Monday, November 16, 2015

Meat Fight 2015

What is Meat Fight? It is a Texas barbecue competition benefiting the National MS Society. The sixth annual event featured four teams of Dallas' best chefs that competed for barbecue glory. The judges were compiled of an all-star BBQ cast:
Daniel Vaughn - Texas Monthly BBQ editor
Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue
Jack Perkins of Slow Bone
Mike Babb of Babb Bros BBQ & Blues
Jill Bergus of Lockhart Smokehouse
Wayne Mueller of Louie Mueller Barbecue
Kerry Bexley of Snow's BBQ
Stephen Joseph of Riverport Bar-B-Q
Nick Pencis of Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Que
Brian C. Luscher of Luscher's Red Hots

This was my first year to attend the event. It has been a while since we have gone to the DFW area. Almost two years! Before I headed to the event, I ate at Heim Barbecue in Fort Worth. I have the whole eating barbecue before a BBQ event down. The competition was held at the Green Warehouse. A similar setup to the fair, the Meat Midway lets you play games and win prizes. There was a lot of food, sweets, and drinks to be had. Near the end of the contest, some cool ass stuff was auctioned off. A bike, dinner packages, BBQ tour, weekend getaway, smoker, and more...

Meat Midway: Fair games to be played

In case you got lost...
I showed up to a party and a BBQ competition broke out.

Qu Tang Submission

Notorious P.I.G. Submission

Meat The Cleavers Submission

Fearsome Fourcemeat Submission
Other foods at the event:

Smoked Salmon from TJ's Seafood Market

Pork Churros

Fried PBJ w/ Candied Bacon & Fried Turkey Leg Poppers

Canadian Healthcare: Maple Bacon Syrup Donuts from Hypnotic Donuts
Four Corners Brewing Co. was in the house

Judges Table
Aaron Franklin built smoker that fetched $8250 in the auction!

What a great event! Fun times and an awesome cause. Win-Win. It was just a big ole party. It was super seeing and talking to familiar faces and "meating" new ones. It was a little crowded in the beginning, but it thinned out throughout the afternoon. The competition ended up raising $150,000 to help fight multiple sclerosis! Take that MS. The Fearsome Fourcemeat won the team competition in case you were wondering. After last weekend and this, I might be eating nothing but salads up until Thanksgiving.

Merry Meatmas to all and to all a goodnight

Until next time, happy smoking..

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hou BBQ Throwdown

We missed the annual TMBBQ Fest because we were out of country for a wedding. I decided to line my schedule with a couple of barbecue events to make up for it. The same group that put on the Hou BBQ Festival also planned the 1st Hou BBQ Throwdown. The Throwdown brought some of Houston’s best barbecue restaurants together to spark a competition to create the next great barbecue dish that represents Houston. Houston is a big melting pot with culinary influences all over the country and from the world. The event was held at Saint Arnold Brewery. I have never been to the brewery and always wanted to go so this was a win-win. I actually checked out Jackson Street BBQ before I headed to the event. Was that a mistake?

There was a blind judging process featuring barbecue experts from around Texas that would pick a winner from the 14 entries. There was also a People’s Choice award in which guests can vote for their favorite dish. The barbecue judging panel included Houston Chronicle restaurant critic Alison Cook, Texas Monthly food editor Patricia Sharpe, Gatlin's BBQ pitmaster Greg Gatlin, Louie Mueller pitmaster Wayne Mueller, and photographer extraordinaire Robert J. Lerma.

Recognize this guy? He was also at the TMBBQ Fest with a tray full of Q.

Here are the entries:

BBQ Godfather : Smoked beef rib, candied pork belly, and sautéed mushrooms on a hoagie roll

Blood Bros. BBQ : Smoked Sisig (Filipino taco)- pork belly and pig ears on a roti

Brooks’ Place BBQ : Smoked beef oxtail

The Brisket House : Smoked beef rib and brisket chili

Chopped N Smoked BBQ : Kibbeh meatballs (Lebanese) made with brisket

Corkscrew BBQ : Brisket taco with Texas caviar

Feges BBQ : Pig wings (pork shank)

Jackson Street BBQ : Jalapeño cheddar brisket kolache

Pappa Charlies Barbeque : Masala rubbed short rib burnt end with cider Sriracha slaw on a Ritz cracker

The Pit Room : Smoked brisket tamalito - roasted chile colorado dressed with fresh crema, burnt end bits, habanero, and salsa verde

Pizzitola’s Bar-B-Cue : Brisket burnt end tamale in a hickory smoked masa with pork sparerib spiked queso

Ray's BBQ Shack : Smoked oxtails

Roegel’s Barbecue Co. : Smoked lamb with collard greens

Tin Roof BBQ : Stuffed shrimp brochette with chopped brisket, smoked jalapeños and wrapped in bacon. Ground beef dirty rice with smoked beef ribs.

The People's Champ went to Corkscrew BBQ for their brisket taco with Texas caviar. The award should have been a WWE style belt.

The judges picked...

Brooks’ Place BBQ for their smoked beef oxtail with burnt ends and smoked cabbage.

One of Brooks’ Place BBQ's prizes was a Yeti cooler full of 44 Farms steaks. I would have entered if I had known that was the prize...

Congrats to the winners. The event was fun and well-organized. The beer taps were flowing. It was not oversold, and there was plenty of seating. Eating 14 samples was a lot more manageable than 23. Each bite was unique. You could easily pace yourself, and the flavors did not run into each other. I was full but not miserable. If I did not have to drive back to Austin that evening, I might have drank a few more beers. Maybe I will get a hotel next time. I love events like these. It brings meat enthusiasts together and celebrates barbecue. It was also great seeing the familiar faces in BBQ. I hope I can make it to the next one. Good times.

Until next time, happy smoking...