Chilebrown at home

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


While judging at the Santa Anita bbq event we met the owner of the Cucamonga Cattle Company. The Cucamonga Cattle Company is a competing bbq team and makes sauces and rubs. We purchased an all-purpose rub and a mustard based barbeque sauce. Mustard based sauces are great accompaniment for pulled pork. We would like to share a short review on both.

The rub is titled Trail Boss. It is an all-purpose rub instead of a meat specific rub. This rub claims to be goo on pork, beef, chicken and fish. It also claims to be low on sodium. I am not sure this is a good thing in a rub unless you have dietary needs to limit salt. The ingredient list is the usual subjects for a rub and the first ingredient listed is sugar. This is a sweet rub. We tried it on a pork steak which we cooked on a hot grill. The sugars caramelized very nicely to form a sweet savory meat crust. This really worked. I thought the salt level was just fine. (Note to self; maybe we do not need all that salt?). We cannot wait to try this on other meats.

This sauce has all the right moves for pulled pork. It is a free flowing sauce with just the right amount of mustard tang. The label claims the sauce to be spicy but we find it is spicy in a mustard type of twang. We shredded a pork roast and added sauce and reheated all in a cast iron pan for some of the best pulled pork sandwiches.
   We like these products and you can order the rubs from their website. I do not see the mustard sauce and we may just have to wait till next year when we attend the Santa Anita barbeque competition again.

Saturday, May 25, 2019


As some of you might know I am an avid collector of Buck Knives. I specifically collect the model Buck 110 which is a folding hunters knife. The Buck Company sells all types of knives and even have an extensive kitchen knife collection. The Buck Knife company showcases a special knife each month and calls it the 'Buck of The Month'. This month was a special chef's knife and I could not resist.

This is a 7 1/2 in Chef's knife. The handle is made of ebony hardwood. The blade is made of 12C27 Steel, Mod Sandvik steel. This is a very special steel with qualities that keep an edge and is corrosion resistant. This knife also came with a magnetic paperstone sheath. The knife is numbered with only 150 produced. This is a beautiful knife and a collectors item. This knife will actually get used. My wife Ms.Goofy has claimed this knife. It fits her paw perfectly. That is fine because I like to use a little bigger handled blade.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019


 We are operating on intel from a fellow bbq judge Scott. This is his favorite Mexican restaurant in the Antioch area. We are visiting Cocina Medina. Cocina Medina is located in a small strip mall about 5 minutes off the main highway.There was plenty of parking today so Parking Karma was not needed. We walk into a festive, bright and inviting restaurant with high hopes.

We are immediately seated by a cheerful host. Within seconds a server comes with chips and salsas and our very friendly, bubbly waitress asks us if we want some drinks. I ask if they have any special hot sauce and she says she will bring it right away. We scan the menu and it is pretty typical for a Mexican restaurant. We order our usual suspects.

The regular salsa was a roasted melody of tomatoes and onion with a little kiss of heat on the mild side. The hot sauce was probably dried peppers and we immediately taste a funny aftertaste. I taste soap. It was not enjoyable. Our food arrives liquidity split. Ms. Goofys burrito was just okay. My chile verde had chunks of very dry pork in a lackluster sauce that was green in color only.

Living in the Bay Area we have so many choices for Mexican food. Cocina Medina has a few things going for it. It seems to be a fun lively place. The staff is wonderful and attentive. The food department had some fails today. We always enjoy the hunt for great Mexican food. Today was not a total disaster but most likely will not return.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


Are you ready for some bbq ribs, chili wine and country music by Coffey Anderson?. We were more than ready to sample and score bbq ribs at this fund raiser for the American Cancer Society at the beautiful Petersen Vineyards. Mother Nature also wanted to get involved and came down with lots of rain to show who is boss. We would like to share some fairly dry images with you.

 The Petersen Vineyards is located in the small sleepy urban/farming community of Knightsen Ca.. There are a lot of houses being built in this once rural area. Today we had seven barbeque teams set up right on the outskirts of the vineyard. They cooked plenty of ribs for the event go'ers and also cooked some competition ribs. I know one team cooked two separate batches of ribs; one for the public and at least 6 ribs for the judges. 

The rain held off till around noon time. We got to judge the rib round before the rain. We were in a open tent that was exposed to the elements. The chili judging started at noon. We huddled in the center of the tent in between the dripping leaking small judging venue. This was challenging but we rose to the occasion and picked a chili winner. 

There was a indoor wine tasting area. Later that afternoon a country singer Toby Anderson played some music. We did not stick around and pretty much left after the soggy chili judging. The Petersen Vineyard was a beautiful venue for a fundraiser. It is a shame that mother nature had other plans. Bravo for the attendees, competitors and the fair weather judges who did attend. We did not get a chance to play Bocce  ball but hope to next year. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Clean your grates before and after every cook. Scrape and remove debris and ashes from sides and bottom of your cooker. Grease fires are real and dangerous. This has been a Public Service Announcement from the Mad Meat Genius network.

Sunday, May 12, 2019


The 9th Annual Ribs, Chili, Cars, Brews, & Blues in Livermore California had something for everybody today. The weather was perfect for locals to partake in the festive activities. We were there to judge ribs, chili and salsa and would love to share some images with you.

Make those doughnuts with extra grease because this batch is for the Chief of Police. Above is a rare picture of yours truly driving the 1954 Livermore Patty Wagon. There were lots of shiny cars to look at today.

 These are some dedicated judges sampling chili to determine a winner. In my personal experience I believe judging chili is more difficult than judging barbeque. This was a local chili contest and there were no specific chili ingredient rules. In the sanctioned chili contests beans are not allowed. Today they were. It was tough to pick the best.

 As some of you know, I have a sweet tooth and I love mini donuts. Nana Bear's Mini Donuts makes the festival rounds and I am guaranteed to get in line and enjoy..

Here is a sampling of ribs that I scored today.. This event brought out some of the locals to show off their bbq skills. I tasted and scored some up and coming future championship ribs today.

 In closing, what a fun and wonderful day. All the fun categories were covered today. Livermore has a great local event. We cannot wait till next weekend to do this all over again.

Thursday, May 9, 2019


I do not care what the ingredients are because these Bacon Barbecue Corn Nuggets are delicious. They are crunchy, salty, smoky, sweet and all in the right balance of these attributes. They also have a slight hint of oil that reminds you that these are a snack food that probably are not the healthiest. Oh my are they good. They can be found at Pedricks Produce in Dixon California. 

Sunday, May 5, 2019


If you zoom in the above image you will see a sign reading "You are about to eat the Worlds Best Barbeque" This was very appropriate for the Elk Grove Western Festival & Barbecue Championship. Ms. Goofy and I were in our element today. Fun, friends, sun, and Worlds Best Barbecue were all in the mix today. We would love to share some images with you.

This is a family oriented event. There was a midway with carnival rides and plenty of snacks for kids of all ages. This event brings out a lot of local businesses that set up booths to educate and promote various business and organizations. Of course we were there for the bbq.

Today's competition involved a mix of "Backyard and Professional' teams. The backyard division is a great way to get your feet wet in the competition world. They only cook chicken and ribs. The Professionals cook four meats; chicken, ribs, pork shoulder and brisket. A lot of Professional teams start in the Backyard division and are more than helpful to the Backyard teams in advice and comrade.

This is Kevin who took third overall. 

I took this shot of some competitors sleeping arrangements. I not sure if it was for the kids or somebody watching the bbq pits. It was another great day of bbq. Congratulations to the team The Smoknig J's for winning Grand Championship. We had a blast and plan to do it all over again next weekend in Livermore California. We hope to see you there.


Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Our good friend and fellow certified Kansas City Barbecue Society Master Judge is a fan of Portuguese sausage. He has grown up eating Santo's brand  Portuguese linguica. Unfortunately Santo's has shuttered their doors permanently and Scott has been on a quest to find his holy grail of the Portuguese linguica. He has found a comparable substitute in the Goulart's brand and was excited for me to try some. He gifted me a package at our last barbeque competition and we are going to give it a try today.

This sausage is already cooked and only needs to be heated or grilled to add another layer of flavor. We included the sausage on or grill of chicken wings and asparagus. We noticed their is a high fat content in this sausage by the immediate flare ups on the grill. It only took several minutes to add a char and heat these meat tubes.

The linguisa had a snap from the casing when bitten into.  The texture of the meat was a course chop of seasoned meat. I detected a slight tang of sourness possibly from wine, vinegar and or possibly a little fermentation. I believe I was tasting paprika which added a pepper component which was mild. I liked the flavor and texture. Ms. Goofy was not a fan.

Will this be our go to Portuguese sausage?  I have never really experienced this type of sausage but now am a fan. Our friend Scott likes it and that in good enough for me. I may have to wait till Ms. Goofy is not around to enjoy some Goulart's Portuguese sausage.