According to Smoky
Welcome to According to Smoky. Here you will find the latest and greatest from C. Clark "Smoky" Hale notable 'baster', author, publisher, television star in both the barbecue and 'the real' world. And yes, he is a real person and not the webmaster
Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so. He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
In this column, Smoky donned his mask and fins and has been slipping around on the ocean floor in search of just the right meat to grill . . . . . take notes!
So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
OUTDOOR COOKING WITH SMOKY HALE
By: Smoky Hale
Julius Caesar is credited with writing, during his foray into Gaul, "Omni bovi est divisi in tres partes." Translated, that reads, "All the cow is divided into three parts."
While he did not elucidate, anyone reasonably familiar with a cow carcass will understand clearly that the front end of a cow is made for roping, the hind end is for branding and the middle part is for cooking on a grill.
The brisket comes from the roping part.
Brisket, corned, cured, simmered with proper seasonings and sliced thinly across the grain is magnificent as the essential basis for a Reuben sandwich and, thus prepared, has also brought comfort and sustenance to multitudes as the prime constituent of corned beef hash. But, only those severely challenged would twice try to cook a brisket on a grill.
Inherent kindness precludes my further characterizing ‘challenged.' The discerning will note that I did not modify challenged with ‘intellectually' or ‘gastronomically.' However challenged, Texans seem to consider barbecuing brisket over mesquite weed as a test of manhood.
Many have wondered how, in the bastion of beefdom, this tough, stringy candidate for the corning crock came to be so revered. My personal opinion is that, in the distant past, creative Texans, looking to find some use for two eminently discardable items, started trying to sell tenderfeet and pilgrims on the idea of cooking the unmarketable brisket with the noxious weed mesquite, thereby ridding the state of two undesirables. Gullible Yankees, reared on boiled dinners and lacking a basis for comparison, considered it edible and began to call for it when they came to town. Texans, therefore, were forced into actually using the dubious duo. As the pits were passed to new generations, rendering a brisket edible became a rite of passage: a challenge that could not be refused.
In any case, since this doubtful dish has become almost as widespread as kudzu, I am compelled to discuss how to make the most out of a bad situation. I barbecued my first whole beef about 50 years ago. As I recall, even the short ribs were eaten before the brisket.
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