I was putting together tonight’s recipe exchange and found this on my camera. I took it just a week or so ago. Love that little tail.
Category Archives: TaMara
Last week I found a nice, small pork roast on sale and decided it would be perfect to make a slow-cooker pulled pork. That reminded me that it would be a good idea to revisit JeffreyW’s smoking adventures with his backyard smoker. I’ve pulled a few recipes, but if you search for “smoker” on the blog, you’ll find a whole lot more of his mouth-watering pictures and recipes.
Let’s start with my slow-cooker Easy Pulled Pork, I posted two ways to make it here.
Next up, JeffreyW makes an assortment of goodies in his smoker:
Here is his recommendation for a smoker and some tasty Ribs.
Homemade Pastrami (click here) – serious mouth-watering photos.
Smoked Chicken (photos and recipe here).
My youngest brother also jumped on the Smoker band wagon and sent me photos of a great meal that included Smoked Macaroni and Cheese (link here). He didn’t include a recipe, but I think it’s safe to say, make your favorite Mac ‘n Cheese, place in an aluminum pan, cover and smoke it for about 45 minutes to an hour at 165-180 degrees.
Smoker people seem very passionate, so if you’ve got the bug, hit the comments and share your experiences and expertise. What delicious things do you have planned this weekend? Anyone getting the grill out yet?
Tonight’s featured recipe from JeffreyW:
I thawed a beef brisket and was thinking corned beef but changed my mind. I have a fresh made pastrami on hand so I decided on a straight smoked brisket. The procedure is much the same as with making a pastrami except you are starting with a fresh beef beef brisket rather than a corned one. I suppose you could use the same dry rub for both but I wasn’t sure how the juniper berries in the pastrami rub would taste so I went with a more traditional rub. I was tossing various ingredients in and didn’t keep track of the amounts of each so I can’t do more than list them from memory: Black pepper, kosher salt, onion powder, granulated garlic, smoked paprika, ancho powder, regular chili powder, fresh ground cumin, some powder out of a bottle of Goya “Adobe Seasoning” (it’s yellow – go figure), creole/Cajun seasoning, oregano, and probably a few more.
I placed it on the top rack of my electric smoker, threaded the temp probe through the vent and into the thickest part, placed a drippings pan with an inch of apple cider under the meat, added the soaked hickory to the smoke chamber, closed the door and fired it up. It’s been cold and snowy so I knew it would take a good while to get to the “done” temperature but I wasn’t thinking 23 hours. That’s how long it spent in there before I pulled it. The probe was registering 176 degrees.
I pulled the first drippings pan out because I think it was keeping the inside temperature in the smoker too low and replaced it with a dry pan after about 12 hours. The quart of cider plus the drippings was reduced to what you see above. If I could make it by the gallon I’m pretty sure I would be a millionaire in short order. Awesome stuff.
That’s it for this week. No Bixby update, but he turns 10 months old this weekend, so I’ll put something together soon. Have a great weekend. – TaMara
This recipe is so simple and so very good. It’s great to make and then have ingredients for sandwiches all weekend. Eat cold or reheat, both are good.
Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork
- 2-3 lb boneless pork roast
- salt and pepper
- cayenne or red chili pepper flakes (opt)
- red wine vinegar
- favorite barbecue sauce (JeffreyW and I are both fond of Sweet Baby Rays – I like the spicy)
- favorite rolls (I like multi-grain hoagie rolls)
Remove the string ties from the pork roast. Spread the roast out, season all sections with salt, pepper and if you like, cayenne or chili pepper flakes. Roll back up and place in the slow-cooker (don’t tie it up again). Add red wine vinegar (about 2 tbsp or more as desired). Cover and cook according to slow-cooker directions – usually 8-10 hours on low. Keep that lid closed.
Once its cooked, remove the roast and pour off all but about 2 tbsp of the liquid and fat. Shred the roast and return it to the slow-cooker, add barbecue sauce, start with 1/4 cup and add more as desired. I eventually used about 1/2 cup and a little bit more each time I reheated.
Don’t want barbecued pork, how about Carnitas? Just change out the spices:
- salt and pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, chopped
- 1 orange, cut in half
Mix together spices and oil and rub over the roast liberally. Add the roast, garlic and jalapeno to the slow-cooker. Squeeze the orange over the meat before adding it as well. Cover and cook as above. No need to drain, just shred the pork and serve on tortillas.
Just a quick update this week. Bixby is 127 lbs now and doing great. We still struggle with a couple of things, mostly pulling on the leash to get to dogs and people. He wants to meet and love everyone. We continue to work on it and he’s very proud when he remembers not to pull. It’s adorable.
After a very rough week we needed a play date to blow off some steam. We headed up to LFern’s property where the dogs could run to their heart’s content. The surprise for LFern, Kodiak and me was how big Bixby had gotten since our last visit a few months ago. But Kodiak still ruled the yard and Bixby was happy to follow his lead.
Here’s their first meeting, not long after Bixby came to live with me:
He was such a wee little thing. Not so much now:
I’m so pleased with how far we have come. It took me a while to understand what I was doing that created situations where he would get totally crazy (and run away). He was overstimulated. And instead of trying to wear him out with lots of activities, only to have it backfire, I started to restrict his input – no more tag, tug or walks on a long lead. We switched to three short walks a day, instead of one long walk, used the crate as a quiet place where he could calm down when visitors arrived, and I often had to use my ‘stern’ voice.
A lot of it seemed counter-intuitive, but it works and without breaking his beautiful spirit. The more I am able to communicate to him what I’m looking for, the happier he gets. The sweeter he gets. It just took me a while of watching him to see where I was going in the wrong direction. He is always doing the best he can. I believe that over time we’ll be able to continue tag, tug and letting him take the lead on walks again.
This is how he spends his afternoons by my desk when I’m working. Terrific office mate. He’ll be
nine 10 months (denial or typo, you decide) soon, maybe I can get him to write an update then. – TaMara
After initially being fine, I’m very sad to say that Missy did not make it through surgery. We don’t know why. She recovered enough to come home, but passed about an hour after. I was able to hold her for about a half hour and snuggle with her. I’m sure Harley was there to greet her, he was always taking care of us.
I love this picture of her, because that was her attitude, always just a bit judgmental of me and my pet skills. RIP
Paul and John (Harris), shamelessly stolen from my brother’s facebook page.
This post is a bit different, but I wanted to share this interview with members of my brother’s Army National Guard Unit.
Ten years ago my youngest brother was stationed in Kuwait, running convoys to Iraq as a National Guardsman. It was a tough time on a lot of levels. I’m sure tougher for him :-D. But from my perspective, there were a lot of sleepless nights, waiting by the computer when he was out on missions. He would always check in when he got back, via Yahoo messenger, where I could IM or video chat with him.
Then one day the phone rang. It was my brother. Dread set in, because a phone call meant something was wrong. I could hear it in his voice. He didn’t tell me much, just that their convoy had been ambushed, some of his friends had been injured, but he was okay. I have always said it was the worst/best phone call I’ve ever received. Worst because of the sound of his voice, best because the SOUND of his voice. I’m glad they all made it back home.
In all honesty, we’ve never talked much about it. Most of what I know about it I have learned over the years from various news accounts and interviews with the soldiers. On the tenth anniversary, Nebraska Public Radio aired this piece.
Ten years ago today a group of Nebraska Army National Guard soldiers was in a life or death battle on a highway in Iraq. Mike Tobias looks back at the Battle of Bismarck, with reflections from the soldiers who fought it.
“One of the most beautiful days I can remember weather wise, the entire deployment I was over there,” is how Jay Schrad remembered the morning of March 20, 2005.
Schrad and 13 other soldiers from the Nebraska Army National Guard’s 1075th Transportation Company were rolling out of a base in Kuwait, taking a 33-vehicle supply convoy into Iraq. They were young, most in their early 20s. Most were from the Columbus area. They’d been doing this for several months at this point, halfway through the deployment. This convoy included pairs of Nebraska soldiers in green semi-trucks, civilians driving white semis and three Humvee gun trucks providing security.
They had been attacked on previous missions with roadside bombs and small arms fire, which was no surprise, because regardless of tactics, mile long convoys attract attention in a war zone. “We made our presence known,” A.J. Bloebaum said. “They knew when we were coming.”
But they’d always sped away from the trouble.
“You’re in a semi with a 40-foot trailer. You’re not equipped to sit there and fight,” said Josh Birkel. “So our SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) honestly was to hit the gas go.”
Normally this worked. But soldiers say that beautiful day, 10 years ago, was different from the moment their trucks pulled out on a four-lane divided highway called Route Bismarck.
“There were things that kind of triggered a sense of, hey, there’s something weird going on today,” recalled Schrad, driving a semi toward the back of the convoy. (the rest is here)
It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been ten years. They all got together this weekend and I’m guessing it didn’t feel like 10 years to them, either. Always grateful for their service – TaMara