Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Where's the Beef?

Where's the beef? It could be on your tailgate table this weekend. But it will take a little advance preparation.

Brisket is a family tradition for our Christmas Eve supper at my parents' house each year, too. Brisket is not a naturally tender cut of meat. But some marinating time and several hours in the oven yields a melt-in-your-mouth main dish - whether it's around a holiday table, the main attraction at a K-State tailgate or shared at a PEO picnic (my most recent brisket venture).

For the PEO event, I prepared the meat a day in advance and sliced it thin (see photo above). I didn't want to be rushing around right before the event since I had to help make apple butter at church that morning. It also gave me the chance to get the fat removed from the meat.

The day of the picnic, I used a plastic Crock Pot liner, added my brisket and a generous amount of barbecue sauce. (We like Curly's.) By the time we served it, it looked more like pulled beef - not slices. But that just made it even more tender.

Today is Kansas Food Day.
While it is important for us to know where our food comes from and to show our appreciation to the hard-working men and women who work each day to produce safe, wholesome food, it is disappointing that the national Food Day denounces modern agricultural practices that allow farmers and ranchers to produce more using fewer resources and mislead consumers about agriculture. In Kansas, agriculture is our largest industry and we are excited to celebrate the contributions of all farmers and ranchers on Food Day and the other 364 days of the year.
Dale Rodman, Kansas Secretary of Agriculture
Kansas Food Day encompasses all of the state's agriculture production, whether large or small, organic or conventional:

  •  In 2010, Kansas produced more than $2.7 billion in agriculture exports.
  •  At 28.2 million acres, Kansas has the second-most cropland of any state and the most cropland of any state by percentage.
  •  In 1940, one Kansas farmer fed 19 people. Today, thanks to technology advancements, research and more land being farmed by each farmer, one Kansas farmer feeds 155 people.
  •  Kansas is the top producing wheat and grain sorghum state in the nation. It also ranks third in beef production.
  • There are more than twice as many cattle in Kansas than people.
  What better way to celebrate than with Kansas beef!

Barbecue Brisket
Recipe from My Mom, Janis Moore
Brisket (about a 4 -pound brisket for this amount of marinade)
2 tbsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. celery salt
1 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Your favorite barbecue sauce

Combine all the ingredients except brisket, mixing well. Pour over meat. Marinate meat in the refrigerator for 10 to 12 hours.

To cook, wrap the meat in foil, shiny side to the meat, and bake at 300 degrees for 4 to 5 hours. Add 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce. Cook 1 more hour. The meat should separate and pull apart easily. If it feels tough or meets with much resistance, just return it to the oven for another 45 minutes or so. When it is fork tender, cool slightly and slice as thinly as possible across the grain.

Note:  If you are using a bigger brisket or cooking multiple briskets for a large group, double or triple your marinate ingredients accordingly.

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