A Belated Happy New Year

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, came and went a couple-few weeks ago and I failed to acknowledge it on this blog.  To try and, ahem, atone for my omission, I present to you this article on Jewish pitmaster Ari White and the art of Texas-style kosher beef brisket:  http://www.lohud.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130820/LIFESTYLE01/308200052/Happy-Rosh-Hashana-y-all-Texas-barbecue-hits-holiday-menu

L’shanah tovah, y’all, and I hope your new year is off to a good start, whether you celebrated with brisket, boiled chicken, or pork butt.

Greenberg’s Smoked Turkeys

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, it’s time to get serious about finding the perfect bird.  I’ve grown fond of smoking my own turkey over the past few years.  Smoking a turkey doesn’t take much longer than oven roasting, the meat comes out moister and more flavorful, and the oven stays free for everything else.  Plus, you’re a lot less likely to set your house on fire than cooking the bird in a deep fryer.  (And if you do set your house on fire, at least you’ll add a wonderful hickory smoke aroma in the process.)

If you want the taste of home-smoked turkey without the effort, I have heard rave reviews of Greenberg’s Smoked Turkeys.  These birds are smoked in East Texas and shipped to your doorstep, wherever that may be.  Now, I know North Carolina barbecue fans like myself are supposed to be suspicious of Texan barbecue but with a name like Greenberg, I think I’ve discovered a fellow BBQ Jew…

Porky’s Pulpit: Happy Eastover, Judeo-Christian Friends

Whether you are among the masses (bad pun) celebrating your savior’s resurrection or those thanking Yahweh for your people being spared a plague, this weekend is a big one for Christians and Jews alike.

Ham has secured its place as the go-to Easter dinner main course for many Christians, but Jews have been slow to adopt the pork shoulder as the Seder yin to ham’s Easter yang.  I would apologize for my people’s stubbornness, but we have a long tradition (as Jesus would attest) and our culinary preferences are antiquated.  Plus, when your holiday commemorates your first born being spared due to lamb blood being smeared on the door post, it’s hard not so celebrate that animal.

Because of the role of the lamb in the Passover story, Passover Seder is the one meal of the year where I can understand why someone might want to eat the barbecue mutton they are fond of in western Kentucky.  As for me, I’m sticking to the traditional chopped pork on matzoh.

In all seriousness, please accept my best wishes for the holiday weekend whatever your faith (or lack thereof).

Canned Pork Madness

After a weekend of visiting with family and more than my fair share of college hoops watching, I have run out of time create original content for Monday.  Instead, I present you the following canned, but BBQ Jew-approved article from my good friends the complete strangers at Man Tested Recipes. (As for me, I’m not sure why this website can’t be woman-tested too so feel free to read on ladies).

“5 Reasons Why Pulled Pork Is The Perfect March Madness Food

Thanksgiving has turkey, the Super Bowl has wings, and the all-you-can-eat buffet of basketball that is the NCAA tournament should have its own signature food. ManTestedRecipes.com proposes that pulled pork should be the unofficial food of March Madness.

Here’s why: 1) Pulled pork can stay warm while you watch 12 hours of hoops. Delivery pizza gets cold, sub sandwiches get soggy, but pulled pork can stay warm in your slow cooker or oven all day.

2) College hoops and pulled pork share a home. Eat pulled pork during March Madness as an homage to North Carolina, that hotbed of great BBQ and great college basketball. [BBQJew.com editor’s note: Amen!]

3) Pulled pork is ridiculously easy to make. Can you pour a bottle of sauce over a hunk of meat, then turn a dial? Then you can make pulled pork. [BBQJew.com editor’s note: well, so long as you don’t claim its barbecue.]

4) Pulled pork can feed a crowd for cheap. Throwing a March Madness party? Pulled pork is your pal. Pork shoulder, the preferred cut for homemade pulled pork, is one of the best meat bargains around.

5) Pulled pork is friggin’ delicious. Tender, juicy meat, delicious BBQ flavors, slapped on a sandwich bun if you choose. What’s not to like? The pickiest eaters can agree on pulled pork.”

Hard to argue with any of these reasons, and I’d added that there is no better time to check on a smoker for 12 hours than while your around the house watching hoops for 12 hours a day.

Article provided by: ManTestedRecipes.com http://mantestedrecipes.com/tips/85/5-reasons-why-pulled-pork-is-the-perfect-march-madness-food.aspx

President’s Day Words of Wisdom

Happy President’s Day!  (Now how come we don’t have a Congressmen Day holiday too?  It’d sure help the public approval ratings of that side of government.)  I sincerely hope you are lucky enough to have today off from work, so that you have sufficient time to shop the mattress sales that make our nation the greatest on earth.

If you thought that President George W. Bush was the most barbecue-friendly George ever to hold the highest office in the land–what with his Texas ranch and all–you’d be wrong.  Of course, that George W. was a member of the northeastern elite and came to embrace his down home Texas side fairly late in life.  The original George W., on the other hand, was a serious ‘cue hound.  That’s right, there are various accounts of barbecues hosted and attended by our first president, George Washington.  In fact, with all the pork Washington ate it’s a miracle his canoe didn’t sink while crossing the Potomac.

When Washington was a mere lad–before he turned 16 and at least a few months before he bought his first set of wooden teeth–he transcribed a short document called “Rules of Civility &  Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation.”  These rules contain many timeless bits of wisdom, such as:

  • “When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy  Discovered.” [Modern translation: don’t scratch your nuts in public.]
  • “Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.” [Modern translation: Uh, don’t shift your weight around or chew your nails?]
  • “Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you  See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexteriously upon it if it be upon  the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own  Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.” [Modern translation: If you still have this problem in the 21st century, good luck getting a date.]
  • “In visiting the Sick, do not Presently play the Physicion if you be not  Knowing therein.” [Modern translation: Keep your prescription meds to yourself.]
  • And, notably for us at BBQJew.com, “Put not another bit into your Mouth til the former be Swallowed let not your Morsels be too big for the Gowls.”  [Modern translation: Don’t choke to death while stuffing your face like a pig.]

There are many more words of wisdom from GW available in this document, so check it out by following this link.  Thanks to my colleague, Mr. “Outside” Brown, for making me aware of this terrific booklet.

Have a Heart on Valentine’s Day

It’s not everyday that I have an excuse to post a photo like the one below.  But Valentine’s Day is as good a day as any–and better than most–to show a little heart.  Thanks to Chef-Owner-Budding Cardiac Photographer Sam Suchoff of The Pig in Chapel Hill for the photo.  Lord only knows what Sam was up to with these pig hearts when he took the photo, but I’ll bet the end result tasted good.


Ground/Chopped Hog Day

It looks like 6 more weeks of chopped pork in Lexington, even though Miss Charlotte did not see her dip-soaked shadow…


Happy BBQ Jew Year 2012

Happy New Year readers.  I hope the year ahead is full of promises fulfilled and absent any regrets.  That said, I do have one regret already this year: I didn’t spend the first day of 2012 in Fayetteville, North Carolina.  Why? In a word, barbecue.  In two words, free barbecue.

According to an article in the Fayetteville Observer, 3,000 to 4,000 people were expected to attend a “traditional and free Southern New Year’s Day meal of black-eyed peas, collard greens, barbecue and local politics at the Crown Expo Center on East Mountain Drive on Sunday.”  The local tradition dates to the early 1970s and is still going strong four decades later.  Sounds to me like a tradition other cities in NC need to copy…

Hebrew Hog Holiday Cards

The latest item I’ve added to the BBQ Jew store is here just in time for the holidays: a Hebrewific holiday card.  Eat your heart out, Hallmark, you couldn’t touch this greeting card if you named MC Hammer your CEO: http://www.zazzle.com/hog_sameach_holiday_card-137983403322988292

Special thanks to Dale Volberg Reed, co-author of Holy Smoke, for her clever “hog sameach” turn of phrase, which inspired this card.  Dale, I officially proclaim you an honorary BBQ Jew for life.  (And, yes, membership has its privileges as you’ll get 10% of my sure-to-be-huge net sale proceeds for this card.)

Happy Thanksgiving

Earlier this week I said I’d complete my virtual trip to Wilson by week’s end with a review of Bill Ellis Barbecue.  How wrong I was.  I’d somehow forgotten about Thanksgiving.

Out of respect for the Pilgrims, the Indians and all you hard working turkeys out there, I’ll save the Bill Ellis Barbecue post for next week.  Until then, have a wonderful holiday and thanks for reading.

Oh, and keep in mind that North Carolina barbecue sauce can help rescue your from leftover turkey land.  Chop up some turkey, douse it in sauce and serve on a bun with some slaw and you’ve got a passable pork BBQ substitute in case your favorite ‘cue joint is closed all weekend.