Saturday, November 13, 2021

Summer Hunger

At least a few times a year I'll be laying in the hammock, minding my own business, taking in a good book on the relaxing grounds that make up James' 5 Star Urban Farm Resort amongst all of the tasty vegetables and fragrant flowers while a single thought meanders it's way into my mind...Barbeque!  It seems to be human nature that we always want the exact opposite of what we have, with barbeque though there's more to it than that.  There's something about the hot weather and fruity flowers of summer that just call out to having you partake in preparing some crispy and delicious animal flesh that we call...Barbeque!

Lamb Shoulder
Lamb shoulder on the smoker for 2021's impromptu end of year harvest celebration.  Excess meat can be frozen for the winter!  This cut of meat is from Buckner Family Farm.

If there's one thing that we Americans take seriously, it is definitely barbeque.  There's Texas barbeque, Kansas City barbeque, Memphis barbeque, etc.  All of which claim their way of preparing meat, cooking, sauces, rubs, etc. are the absolute best and anything different just isn't barbeque.  Now that is the true American attitude displaying the true American colors of ignorant exclusivity: my way or the highway, barbeque style.  It doesn't have to be that way though!

True barbeque is fairly new to my world and it became much more appealing after learning that regenerative ranching can and should take a huge part in helping to heal the world.  Dismissing the long believed and very popular myths that all ranching contributes to global warming.  Which it still does if you buy any old meat that's from any old rancher whom is not practicing regenerative ranching (such as your typical grocery store meat).  However if you know your rancher and you only support local rancher(s) in your area that practice regenerative ranching then that is very much helping to solve the big mess of global warming that we find ourselves in the middle of.  If I must eat some meat to save the world, then I guess I'll eat some meat if I have to (in moderation of course)!

Now that we have that moral dilemma out of the way, as this thought of barbeque insistently invades my mind while I'm trying to mind my own business on my comfy hammock, it really comes down to what type of barbeque am I going to make.  Brisket, pork shoulder, ribs, lamb, or the less time consuming burgers and brats.  Decisions...decisions... all just to satisfy my summer hunger meat craving.  It is incredibly hard to make decisions once on a hammock but a decision is usually made for me whenever I manage to roll off the hammock and make my way to the deep freezer to see what cuts of meat I have in stock from my favorite local rancher.  If the craving is strong and needs to be satisfied right away then it's usually a smoked burger option.  Most everyone in the barbeque world will say that burgers and brats aren't barbeque at all, but smoking burgers for a few hours still has all the same makings of meat cooked low and slow, just much faster than the larger cuts of meat.  If the craving is more nuanced and wants to be met by the much more intricate yet harder to prepare and much more time consuming cuts of meat then it will likely be put off to the next day or next available weekend.

As I was saying earlier, barbeque is pretty new to my world and seeing as Colorado doesn't really have it's own barbeque style (yet) I opt for whatever barbeque method is the tastiest.  In the amateur barbeque world that I currently live in I've so far found that the best barbeque isn't any one particular technique, preparation, style, or rub but combining all techniques from all of the different barbeque traditions and pit masters, tweaking those styles to my liking.  Texas barbeque begrudgingly has the largest influence on my ever improving barbeque skills simply because Barbeque with Franklin is an amazing (and free) YouTube series straight from the mouth of Aaron Franklin whom is overarchingly regarded with the insane accolade of having the best barbeque in the country.  Perhaps Colorado barbeque will soon be the simple and inclusive idea that all barbeque traditions have something to offer so why not combine them all and adjust to your liking?

What do you do when it's mid-summer, you're dealing with the sweltering heat, swimming in more vegetables than you know what to do with, and your body keeps telling you it wants nothing more than damn good barbeque?  Satisfy that craving of course, just be sure the meat you're using is locally raised and from a regenerative rancher so you too can help save the world!

Smoked Mac & Cheese
Smoked mac and cheese featuring noodles from Pastificio Boulder along with garden fresh red savina peppers is a tasty indulgence that happily gets made every now and then with a big cut of meat.

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