Chilebrown at home

Sunday, January 31, 2010


It is that time of year for the big game,snacks, beer and 'Super Bowl Sliders'. The Super Bowl is one week away and we need to get our game strategy together. Several of my fellow colleagues have been cooking pulled pork in the crock pot. This was inspiration to give it a Chilebrown twist. Over at the 'Meathenge lab', one of Reverend Biggles followers suggested starting the roast on the barbeque. Our roast will start on the barbeque to infuse smoke into the meat. It then will be transferred to a dutch oven and finished in our kitchen oven at a 275 degree temperature. Once cooked it will be pulled apart and seasoned and reheated with some barbeque sauce. This scrumptious pile of meat will be served on some home made rolls with cole slaw. I feel a victory coming on.

Our roast weighed 8 pounds. It was trimmed of the outer fat and seasoned with our secret rub. A hot mesquite charcoal fire will fuel the Weber. A handful of hickory chips was thrown on to the charcoals right before cooking. The meat was placed on to the grill and the lid was put into place. The meat was turned every 10 minutes for 40 minutes.

The roast was transferred to an enamel coated dutch oven. A trivet consisting of onions and carrots kept the meat off the bottom of the oven. A 12 ounce 'King of Beers' was poured into this cauldron of love. The talking meat thermometer was tucked into the roast and all was placed in the 275 degree oven. Four hours (190 degrees) later some lady started shouting French at me. I have no idea what she said but I took the roast out. The roast was left to cool while the slider rolls baked.

Slider Rolls

  1. 2 cups warm milk
  2. 1 tablespoon of yeast
  3. 2 tablespoons honey
  4. 6 tablespoons shortening
  5. 2 teaspoons salt
  6. 5-6 cups flour

Combine yeast honey and milk together and let yeast bloom. Combine shortening and salted flour. Use a fork and cut shortening into flour. Combine all ingredients and knead for 10 minutes. Place into an oiled bowl, cover and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down and form into small round balls. Place onto oiled cookie sheet and flatten your dough balls. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until browned.

Take a proportion of your pulled pork and reheat it in cast iron skillet. Add some salt & pepper and your favorite barbeque sauce. Serve this on your slider bun with some home made cole slaw. We have a TOUCHDOWN!!!!! The meat was smoky and oh so tender. With this method the cooking time was cut tremendously. The only thing I miss is the bark (meat candy) that true smoking will create. This will rock any Super Bowl party.

Friday, January 29, 2010


When life give you lemons eat some bacon or make some Limoncello. Limoncello is an Italian liquor infused with lemon and sometimes herbs. It usually is very sweet and easy on the tongue. We just so happen to have a Meyer Lemon tree that is bursting with Limoncello material. The Meyer lemon is a sweeter lemon. It may be a cross between a Mandarin orange and a lemon. What ever the pedigree we will be mixing it with vodka and letting it steep for a month or two. Once the initial soaking of booze and citrus a simple syrup will be added. Let's infuse!

The recipe is very simple. Peel some lemon zest, pour vodka, and let rest. I will refer you to a fellow Limoncellow enthusiast. Lee Ann for the recipe. If you are using a Meyer lemon, have a gentle hand on the peeler. The skins are very thin and you do not want the pith.

Gorden Ramsey yells at his underlings to taste everything. Why not? A taste test of the 100 proof vodka is in order. Here is my what happened.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


A meat raffle is a tradition of raffling off meat common in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Raffle tickets are sold in pubs and the winners take home packets of meat. The proceeds are donated to a local charity. The meat raffle has traveled to the Pacific Northwest to a brewpub in Portland. This is the best idea since sliced bread. Unfortunately Portland is 613 miles away. We will have to wait till Meat Raffles come to the Bay Area.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Bacon wrapped meat log is not the most original name. When you taste this super moist, spicy, mouth watering collection of meats and vegetables you may agree that meat logs are the Bomb. This meat roll is stuffed with a porchini mushroom, spinach and sausage stuffing. The stuffing is held together by a seasoned butterflied flank steak. This meat tube of love is cradled by bacon, of course! There was a short break in the rain to allow this creation to be bathed in a fiery mesquite charcoal fueled sauna. The only difficult task in this preparation is the butterflying of the flank steak. If you feel uncomfortable doing this task, I am sure your local butcher will oblige. Ladies and Gentlemen, lets go to the kitchen.

  1. 1 flank steak (butterflied)
  2. 1/2 ounce dried porchin mushrooms
  3. 1/2 onion chopped
  4. 2 cloves garlic chopped
  5. 2 cups bread cubes
  6. 1 small package frozen spinach (thaw and chopped)
  7. 1 egg
  8. salt & pepper
  9. 2 sausages ( I used bratwursts, You can use Italian or your choice)
  10. 4 or 5 slices of your favorite bacon (Today I used Willow Glen pepper bacon)

Butterfly your flank steak onto a wax paper. Flatten with a meat mallet to thin rectangle. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve

Soak the porchini mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water for 3o minutes. After 30 minutes remove mushrooms, reserving water, and chop. Cook your sausage for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add garlic, onion, and mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until sausage and vegetables are done. Take off heat and add spinach and bread cubes. Add approx. 1/4 cup of mushroom soaking liquid to make a moist mixture. When mixture is cool add egg and stir throughout.

Take your stuffing and spread over meat that is on wax paper, Using your wax paper roll meat and filling into log. Wrap bacon around log and secure with tooth picks.

Cook in oven (400 degrees) or medium heat barbeque for 35 minutes until desired temperature. I pulled the meat log when the internal temp. hit 125. This came out to a perfect juicy medium rare.

There was a little break in the weather and firing up the barbeque was just what we needed to snap us out of our rain fueled funk. A great dinner and a fire topped off the day. Words cannot describe how good this Bacon wrapped meat log turned out. The stuffing was moist with a wonderful mushroom and sausage flavor. The image will give you a glimpse of meat heaven. We served this with some rice and a green salad. I know tonight my dreams will be about leftovers!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Doctor Biggles, who is famous on the internet, let me play with his 'Butterball Turkey Deep Fryer". This contraption is pretty slick. It is powered by electricity and is safe to use inside your abode. It is possible to cook a 10 pound turkey in 40 minutes. The skin will be crispy and the interior moist and juicy. We shall see.

The first step is to purchase 2 gallons of oil and a turkey. We went to the local Mega-Wally-Mart and found appropriately a 'Butterball' turkey and some cheap 16 dollar oil. The oil seemed like a big expense. Sure you can strain the oil and store and save it in your ice cave but who wants to have 2 gallons of oil taking up valuable real estate in your food locker. Once home we defrosted our bird. This bird was getting an overnight bath in a simple brine. We set up a cooking station in our outdoor patio. This unit was made for indoor use but our patio is covered and I wanted to take no chances with hot bubbling oil. This fryer is simple to use. Plug it in and turn it on. Set your temperature to 375. and wait for the go ahead light. Forty minutes later our bird was done. The only problem is, where is the gravy?

Luckily 'Butterball turkeys come with a gravy packet. This is a godsend for the gravy challenged or people that deep fry their bird. The gravy actually turned out very decent. The turkey was one of the most moist and juicy bird that we have ever eaten. The skin was crispy and not oily. There was one problem. The meat was not exciting, bland and basically a texture of protein. Ms. Goofy and I both agreed we missed the added flavor of roasting.

The Butterball Electric Turkey Fryer is a nice unit. The electrical cord which is held by magnets seemed a little over cautious and was a minor nuisance. Except for this, the Fryer does everything as advertised. If we fried frequently this would be a welcome addition to the kitchen. We think we will stick with roasting our bird on the Weber.

Bye the Bye, a new review is up on 'Peppers & More' CRAZY UNCLE JESTER’S AFTER BURNER SAUCE

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


The stage will be swept and dusted. It has been a while since our last performance at the 'Bacon Revue'. Today's entertainment is a smoked bacon coated with black peppercorns. Our guest is from Willow Glen Meats & Smokehouse that is located in San Jose California. Willow Glen is a small local smokehouse located in an older residential neighborhood. They smoke numerous meat products and offer three different styles of bacon.(Cajun, Smoked and Pepper) The pepper coated slab of pork will entertain and sizzle on the black iron of our kitchen. We will have a separate show with viewing and comments from our good friend the Reverend Biggles.

The shrink wrap that protected our slab was removed and right away we noticed a lack of smoke odor. It is a good looking slab. The meat to fat ratio is very even. We break out our trusty black iron and cooked a couple of rashes. Ms. Goofy starts to drool. The smell of sizzling bacon is a wonderful thing. Now for the moment of truth. Salt was our first taste. We both agreed that it did have a meaty flavor. Even though the slab was covered in peppercorns we did not notice a pepper taste. Some components were missing. There was no smoke flavor or even a hint of sweetness. It did fry up nice and crispy and had a chewy bite. We tried some on a bacon, turkey and avocado sandwich. It tasted great in this sandwich.

Reverend Bigggles had a cut of this 'pepper bacon' from the same slab. He cooked and tasted his bacon at 'Meathenge Labs'. The Reverend sent me this picture and the following comment.

Photo by Biggles

Hey man!
Uh, couldn't pull the peppered bacon out, wanted to do a post. But all I got was bacon texture and salt. No pepper flavors, no meat flavors, no cure flavors. Even the boys remarked pretty much the same thing.
Reverend Biggles

The Reverend and I both pretty much agree. Today's bacon was missing smoke, sweetness, pepper flavor and was very salty. Bacon needs to be a good mixture of all these components. We thought it was meaty and it did taste good in our sandwich. Today's bacon from Willow Glen will receive 2.5 stars out of a possible 5 stars.

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Cost: 4.39/pound
Where: 885 Delmas Av.
San Jose, Ca. 95125
408 279-4009

Sunday, January 17, 2010


"Finally a pancake mix, fit for a real Bacon Freak!"

These were the magical words to get my purchase. This crazy creation is the from It sound just too good to be true. Well it was! The pancake mix comes in two packets. There is the dry mix and a foil sealed bacon bits package. The instructions are simple enough. All you do is add one cup of water and stir. The bacon bits are then added. We fired up the griddle of our trusty Wolf and cooked some bacon on the side. You can never get enough bacon.

The bacon bits package was opened first. We needed to try the bits on their own. Sure enough, they were little pieces of bacon. I popped one in my mouth and was hit with a salt bomb. They also had a little off metallic flavor. This was not the flavor we were craving. We went ahead and followed the instructions. The pancakes cooked very nicely.

The pancakes did not hit the mark. The actual pancake batter was very tasty. It was sweet with maple flavor and almost cake like, like pancakes should be. The bacon bits just threw the flavor off. It is a good thing we cooked some bacon on the side. The 'pepper bacon' on the side was from 'Willow Glen Meats & Smokehouse'. (Bacon Revue next week). Next time, We will use our own bacon and ingredients just like real 'Bacon Freaks'.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Mojo is excited. He is dreaming about trying 'Bill Gomers Spicy Jalapeno BBQ Sauce'. He will only dream while Ms. Goofy and I will be munching on some tasty grilled beef ribs smothered in this sauce. This sauce is very special because it was the spoils of a sports wager. Billy Gomers is a company based in Denver Colorado. His recipe has been around for four generations of the Gomer family. Billy Gomer sells his sauce at local Denver farmers markets and just recently started selling at local Whole Foods markets.

We tried a little sauce on the side before we commited to the ribs. It is tomato based that is sweet and tangy all at once. There are chunks of jalapeno throughout the sauce. We can taste a hint of smoke. The heat level is 2 out of 5. The heat grabs your attention and compliments the flavors of this sauce. We both agreed that this is one good tasting sauce. Of course the real test will be on the ribs.

This was one tasty meal. The sauce complimented the ribs perfectly. Mojo was hoping for some leftovers but was disappointed. Billy Gomer has a sauce that stands out as delicious addition to the barbeque world. A special thanks to Lea Ann from Mangos chili & z for being a good sport and supplying us with this great sauce.

Billy Gomers BBQ Sauces


Plug in your GPS , type in 'Willow Glen Meats & Smokehouse', buckle your seat belt and hold on because we are going on a Meat Adventure. We are traveling from the North Bay to the South Bay. The Bay Area freeways have a window of time to travel relatively traffic free. The first stop will be Cathoula's to fuel up on java. One hour later we have arrived in San Jose. The GPS guides me through an older residential neighborhood. The houses are tidy and well kept. We have arrived at our destination. The cartoon pig welcomes us and I can smell smoke wafting through the air. The saliva glands are starting to kick in.

There are a couple of customers ordering deli sandwiches, so I have a little time to window shop. This Meat store has something for everybody. Hams, bacons, jerky, sausage are all displayed. Tri-tips, roasts and ribs are marinated and shrink wrapped are offered. Some condiments are for sale. The clerk finished making the sandwiches and asked If I need help. 'Yes, I need help' (Okay, that is not funny). After I introduced myself as the Mad Meat Genius she ran away and got the manager.

Fabel Caraves was the manager/head butcher. He was very nice. He showed me around the smokehouse. He showed me the sausage grinders, stuffers and lots of implements of the trade. The smoker was impressive. It was fueled by hickory sawdust. You could smell it through out the store. This was an older meat market. It had the old massive steel track down the middle of the plant to the walk in refrigerator.This was for hanging carcasses of meat to be suspended by hooks. Fabel showed me the walkin. It had 3 wild boar hanging and waiting for preparation. While getting this private tour, it was noticed the pride and enthusisaim that Fabel showed for his operation. You just know that this will transfer to his food products. It was time to travel bach home.

We loaded up the car with purchased meat products. I need to get a bigger car. The ride home was smooth sailing. One is always a little amazed to circumvent the bay with out hitting traffic. Once home the bounty was sorted and put away in the Chilebrown Ice Cave. We did save some garlic marinated beef ribs for the grill. Willow Glen tumbles the ribs with the marinade to flavor and tenderize. These ribs were tender and garlicky good. Willow Glen Meats & Smokehouse is a great place to find smoked meats and house made sausage. The prices were very reasonable. If you are a hunter they will process your game. Today was a great day for a Meat Adventure.

Willow Glen Meats & Smokehouse

885 Delmas Av.

San Jose, Ca. 95125

408 279-4009

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010


Tito is the local barber in Rodeo, California. He is a great fisherman, He cuts our hair and can also dance like Michael Jackson on the dance floor. Tito knows everybody in town and is a local hero. These shots were stolen from the Crab Feed at the 'Crockett Bass Club'.

What does that have to with cast iron? Not a lot! Check out my new pot. It is huge.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


We have defeated the bacon flu. It is time to have a New York cut of steak. New York City?

Friday, January 8, 2010


Peppahead has created a masterpiece. “Everything you can imagine is real”. Larry, the Pablo Picasso of the pepper world has blended a slew of hot peppers to create this fiery hot sauce. This sauce will make you stand back to collect your thoughts and enjoy an artistic beautiful tasty burn. The colors of this canvas include Bhut Joklia, Dorset Naga and several other ingredients. This sauce is art in a bottle.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


The start of the New Year has dealt me a nasty cold. It is not the swine flu, but, the bacon flu. Whatever you want to call it, it sucks! In between the sniffles and the hacks "Maynard, Secrets of a Bacon Curer" was read. This was a gift from the "President of Cookies". This was an autobiographical collection of short stories and anecdotes from Maynard Davies. Maynard is famous in England for smoking and curing bacon and hams in the traditional way.

Maynard was a dyslexic who had problems with his schooling. At a young age he served an apprenticeship with 'Theodore Mountford', a Master Curer of traditional bacon's and hams. He moved on and opened his own shop in a county setting with his wife. The book talks about various adventures at his shop. He had run ins with the health inspectors, was robbed, conned and still kept his optimistic take on life. He was a perfectionist when it came to curing and smoking products. Maynard gained a national reputation for the numerous styles and different cures of his quality bacon and hams.

This was a wonderful read. Maynard never elaborated on recipes or techniques. It gave a glimpse in the life of a bacon curer. He did give the readers a recipe for Mutton ham which I will not be making. There is also a follow up book called "Manual of a Traditional Bacon Curer" that does have recipes and techniques. I cannot wait to check it out.

ISBN 978-1-873674-93-2

Saturday, January 2, 2010


There is no need to adjust your set. Yes, you have read artificial ham flavor. It even sounds disgusting. Let's start from the beginning. We cooked a beautiful bone-in ham for New Years day. It was from the 'Meat Star' Dittmer from Dittmers Wurst Haus. It was scrumdiddlyumptious . Today we have a wonderful bone to make split pea soup. This is one of my favorite soups. Ms. Goofy is not partial to this green pea concoction, so I will enjoy it all week. I asked her to pick up a pound of dried split peas from our local Wally-Mart. She brought back this package of Hampeas. When did split pea get the name make over? After a brief observation of these fancy new dried legumes we noticed that this package came with a ham flavor packet. In fact, right in front, in plain English, it claims ARTIFICIAL ham flavor. Yuck!!! Luckily it came in a sealed package and I was able to remove it from the peas.

The split peas soup is delicious. It is flavored with the most flavorful "Real Deal" ham bone. It will go perfect with a ham sandwich and a visit to the couch to watch more football.

Friday, January 1, 2010


Happy New Year! I am right on track with my New Years resolution. It has been seven hours and forty seven minutes of my diet. I will probably stay on track till 8oo. There is some great bacon in the ice cave that is calling me. While I am tossing my resolution into the black iron frying pan, there will be light from bacon candles. Kittridge Candles sells candles that smell like bacon. Who would of thunk of that. Of course some had to be acquired in the name of research.

Yes, these candles do smell like bacon. It will never be a substitute for frying some of your own. With that said, Happy New Year and I hope you can keep your resolutions longer than I.