Friday, January 13, 2012

Tamales of the Candy Cane Brisket Variety

You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas. And I will eat Tamales. - Davey Crockett

Greetings from beyond the internet void that was created in the past months with the lack of El Smokeador Y Smokehopper posts. You have no doubt been trying the various restaurants on the Fort Worth Restaurant List that Smokehopper compiled. Thank you for doing that Smokehopper. Fuzzy's truly is a gem in our small corner of this great state. We have been busy in the lab since the FWRL post coming up with new ideas that will mark 2012 as a banner year for our blog posting, meat smoking, most important, unimportant, little corner of the web community known as the internet. A taste of what we plan to bring you in 2012:

1) Chocotaco with brisket as the taco - brisket formed into a taco shell and filled with chocolate.
2) The Brisket - a silent brisket that is the best silent brisket since the silent brisket era. Film buffs will like this one.
3) Karaoke Brisket featuring a Wolf Parade reunion and BBQ Beans
4) Untitled Brisket Music project collaboration with Dan Auerbach and the Ghost of Lightnin' Hopkins
5) A how to on microwaving a brisket and ribs. From scratch.
6) Another turkey sandwich from Smokehopper.

Exciting. On to tamales.

Since we are the number 1 internet stop for confectionery BBQ, we have been toying with the idea of a Christmas brisket for some time. Candy canes certainly had to be involved, but ended up playing a minor part in this. Kind of like Tea Leoni in Deep Impact. In this sites opinion, that tidal wave should have ended her storyline in the first 10 minutes. Just a terrible movie.

Back on topic. I crushed up a bunch of candy canes with a hammer, rubbed it with paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc. and the crushed candy canes, smoked it and it was good.

It is time for a new smoker. The New Braunfels that has treated me so well for the past 3+ years isn't doing it for me anymore. 7lb brisket took almost 14 hours. Also, I need to take better pictures of the sliced brisket. This looks rubbery and tough, but that was not the case. The candy cane added no flavor to the meat. I was disappointed after the success of the butterfinger brisket, but I guess that was to be expected. Long story short, after making a sandwich I still had half of brisket leftover. Luckily, I saved the drippings from the smoking process and had stowed them in the freezer. Couple of days later LSmoke and I conversed and decided that brisket tamales are not featured very often and it needed to be done.

We started by soaking the husks for 45 minutes in warm water. No pictures of this. Put the husks in a pot and turn on the water from the sink. Add it to the pot. Let them soak.

Chopped up the rest of the brisket. This is only some of it.

Took the layer of lard off the top of the frozen drippings and put the drippings in a pan and heated it up.

Added the chopped brisket and a beer to the drippings. Let it simmer for close to an hour while adding some water and another beer.

Moved meat to a bowl to be strained.

Strained the meat and this was leftover.

Added that to this along with some of the lard (maybe a quarter cup) and mixed it up.

Could have used a Cornballer here. Made the mix into golf-ball sized balls of corn.

Next part is a little tricky. Grab two husks, put a ball of the corn mix in between the two and mash it down until its flat and resembles something you could roll up and put meat inside of. Then add a scoop of the meat and roll it up.

Pack them into a steamer.

And let it sit for about an hour.

Celebrate like you're at a dirt bike rally at the AAC when they are done.

Finished product.

You can see the brisket in there. I am not the best at plating. We had an idea of making a white queso and an ridiculously red salsa to make a candy cane looking bed of stuff on a plate to put the tamales on. But I was hungry and didn't. Next time maybe, but probably not. Tamales all look the same from the outside anyway, right? Reconstituting the brisket in the drippings and using the strained juice in the masa added so much flavor that it was really like eating a tamale filled with brisket. I don't know how else to describe it. Delicious? Smokey? Candy caney? Yes, yes, no.

We also made tamales with rib meat. Post forthcoming.

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