Wednesday, May 23, 2007


On Sunday night after we loaded in our tent on the river at Memphis in May we were sitting at the Fox & Hound having dinner. Carey tells me if I care to to do the "exotic" category for MIM. Alligator, Caribou, Ostrich............that's all yesterdays news. Had to get something different and do something different. Somehow I found Kangaroo & Yak meat. I decided against the Yak meat. It shipped in on Wed. to Mom & Dads house there in Memphis. I decided to do a beef wellington version of Kangaroo.......Kangaroo Wellingtons. I called my buddy John McNeil to get his two cents. John was able to let me have some veal demi that he had made up. I wanted a wine sauce using a Shiraz/Syrah. He gave me instructions on a sauce using that demi as a base. It turned out unreal. Then he gave me his thoughts on the patte' filler. I found some wild mushrooms and made my patte' with shallots, herbs, butter, balsamic, lemon juice and I threw in just a few raisins with it..........beat those up in a food processor and WOW was that good! So John McCall & I spend most of the morning prepping this out to bring down to the tent to construct and cook it there. Turn in time is 2:30. We get there about 12:45.......walk in the tent and there is nowhere to cook this because everything is in use. Leave it to some ol' boys from Corinth, MS to come through for you. Tom Underwood from "Pigs-R-Us" came down to the tent to see if we had any celery. I asked Tom if he had some cook space......he said "hell yeah we'll fire one up for you". We fired up a small cooker he had on his trailer. While we were waiting for the coals to get the temp up to 425* to bake this thing in me, John & Robbie started constructing this Kangaroo Wellington. We put it in @2:05 which is almost not enough time to get the pastry around the meat baked so I added some more coals, opened the vents up a little and got that cooker to 450*. Now that's a little too hot but I had no choice cause I was runnin' out of time. As you can see the wellington to the left had already started to burn some. We got it out at 2:28. Robbie boxed it with some lettuce and all 3 of us started sprinting for the turn in tent. The way we were dressed we looked like the guys from that early 80's movie "Chariots of Fire" running to the tent. We made by about 15 seconds. We came in 22nd out of 70 odd teams. I was a little pissed at myself because I let us run out of time to do the presentation right. I am sure that the creativity and the taste was there to place top 3. Maybe I'm wrong but I felt really, really good about this. I think we got docked points for presentation and also I think that the pastry might have gotten soggy on top due to condensation in the Styrofoam box waiting its turn for the judges to taste it. Also @2:28 with 2 minutes to go and I cut it open the flakes from the pastry went all over the lettuce bed......looking like Harry Carey leaned down and shook some dandruff off over it. So I've learned a little lesson on turn in time and to make sure you give yourself enough of it! Thanks to John McNiel for the guidance and creative help and thanks to John McCall and Robbie Lundy for all the help that day......really appreciate it!

1 comment:

Terry said...

Thank you brother, I am awestruck and humbled at the same time. 7th out 96. What can I say?

I will say thank you for all your help, and becoming one great and true friend.

Me and you clicked and I hope we will have a lasting friendship...

It's all about passion and the love of 'Q' (and a few beers too!!!)

Terry (aka) B.D.

What is this Blog???

You ever been sitting around cooking for your family and friends and been told the following: "Hoss, this is the best I've ever had in my dadgum have got to open up a place of your own". The thought crosses your mind to do just that, but for whatever reason you dont. Well I'm "that" guy that actually went through with it and did it. I had absolutely ZERO restaurant experience! I decided to start this blog about my own experience hoping that it may be of some use and help to others who might be interested in opening their own place.
I learned this craft almost 20 years ago cooking whole hogs on brick & cinder block pits at a couple of little BBQ Joints in Henderson, TN. I learned from old, lifelong career Pit-Masters, working with them as an apprentice during school off and on for four years. Over the course of that time I learned the old, time-honored craft of REAL pit barbecue. At Martin's Bar-B-Que Joint I am trying as hard as I can everyday to bring that time-honored authenticity to my customers.
As you read you'll see I've made some stupid decisions, and I've made some good decisions. If you are thinking of opening a restaurant, especially a BBQ Joint, read this blog! Maybe some of this info can be of use to you. At the very least you will be entertained because I pull no punches.
Now listen, this is my blog to not only help with information but my blog to freely rant about my day to day experiences. There is no real "bad language" on this blog but there might be some things said that are very "tongue in cheek". If you are easily offended and/or cant see the satire in my posts then please just leave the blog. It will save both of us the annoyance of each other. For those of you who do like satire and are looking for good information about this experience, then by all means enjoy!