Sunday, September 4, 2011

Barbecued Smoked Beef Sausages

If you are like me, you have asked at least 32 people who barbecue to show you how, and to tell you the ratio of heat and time as compared to The Kitchen Way. They drew a blank. Every last one of them. I was beginning to think there was a secret fraternity of 'cue masters and I wasn't invited to join the club. But then I came to understand that it's about bringing to low coal and that the time ratio wasn't much different than The Kitchen Way. Watch the food to guard against burning or catching fire, and use a sheet of foil under delicate or small foodstuff. Cook to desired color but don't overcook and dry it out.
My late brother loved to do beer brats and jalapenos, but the meal I remember best was when he did steaks. During the final 10 minutes of cooking, he would coat them with honey and generously sprinkle on the freshly cracked black pepper. Now, I would do that in a heartbeat to lamb chops or pork ribs, but to put honey on an expensive steak is just plain weird. Brothers are weird. Go figure. By golly, by gum, these steaks were tender and tasty.
Jim was always on a honey kick. He made sure to eat two teaspoons full And by his standards, this was the healthy preventative maintenance he swore by. Our dad would also do that, but he insisted on adding two tablespoons of vinegar. He claimed that if you swallowed two tablespoons of vinegar first, you could eat spoiled, green, slimy meat and not get sick. And he proved it on step-mom. Let's just say that my fascination with the idea kept me from puking.I was fascinated that she didn't mind being the guinea pig for such a disgusting show-and-tell.See, step-mom was rich, she was elite. She was accustomed to the finer things in life. Honey and vinegar and green, slimy meat wasn't what she'd signed up for. If my own husband were to suggest such a thing, I would think he meant to murder me.
Another VERY WEIRD thing my brother would do is fill the bottom of a medium-sized jar with garlic cloves and then fill the jar with honey. Then he would sort of seal the jar with some foil and fit it with a rubber band, put it in a dark cupboard and let it sit for a month while the garlic infused the honey and sent little bubbles to the top. This goo was gamey! It reeked like dirty, smelly gym socks, every bit as nasty as mezcal. But'cha know what? It was the best stuff for glaze on barbecued pork ribs.
When Mr. P and I were younger and cute and still pitching woo, we delighted in sharing recipes and we usually used his barbecue grill. I decided to mess with him by making some of the honey and garlic goo for to baste and glaze some pork ribs, but not without having him take a huge whiff of it first. What a trooper! He didn't exactly grimace, but his nose scrunched up like a possum ready to sneeze while getting a piece of shit stuck in its teeth. Priceless. The true test is the taste, right? He loved it, so I gifted him with that jar of goo.
The course of a bachelor's life includes visitors, uninvited and unexpected, until it becomes expected but still uninvited. Among Mr. P's 'guests' were Morning Boy, who would arrive drunk at 10 a.m., and there was Golf Boy, who always left drunk before dark because his night vision isn't good. Our mountain roads don't have streetlights. There was one time when Morning Boy decided to bring an extra case of beer and stay for an early dinner. We decided on ribs and beans and garlic bread. Much to my secret delight, the mean streak came out and Mr. P had him take a whiff of the goo. Yup, there was that possum thing going on, although much more dramatic.He looked like he was going to cry and I had to stifle the snarkles of giggledom for having seen Mr. P's friend as a cartoon. What a wimp. He said it was "rude". Well, let's realign the social compass as to who was rude. Drunk by 10 a.m. isn't my cup of tea.

Sausage is like an art form of meat parts and fat. I never could get into Jim's beer brats. He loved his brats, and his smokes, and plenty of cold beer to drink. But no matter what type of sausage it is, it looks and tastes best when barbecued. The winner, hands down, is wild boar sausage, the kind you can only get from a friend who hunts. The stuff is so darned good that no one wants to share their stash of it. And the only way to get it yourself is to hunt the boar with bow and arrows. This can be dangerous if you only manage to wound the boar, as then he will hunt YOU down.


note: A Weber kettle works best, but it isn't required.

1 package Hillshire Farm smoked beef sausage

1. Bring barbecue to a VERY low coal.
2. Turn sausage every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.
Note: If the coal isn't low enough it will burst into flames. If at correct very low coal, it will pop and split open in places, which is desirable, but it won't catch fire. Some charring is tasty and the color is desired.
Plate with a cold, green salad of your choice. You could add a serving of cooked green beans tossed in olive oil and lightly salted. If you are really hungry, a mound of buttered mashed potatoes is a very nice addition.

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