Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Barbecue!!!


The Bride arrived back home from her trip to North Carolina Monday morning at about 2am. She was supposed to land at the Denver airport at about 10pm on Sunday night but because of the snow storm on the East Coast, her flight was delayed. It was delayed not because of the weather at the airport but because not enough service personnel could make it in to work at Dulles airport to keep the planes flying on-time. In spite of the weather and delays she had a good time with her mother and I got a special gift out of the trip too!

Long time readers will remember that I have an affinity, a yen, a sweet tooth as it were for barbeque. Not just any barbecue mind you but the best barbecue in the land…..North Carolina pork barbecue. Not Texas cow and ketchup not grilled yard bird but honest to God North Carolina chopped pork barbecue. One of my favorite places to get a barbecue fix…when I’m in the area, is Mr. Barbecue in Winston-Salem, NC. I have been going to this fantastic little barbecue place for over 30 years now but it’s been about two years since my last visit and I’ve got to admit that I have thought of that barbecue more than once in that time.bbq7

To paraphrase a saying, “if his-self can’t go to the barbecue, bring the barbecue to his-self!” and that’s exactly what The Bride did. The Bride, bless her little heart, put a whole barbecued pork leg, from Mr. Barbecue, in her luggage and brought it to me as a Christmas present. This is no little task as the pork leg is a bulky item and probably weighs 5 or 6 pounds. She had it frozen, wrapped in tin foil and then wrapped in a plastic bag. From experience I can tell you that a whole leg is by far the most efficient way to transport barbecue. Carrying it in a chopped state is way too bulky and reduces the amount of this culinary gold that will fit in a suitcase.

bbq2 Since I prefer my barbecue chopped, my task this morning was to reduce the leg to chopped ‘cue. While the process is pretty simple, great care must be taken to ensure that nothing gets wasted. After all this manna from heaven doesn’t fall in Colorado very often!

The meat is carefully carved off the bones of the leg ensuring that nothing edible is left behind. In my case the bones are so clean that even ants refuse to waste their time foraging for a meal!

After the meat is stripped from the bones it’s chopped into the desired consistency.bbq4 I prefer a variety of sizes to the chopped meat and chop it so there are small and medium sized pieces.

The barbecue is then packaged in quart sized freezer bags and stored away. Each freezer bag has enough of this redneck caviar to serve about four normal people or two and a half North Carolina barbecue aficionados.

I now have five quart sized bags of Mr. Barbecue, barbecue in my freezer just waiting to please my palate and stomach at the right moment. Life is good!



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