Creative Left-Overs

As a whole, I am not a fan of left-overs. I enjoy cooking, I enjoy eating it right then. After that though, well it just doesn't really seem like something I want to eat. Fortunately, though I am married to a devote lover of left-overs, so it really has never been a problem. 

But now, if you go back a couple of cooks ago, I bought a full beef tenderloin. I then attempted to slice some nice filet mignon's out of it. At that point, I really had no clue what I was going to do with the rest of the tenderloin, so I bagged it and threw it in the freezer until I could figure out a plan.

A few weeks later I got a text from a friend wanting to BBQ and drink some beer. Now historically, this meant me going over to his place and drinking while he cooks. Apparently, my reputation behind the grill has taken over. I didn't realize it, but he was inviting himself over to my house to drink while I manned the grill.

It was a little last minute in that I had no cook prepped. The last thing I wanted to do was pick up some pre-made burgers and dogs. Then it hit me! I had a couple pounds of left-over tenderloin, I have a meat grinder, I have bacon. So I picked up some additional chuck and fired up my meat grinder. An hour later, I had 16 beautiful hamburger patties. 

I kept 8 out to cook that night and froze the other 8 for a future meal. I cracked open a Coor's Banquet, seasoned the patties with Southern Links hamburger rub and fired up the kettle. I gave the patties a quick seer, and then slow cooked them until they were medium rare. 

The combination of grinding bacon in with the beef is amazing every time I bite into it. There is just something about it which takes a typical burger completely over the top. I have always loved a good burger, but these are even a step beyond that. I guess after eating them, it really isn't much of a surprise that people are inviting themselves over to my place for BBQ.

Now, all in all, this is not a completely new cook for me. Hell, I wrote about it before. Yet today it is worth writing about because it marks a new realm of cooking for me. I am not cooking purely what Mikey assigns me. I am looking in my freezer and coming up with a cook based on what I see. Now, I hesitate to think of myself as a pitmaster, but I am pretty damn impressed with myself to make it this far!

Until next post, remember kids.....CHUNKS not chips!

Going Green?

While I realize the name of this Podcast is Man Meat BBQ and this blog may be cause for termination, this past weekend I smoked an amazing meal which contained no meat. Through it, I learned that even though I love meat, you can cook an amazing meal even without it.

So here is the deal, all this time I have been learning to BBQ, my daughter has also come out as a vegetarian. I am an open-minded guy so as much as that isn't my choice, I do support her. I mean yes, I still cook meat, meat which looks absolutely incredible. So far none of this has made her falter in her decision.

So now comes her birthday. The second truth is that while I love my wife dearly, she cannot cook worth a damn. So, if a good meal if being eaten in my house, it either came from a guest or me. But back to my daughters birthday. Normally the vegetarian thing from a cooking perspective is an afterthought in the house. Either it is a side or something else thrown next to a meat-based meal. So for her birthday, I decided to cook a vegetarian meal from the ground up. 

She had selected vegetarian enchiladas. So I got my chef knife out and started chopping until my arm was tired. Then I realized something. Just about every noteworthy date on the calendar is marked with a special meal cooked on my grill. This date could be no different. So I started thinking...enchiladas, go in the over. Today, they are going in my cast iron and getting smoked instead.

That is exactly how it went down, really. I chopped a ton of pepper and onion, sauteed it adding in some broccoli and spinach. Finally mixing in some black beans and cheese and enchilada sauce. From that point, I roll them guys up and usually put them in a pan coated in enchilada sauce. Today that was my cast iron. Once they were done, I poured more sauce over them, covered them with cheese and they were ready for the smoker.

For this, I wanted a nice smoke flavor, but I didn't want to over smoke them at all. Once the fire was going, I found a couple small cherry chunks and added them on. Finally adding my cast iron to the mix.

I am a meat guy, let's get that straight. But this was damn good! I am not talking good as in hey this vegetarian thing that has been made up to look like a burger and while it may be good, it is in no way a replacement for a burger. No, these enchiladas were just damn good by themselves. So much so I would gladly cook them again. The smoke from the BBQ added so much to this meal. 

I would say something cheesy like: 

"BBQ, it not just for meat anymore!"

But, C'mon we all know that my real love of BBQ is in the meat itself. Yet I do realize that you can BBQ an amazing meal which doesn't have meat in it when you need to. Seriously, this meal was great, but tomorrow I cook meat!

Until next post, remember kids.....CHUNKS not chips!