Last weekend my family hosted the tween girls on the farm for dinner & movie. Having 4 tween girls between 3 families is full laughter and sometimes a tiny bit of drama, I brought the drama on myself this night. We made homemade pizzas for 3 of the girls then came the 4th, who has a strong dislike of pizza. For her I made oven smoked bbq style ribs. Next thing I hear from my very own Rutabaga. ” Mom, will you make me some BBQ Brisket for the 4th of July?”
Now for those of you who have met Rutabaga she is cute as can be. When she asks for something so sweetly & homemade to boot I can’t resist. Then to top it off she said those works all Momma’s want to hear. ” Mom, will you teach me how to make it too.” This led to a tiny bit of jealousy from Daddy who she normally bakes with. They are my baking team. After the BBQ was going Daddy promptly made a cherry dump cake with Rutabaga to get in a cooking lesson himself.
With our recent March 1st price cut on Beef our brisket became alot more affordable. The price went from $12.99 lb to $9.25 lb, nice eh? Our briskets are also cut family style into quarters making them between 3-4 lbs each. Enough to feed a crowd. To top off the Brisket I used Buh’s The Sweet Side Sauce which retails in the NCF Store for $5 a bottle. I only used the sauce to drizzle across the brisket, leaving enough for at least 2 more dinners if not more.
Full disclosure- my smoker is off limits to me at the moment (I got sick). If you want to to this on the smoker I recommend using hickory wood and keeping the grill at 225. Cook for 3-4 hours until fork tender. These smaller cuts cook quick so keep an eye on the heat. Always remember fat side up. If you need a little insurance cover extremely loosely in aluminum foil
The blast of warm weather has made me think winter will actually end before I die of cold. It also reminded of this picture of the snow melting and curling from our smokehouse against the sunrise. Thanks to Gen for pointing this out. I had walked right by it.
Did I see snow in the forecast for Wednesday?! Argh!
Here you have a finished ham. Cured, smoked, and ready for the larder. It’s been a long process but a pretty neat one. Now we leave the ham at room temperature for a month or so and its ready whenever we are. This winters work will be good this summer with our garden fresh vegetables.
Here you see four gallons of milk, turned into cheese then smoked in the smoke house a few days. It’s been fun trying the things coming out of the smoke house. One lesson I’ve learned already is that when you step in a grab a sample, you really have no idea how smoky it is since you’ve already enveloped yourself in smoke head to toe. Something with no hint of smoke eaten just out of the house will knock your socks off in the kitchen later. We had smoked raisins in our salad and even though they had only smoked a few days, they had a strong smokiness in the salad. Not overpowering but its surprising how well the smoke stays with things.
A few more of the items brought in from my last trip to the smoke house. We still have a month of smoking to go. Anybody need anything smoked?
On Thursday I fired the smoke house as I do each morning. I just love the look of the house venting a thin stream if smoke. It’s like watching a fire, but more productive. This particular morning it was only 7 degrees when I took this video. That may explain why its so short.
Before I fired the smoke house, I took the opportunity to remove some if the items we have in there smoking. Mostly cheeses. This particular cheese is mozzarella cheese that I made from our milk. It went from warm cheese, to a muslin and hung in the smoke house immediately. It developed a very nice rind and took on a good amount of smoke in a couple of days. I shredded some into the scrambled eggs for breakfast before storing the rest away. Good stuff. Actually breakfast was really good all around. Scrambled eggs(our eggs) with ground pork (our pigs) mozzarella cheese (our milk and our cheese) and cantaloupe. Alas, it’s the wrong season for our cantaloupe. Still, pretty local as an average.
I also pulled the other cheeses we had smoked , along with the cashews. The cashews are no good smoked. They took on a petroleum flavor which isn’t from and fuel as we don’t use any. It’s just the way they taste smoked. Maybe if I had baked them first. Everything else has smoked nicely though. The salt is really good. Any ideas on what to smoke next? We have a month of smoking ahead of us.
This weekend the inmates and I finally were able to make smoke. Two of the hams were ready to wash and put into the smoke house, one was washed and put back in the cooler. Inmate Brian is leading this process and has done all the reading and math to make sure we are doing everything correctly. Here you see three hams being soaked down and getting ready to go.
John also helped out with the hams. That’s when he wasn’t busy learning how to weld. We stopped him from welding to pose with a ham. Can you tell what he would rather be doing?
Here he is happy behind the mask. John is working on our new scalding tank. We’ll use this next month during our hog killing class. We had a few small leaks in the bottom that needed to be skinned over. We also made legs so the tank can sit above a fire and be heated by logs.
Brian with one of the hams getting it ready. There is a lot of work getting the hams to this point. We started off with 50 pound feeder pigs and ended up here, ready to go in the smoker. Its a proud moment.
Here is Brian hanging up his last ham of the day. We followed up with a bunch of other stuff so the hams wouldn’t get lonely. You can see all the items we put into the smoker in the following short video.