memorial day meal

its been awhile now since memorial day, but we have been crazy busy around here, and finally we have time to write about it.

the last time we were at costco (we love that place!), we picked up a small brisket. we both love brisket, and there are so many different things we can do with it, so on a whim, we decided to go for it.

we also on a whim decided to make said brisket for memorial day. it seemed appropriate to us, and we ended up making some other all-american yummers to go with our meal including cole slaw, potato salad, two different kinds of pickles, and a homemade barbecue sauce. we took a break in the middle of a game of settlers to work in our tiny kitchen, create a big mess, and make a wonderful meal.

we found a rub that for the life of me i have no idea where (edit: my hero, matt found it here!) that we decided to use for the brisket. it was delicious and added so much flavor and spice to the brisket meat. the rub for the brisket included chili powder, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard, and crushed bay leaf. mixing all those yummy spices together, we slathered that onto our brisket and baked it for a couple hours. in hindsight, we might have made too much of the rub, but it ended up creating a nice crust on the sides and bottom of our brisket as it cooked.

our cole slaw was a former recipe we had used, as well as the potato salad is my old trusty go-to (which means i make it up and taste it as we go). the pickles i made were dill pickles in a simple brine of water and apple cider vinegar in a 1:1 ratio, with salt, onion and dill added. it is entirely too simple, but i love the vinegar in the whole thing.

matt made spicy pickles and a barbecue sauce to pair with the brisket

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So, I have been craving some good ol’ fashion bbq. We have yet to find a place up here that does anything decent so we are starting to take things into our own hands. This was our first attempt at making a bbq sauce and since it said “Kansas City” in the title, I thought how could we go wrong? And I could pay homage to Rachel’s roots.
It is a very simple recipe which was very nice and didn’t take that long, so while everything else was cooking, we could prepare this. Recipe is as follows and comes from Foodrepublic.com:
Ingredients
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons chili powder
Directions:
1.      Heat canola oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté the onions for 7-10 minutes until completely soft and golden-brown.
2.      Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
3.      Remove from heat, allow to cool completely, then transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
4.      Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Even though we aren’t the most patient people, the extra time was definitely helpful for this recipe in adding and melding the flavors. To be honest with you, we were left feeling just ok about this recipe. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t bad. It is probably something we won’t try again but will go for another recipe. Maybe it doesn’t help having a Texas boy with a Texas bbq palette

try to make something as special as Kansas City bbq sauce. The sauce was really too one-note and really wasn’t sweet or too vinegar-y. We did add a little extra brown sugar to make it sweeter which helped out a lot. The sauce did go well with the brisket and its spices so that was an added plus. The consistency was nice and had an appropriate amount of heat.

As for the pickles, I was craving sweet pickles for some reason and was hoping to try out pickling. So I found this recipe (thanks to Food Network and Emeril) and tried to make it work

as a quick recipe since I didn’t have that much time and didn’t plan well. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Plus, I wasn’t making the whole recipe so I had to cut some things substantially and that may not have translated appropriately. The “pickles” ended up tasting more like spicy cucumbers. They were definitely spicy but not very sweet at all. I was hoping the longer they had time to meld together overnight, they would get better but nope. This was a failure and is probably due more to operator error and trying to make it a “quick recipe” as opposed to giving it the right amount of time. So, it is definitely worth a shot if you have the time and are craving some sweet and spicy pickles.

trying new recipes and enjoying the ride,

matt & rachel

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