The first meat-fest we were invited to was to try out his smoked pulled pork:
Brian transforming the smoked pork shoulder into "pulled" pork.The meat was fantastic--smokey, tender, moist. There was not a scrap left at the end of the evening and I felt bad that after sweating over the smoker all day, Brian didn't get to look forward to left-over pulled pork sandwiches the next day. (On a related note, there's a wonderful blog entry about "smork"--smoked pulled pork--here.)
Sarah made some luscious Southern slow-cooked green beans with ham hocks, black-eyed peas and a peppy vinegar-hot pepper sauce to go with it. I brought the biscuits which were fine, but we all agreed that a slice of squishy Wonder bread would have been better since that is what you'd get with pulled pork in the South.
Between meat-fests Sarah, the non-crazy Brian and I did a little research in the form of the "blue plate special" on Thursday nights at Zingerman's Roadhouse:
Starting at the left and going clockwise are: pulled pork, brisket, wings, greens and cheese grits (the plate usually comes with mashed potatoes, but I much prefer grits with this line up). It was pretty decent--I liked their brisket best of the meats, but maybe it was just the fact that it had a nice kicky sauce. Their pork was nowhere near as tender and moist and smokey as Brian's. What I really enjoyed were the sides: excellent greens and grits. But then before trying Brian's pork, I never really understood why meat was everyone's focus--a big plate of Southern side dishes is my idea of (artery clogging) bliss.
The second meat-fest we were invited to was to try the Texas-style brisket:
From the left: black eyed peas, the glorious brisket, napa cabbage buttermilk slaw, and broccoli slaw. Not pictured is the slice of Wonder bread (yup, I brought a loaf this time) that I used for brisket eating.
Can you see the pink-ish smoke ring on that brisket? Yum. If forced to choose, I'd say I liked the pork marginally better than the brisket, but I think I might just be a bit more of a pork person than a beef person (cue Jewish grandparents rolling over in their graves...). And I certainly am happy to eat brisket when pork isn't on the menu!
So now the question is what meat product we should pester Brian to smoke next? Suggestions anyone?