Saturday, January 07, 2006

Wildcard Weekend

Heading into NFL wildcard weekend we were required by law to break out the trusty Weber 18.5 and get our grill on. As luck would have it, my legendary grandma, who perfected the art of clogging my arteries when I was in college, sent me a large care package from Omaha Steaks. It being a saturday and having no real responsibilities, Nat and I decided to devote the bulk of the afternoon to perfecting our feast.

After some careful deliberation prior to gameday, Nat and I agreed that we needed to incorporate smoking back into our routine. The last time we had successfully tracked down wood chips for smoking was August, during prime time grilling season. Since then our pitiful search attempts have yielded nothing. But today we made wood chips our holy grail.

The morning of gameday we drew up our battle plan and took an inventory. Nat would secure ribs, jalepenos to make our classic bacon wrapped poppers, and charcoal. After speaking with some woman at the Watertown Target who spoke Spanglish, I was informed that they did sell woodchips. My mission was to get the woodchips, disposable plates and deliver the care package of Sirloin.

As the day unraveled with were met with numerous unforseen challenges. Upon my arrival at Target I immediately noticed that there was not a single mesquite chip to be found. While securing the plates, Nat called me from the field to report that Star Market was completely out of charcoal and jalapenos. I grabbed some charcoal and headed to his house to do some damage control and begin preparations for the grilling.

When I arrived we discussed the wood chip predicament. We had an abundance of time before we had to being the actual slow cooking process for the ribs so Nat suggested we try another store. Home Depot informed him that they had mesquite chips for sale at reasonable prices. Admittedly, I was reluctant to make the trek. Every Masshole with a drivers license was on the road on this day and going to Home Depot involved driving through Brighton. Driving through Brighton on Saturday afternoon is the equivalent of driving my '96 Nissan through the Korean DMZ. Nat would hear none of it. We made the trek and secured the woodchips in record time.

With all equipment secured (with the exception of the Jalapenos) we proceeded to slow cook the ribs. With the slow cook process we could not utilize the Match Lite charcoal that had become a comfortable crutch for our deep freeze grilling. The temperature for the afternoon was hovering around 27 degrees which made the slow cook process particularly challenging. We cooked the ribs with indirect heat for approximately two and a half hours replacing coals periodically. We applied a handful of the soaked mesquite chips directly to the coals about every 45 minutes for sustained smoke saturation. Once the ribs were complete, we cooked the sirloin steaks over direct heat keeping a very close eye not to char the outside. Cassie was placed in charge of putting the stuffed bake potatoes in the oven.

The last of the steaks were being pulled from the fire as the first guests were arriving. The ribs were incredible and the smoking definitely paid off. The highlight of the feast, to our surprise, were the stuffed baked potatoes from Omaha. Our 8 man tag team finished off every last bit of food we had prepared and the Patriots delivered an incredible thrashing to the Jaguars.

Labels: , , ,

Posted by Matt Collins.

2 Comments:

Blogger Nat Tarbox said...

Welcome, Mister Collins, second official blog poster!

10:18 AM  
Anonymous stephanie said...

i am relieved to find out that, it is indeed you matt, and nat has not in fact started referring to himself as a separate person.

furthermore, moxie wishes you would invite her to these events, in case, you know, you might drop something. even a charcoal briquette.

-s.

6:41 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home