Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Covington Cork and Pork Festival - Covington, VA

Two weeks ago, when we were at the Wilson competition, we were contacted by fellow NY competitors Red Valley BBQ.  The Covington BBQ competition was short a few teams to be a Royal and Jack qualifier.  If we arranged for loaned cookers and helped you out with equipment, would we consider entering.  In a strange turn of events, Hope and to convince me to go.  But, after some discussion, we decided "Why not.  What is the worst we can do?  Finish last?"  So, after dropping the trailer off at Shortsville BBQ World Headquarters in anticipation of the upcoming Lake Placid event, we put what we could in the truck and set our sights on the Covington Cork and Pork Festival in Covington, VA.

After driving through the wilds of West Virginia (I do believe I saw Ned Beatty running into the woods), we set up cam in downtown Covington.  Old school, complete with EZ Up, bus pans, and the old Three Dogs banner.  Borrowed smokers that we had never used before from 270 Smokers, loaned knives other assorted pieces of equipment.  What could go wrong?  

It was a bit on the hot and humid side.  But that was taken care of by thunderstorms in the middle of the night, right in the middle of our cook.  This bucket was about empty the night before.  Do you think we got a little rain?

But, we weathered the storm and the morning dawned cooler, if not a bit misty.  Time to get ready for turn ins.  

After tuning the the brisket box, I had time to snap a picture of the BBQ Rich and Famous.  Not everyone has to deal with the heat.  But, lets move on to the scores, shall we?  

Not our best showing, but very good considering that we were using smokers that we had never cooked on before.  The boxes above were good for an 18th in chicken, 14th in ribs, 12th in pork, and 15th in brisket.  This was good for an overall 17th place, out of 25 total teams.  

I have to say the the 270 Smokers were very easy to get the hang of in short order.  They hold their temperature steady and recover fairly fast after opening and closing the door.  A big thanks go out to Terry and Stephanie for loaning us the cookers!  We would also like to thank Sean and Adriane for helping us out with whatever equipment we have have forgotten.  

Finally, we would like to congratulate our Grand Champion, Smoke-aholics and our Reserve Grand Champion, Checkered Pig.  

In closing, for those of you who hit the Table of Death (7 out of the bottom 9 pork scores), some of you twice, we feel your pain.  We are fortunate to have escaped with a decent chicken score.  

Next up, the I Love BBQ Festival in Lake Placid, NY.  See you there.

Thanks for stopping by,


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Crossboarder Blues, Brew, and Que - Wilson, NY

This past weekend the Three Dogs road show packed up and headed to Wilson, NY for the Crossboarder Blues, Brews, and Que.  This is only our second time to this competition, but I must say, this "not so little anymore" competition is one of our favorites.

For once, it was a beautiful weekend.  Dry, except for 20 minutes of rain after turn ins on Saturday.  Was it possible that the red sky at night was a prediction of good things to come...  

As Saturday dawned, the cooking heated up and we prepared our turn ins, plus two extra categories: Rethinking Chicken and Leftovers.  The Rethinking Chicken category, meant to encourage teams to turn in something outside the normal BBQ chicken, had to be turned in using KCBS rules.  The leftover category had to use one of your leftover meats with illegal garnish.  Illegal garnish means anything legal under KCBS rules.  No garnish, as it is optional under the rules, would be a disqualification.  For our Rethinking Chicken, we turned in a smoked chicken leg with a sticky Asian style sauce consisting of ketchup, honey, ketchup, sriracha, fish sauce, and lime juice.

This entry did not fare so well with the judges, coming in 22nd out of 27 teams.

Our leftover category, of which I do not have a picture, was a leftover Philly brisket grilled cheese with sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms on sourdough garlic bread with provolone cheese.  This entry scored us a walk, coming in 8th out of 29 teams.  A nice start to the day.  Next up, the KCBS turn ins.

Our boxes above were good for a 4th in chicken, 7th in ribs, 12th in pork, and 24th in brisket.  Those scores added up to a 7th place over all out of 47 teams.  Our best finish to date.  Practice is paying off for us.  We had a solid cook and can't wait on the next competition to see if we improve further.

Congratulations go out to Kiss My BBQ, our Reserve Grand Champions and to Nickel City Smokers,  our Grand Champions.

Finally, special thanks go out to Frank and Carol Tutzauer for putting on a great competition.  Sometimes, we do not thank our organizers enough.  But Carol and Frank put on a great comp, down to grillades and grits for breakfast, growlers from Woodcock Brothers Brewing with a free fill for swag, and a great line up of bands.  I didn't hear one bad band all weekend.  Great job guys.  Sign us up for next year now!

Next up for Three Dogs BBQ is the Covington Cork and Pork in Covington, VA on June 26-27th. This is a last minute entry for us and should be very interesting.  More on this contest next week.

Thanks for stopping by,


Friday, June 5, 2015

Beer and Bratwurst Pizza

With the new grilled pizza cookbook we received as well as our grill gadget pizza oven, we have been experimenting with different types of pizza.  We do run into a few pizza competitions each summer and perhaps a new creation will turn out to be a winning entry sometime in the future.  After leafing though the pizza cookbook, I was inspired by a ballpark style hot dog pizza.  Hot dogs are good.  Bratwurst is even better.  Chedarwurst, brats peppered with little bits of cheddar goodness, are my favorite.  I felt a pizza experimentation coming on fast.  Here is what we came up with one warm Friday evening.

Hope made a batch of dough.  While the dough was rising, I simmered two fresh brat links that I had picked up from my butcher earlier that day in some Penn Dark.  I always simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes, or just until the casing on the link starts to expand.  At the same time, I caramelized  half of a medium sweet onion.  Finally, I took a quart of homemade sauerkraut that a friend of The Oldest makes every year and dumped into a colander to drain.  (One note should you decide to try this recipe.  Do not use canned sauerkraut.  Buy the fresh stuff that you find in the plastic bag in the meat case, or make your own.  The fresh kraut is crispy in texture and at the same time tart, but not sour like canned kraut.)  Once the dough was ready, I layered the pizza skin with a very thin coat of olive oil, thinly sliced sharp cheddar, sauerkraut, my caramelized onions, and then finally my bratwurst, sliced into quarter inch rounds.

Eight minutes in the pizza oven later, and here was the final product.

After slicing, I served with a little drizzle of spicy brown mustard on top.

Good, but not quite there.  I needed more onion, cheese, and perhaps a tough of garlic.  But, the flavors are there.  The bratwurst crisped up nicely and retained a bit of that beer infusion.  The sauerkraut started to brown and caramelize in places as well.  Perhaps some caraway seeds are in order.  This experiment was a good start.  I will be making this pie again with some modifications in the future for sure.

Thanks for stopping by,