Monday, May 21, 2012
The award-winning Moshe Ribeinu kosher BBQ team. From L to R: Elisson, Bartimus Magnificus, Job Johnny.
For the third year in a row, I joined a small army of my Men’s Club buddies to compete in the “When Pigs Fly” Kosher BBQ Cook-Off in Birmingham.
“When Pigs Fly” is a clever enough title for the event, that being approximately when pigs will be considered kosher. It’s also a sly hat-tip to the event’s sponsor, Piggly Wiggly, the well-known Southern supermarket chain.
You can’t expect to make decent barbecue without a supply of well-soaked hickory chunks.
I’ve written about this event before, so there’s no need to go into overmuch detail. Suffice it to say that we were disappointed to have returned empty-handed, having managed to avoid winning, placing, or showing in a single category. No new swag for the trophy case this year, alas.
And yet, from the standpoint of Quality of Food, I would have to say that this year we produced the best barbecue we’ve ever made at this event. Yes, I know I’m not a disinterested party, but I know what good is... and our stuff was good. No: It was superb.
Our beans had great flavor, with a touch of Tennessee whiskey and a hint of habañero to provide a pleasant, punchy piquancy. The ribs had the right balance of smoke and spice. And the brisket... ohhhh, the brisket. A monster eleven-pounder, it came out of the smoker jacketed with a gorgeous layer of smoke and bark. It was amazingly moist and tender, yet not overcooked and falling apart. If I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t change a single thing.
The beans were kicked up with a judicious dose of Jack Daniels, garlic, onion, and both jalapeño and habañero peppers.
The bark is part of the bite: A gorgeous beef brisket. Too bad you can’t smell it over the Internet.
My teammates - Job Johnny and the inimitable Bartimus Magnificus - will back me up. My thanks to both of them for helping make this a memorable weekend... even without the trophical trinkets.
(What we look like when Bartimus is not standing on tiptoes and Johnny and I aren’t crouching.)