Skirt Steak with 4 cheese stuffed peppers & Spanish rice

I’ve been eating skirt steak for years and just learned that there are two types inner & outter.  The inner skirt is used for grilling or griddling & chopped into tiny bits for tacos and the outter skirt you would slice on the bias and serve as a steak.  I always liked the inner until I went to the outter it’s thicker, more tender & very juicy providing you don’t over cook it!!!  Ask you butcher to trim the steak out and give the skirt a couple of slices with a knive on the top & bottom side.   The outter doesn’t  need to be tenderized like the inner (the butcher will run it through a tenderizer machine which puts holes it and makes it more tender.

The prep: I mixed together in a bowl 14 cup olive oil, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, fresh oregano, kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, diced onion, little bit of paprika and chipolte powder to taste and mix well.  Rub over meat and place in fridge for at least 4 hours over night is best.

Set up your grill for the direct method of grilling (meat over the flame) very high grill temp of 450 to 500 degrees and don’t forget to add a nice chunk of oak or hickory wood.  As always get the grill grate hot, clean & well oiled.  When ready place skirt on grill for about 3 minutes or until meat is unstuck to the grill  now give it a quarter turn this will ensure nice grill marks as pictured.  Flip to the other side and do the same.  Steak will cook fast it should read 130 degrees on a thermometer and let it rest.

As for the sides we made 4 cheese stuffed peppers,  spanish rice  roasted tomotillo salsa.  Start by splitting peppers down the side and clean them of seeds place them in a cast iron pan than onto a 350 degree grill for about 30 minutes until soft.  The peppers were filled with a 4 cheese egg souffle  we used queso, blue cheese, sharp cheddar and a  lot of parmesan now place cheese mixture  into peppers and cook in cast iron skillet on an indirect grill at 350 degrees until tender about 20 minutes.

Roasted tomotillo salsa:  Garden picked tomotillos with husk off, 5 garlic cloves skins off, onion and hot peppers roast in hot oven or hot grill for 30 minitues let cool for 15 minutes put in food processsor and whiz with salt, fresh squeezed lime juice and cilantro.

Spanish rice:  Check the back of the package of rice for cooking instructions.  Heat up some oil cook onion, garlic, 2 cups of rice, 3 cups chicken stock tablespoon of tomato paste, oregano & salt to taste let cook.


Brisket & Pork Butts with coffee, cocoa paste

I made a paste with 3 tablespoon instant expresso, 1/2 cup Dijon mustard, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon fresh cracked tri-color black pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon cumin seed toasted & ground, 1 tablespoon coriander seed toasted & ground, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, apple juice or cider or as needed.  Place the paste on a full brisket and place in fridge overnight or for at least 4 hours.  Layer the top of the brisket with bacon and fire up your grill for indirect cooking/smoking.

Try the same paste on pork butts which means you may need to double or triple the paste.

Place the meat in a 250 to 275 degree smoker for 5 hours while it’s smoking baste brisket & pork with this moping sauce which has 1 beer, 12 oz of apple cider, 1 can of beef stock, 1 cup Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce to taste,  kosher salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste.  If you’re cooking this much meat you might need to double or triple the moping sauce as well.

Once the internal temp gets to 170 degrees place the brisket in a foil pan with some moping sauce and the same goes for the pork butts. Cover the both of them with foil and lower the temp of the smoker to 225 to 250 degrees for 3 to 4 more hours or until the internal temp of the meat gets to 190 degrees.

Now, I know some of you are saying that I’m cheating, cooking them this way but  it works great, saves time & fuel and think about it after the first 5 hours how much smoke is really going to penetrate the meat after the burnt ends & bark have been established.


If the meat is getting too dark during the 1st 5 hours cover the top of the meat with a layer foil.

Always let your meat rest in this case for at least 20 minutes before cutting.

Apple & pecan works well as well as hickory & oak.

The bacon may start to over cook after the 1st or 2nd hour feel free to remove it and use it in your sauce or beans.

You won’t be sorry you cooked them this way your guests will love it.  Enjoy & keep your grill on!!!

Buyer Beware!!!

I know we all want to save some money but remember you get what you paid for……

There’s a a home improvement store out there that is selling ceramic grills at a very good price but the warranty is only 1 year and you might not be able to get service or parts after the year is up.  The the grills in question are the Big Red Kamado Kooker & the Avocado.   The Avocado is a Big Green Egg look a like, it comes with a stand, side tables, double stack grate, and a plate setter.

The Big Red Kamado Kooker looks like the Kamado Joe red in color.  Joe also comes in black.  All of these grills will cook the same but as for the cheaper grills you get what you pay for no service and only a 1 year warranty, buyer beware…..

Monster Beef Brisket

This Monster Beef Brisket was purchased in the spring…just waiting for the right weekend. Well, as it turns out, this is the right weekend. As you can see, this 13-pound monster just barely fit on the grate of my cheapo offset firebox smoker, but it did fit, and man, oh man, did the cheapo smoker come through in flying colors.

My Charcoal Chucker colleague “SmokeMan” offered me his favorite rub recipe to try on it. Unfortunately, the rub recipe arrived in my in-box at a time when I really did not feel like going out and hitting the grocery store. So, as usual in the life of an idiot who perseveres through life with a cheapo offset firebox smoker, I improvised. My rub ended up being a thick coating of brown sugar rubbed in on both sides of the beef brisket, with the fat side scored in about two-inch-by-two-inch squares. That way, the rub gets into the grooves and soaks in. Atop the rub layer of brown sugar, I used Montreal Steak rub, which I had on hand.

After a generous rubdown, the brisket went into the fridge overnight.

This morning, I fired up the cheapo at about 8:45 a.m. It was up to temp…around 250 or so by about 10 a.m. I wedged the monster brisket onto the grate of the cheapo. Yes, yes, yes. Another problem. I thought I had a bag of chunk charcoal in the garage, but noooooooooooo. Again, did not feel like going to the store, and fighting traffic on my day off, so — sorry purists — briquettes had to due.  But, I did have some nice mesquite chips with which to inspire some smoke…and I used some hickory too for good measure.

Started out this bad boy at about 225-230 degrees for the first four hours. Fat side up. I mopped every hour with a blush wine. Not too much since I did not want to wash off all the tasty effects of the rub.

After four hours, I pulled the monster off the smoker, wrapped it tightly in aluminum foil and slapped it back down on the grate of the cheapo. Because briskets tend to shrink, it fit perfectly this time around.

After fueling up my offset firebox for the last marathon haul, I fired up a nice cigar and babysat the monster for about an hour.  At roughly 5:30…a little ahead of time…I checked the internal temp and it shot right up to 200-205. I knew I had to act fast because I usually like to stay around 190 degrees.

I took if off the grate of my cheapo offset firebox smoker and carried it in the house. Of course, I know it is always best to keep the meat wrapped in foil and let it rest for a half hour or so, but I simply could not resist cutting into it for a nibble or two.

OMG. It melted in my mouth. I have had good brisket, including some primo stuff from both “SmokeMan” and “PorkPusher,” but this is probably my best  brisket ever. Soon it will be cut and much of it saved for tomorrow, when friends and neighbors — weather permitting — will be invited to the firepit for an evening of drinks, brisket, cigars and clever conversation about the issues of the day.

And here is how it looked right before it became wrapped up in foil for the final four hours on the cheapo smoker. Wish the other Charcoal Chuckers could have shared in my personal glory of conquering this monster brisket…if they had, I am quite sure I would have basked in the genteel applause of their faithful support. Charcoal Chuckers rock. Next time, I will use “SmokeMan’s” special rub recipe.

Smoked Shrimp 1st try

We’re going to try some smoked shrimp tonight, found this on Chowhound


I smoke them almost daily at my restaurant Taco Sisters in Lafayette, La. I use 26/30 P&D Gulf Shrimp. I make sure all the veins are out, and dry them very well. Then I add olive oil and spices: chili powder, paprika, ground bay, ground thyme, tony chacere’s cajun seasoning, garlic and onion powder. I make a paste with that and mix it in well with the shrimp. Then I smoke in an electric smoker on a perforated pan with wood dust at the bottom of the smoker for about 20 minutes at 250 degrees for 5 lbs. They tasted like bacon wrapped shrimp without the bacon!

The Bacon Bomb

How to make a Bacon Bomb

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