples and were able to put that money towards a meaty splurge!
We drooled over cuts of pork butt, prosciutto and roast but settled on some awesome beef brisket. Sam had wanted to try smoking a brisket, the type of smoking where you tend coals all day and work with indirect heat. He followed an online recipe for Oklahoma Joe's brisket [http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bbq-with-bobby-flay/oklahoma-joes-smoked-brisket-flat-recipe/index.html].
The night before the BBQ he slathered the brisket in mustard and a spice rub. While our coals started to burn, he soaked hickory chips.
He poured out the coals and spread to either side of the grill, placed the brisket on a rack in between, spritzed every so often with apple juice and let it turn into this:
We invited some friends over. I supplied a few sides and we had an awesome BBQ!
For sides, I sauteed fresh corn on the cob that was incredibly in-season. It was so sweet that Emmett kept begging for raw kernels!
I also made cheddar biscuits and a simple lime cumin cole slaw. The biscuits were TDF and the cole slaw was simple with the perfect mix of salt, acidity and sweetness.
*Yields approximately 8 biscuits
6 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups of flour
2 T brown sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3/4 c. butter, cut into large cubes
1 large egg
3/4 cup of buttermilk or 1/2 cup milk + 1/4 cup plain yogurt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
In a food processor, pulse the cheese for 10 to 15 seconds to finely chop it. [If not using a food processor, simply grate your cheese].
Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and pulse for 5 seconds to sift, mix and combine with the cheese.
Add the butter cubes to the food processor and pulse for 5 to 10 seconds until the mixture resembles a course meal.
Again, you can do this with your hands, a fork or a pastry cutter instead.
Whisk the egg into the buttermilk or pseudo-buttermilk mixture [that is what I used]. With the food processor running, pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture until it starts to come together, approximately 10-15 seconds. In a food processor, the liquid will tend to bind on the bottom first, so stop processing when the top of the mixture still looks crumbly.
Pour the mixture, crumbles and all, onto a floured counter top and give it a few kneads until the mixture comes together.
Form the mixture into a ball and then roll the ball out until it forms a disc that has a depth of approximately 1 inch.
Get a circle cookie cutter or a glass [what I used] that matches the size that you would like your biscuits to be [I have used shot glasses in the past to make bite sized biscuits]. Place the rim of your glass or cookie cutter in a little flour and get to cutting out your biscuits.
Place your biscuits on a baking sheet [I threw a silpat on mine for good measure] and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until slightly browned.
I used the globules and discarded edges from my biscuit cooking to make a "mega-biscuit" for Sam and I to sample! Whoops!
What was the perfect pair to our salty, smoky, spicy brisket and cheesy, buttery biscuits? My simple and tangy cole slaw!!
Kristi's Go-To Slaw
4 T sour cream or greek yogurt
4 T light mayo
Juice of 1/2 a lime
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp sugar [agave nectar or honey would be awesome, I just didn't have any]
1/4 of an onion, finely sliced
1 bag of cole slaw mix
*I recommend making the cole slaw at least 2 hours before eating it so that it has time to come together and "percolate."
In the bottom of a bowl, whisk the sour cream, mayo, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin and sugar until combined. *Hint: If you make this in a large tupperware or a bowl with a lid, it makes the mixing and storing a lot easier.
Add the onion slices to the dressing and stir to combine.
Add the bag of cole slaw to the mix and toss to combine. If you made the slaw in a container with a lid, simply put the lid on and shake until combined.
Refrigerate until ready to serve and enjoy!