Tuesday, July 24, 2007


First off let me say that this is a huge post because of all of the pictures I am including. Most of you can quit reading right now unless you have a profound interest in classic cooking. The purpose of this post really is for "Qui Gon" John McNeil who is a tremendous teacher. John is thoroughly trained in all manner of classical french cooking (the basis for cooking as we know it today), has spent years in the kitchen (some of the best) and I am trying to suck as much knowledge from his brain-pan as I possibly can! My "homework" this past week was to make a classic consomme' with some veal demi glace that John made. John roasted about 50lbs of veal knuckles that I had bought. He then made a classic veal demi with that which is about a day long process. I am very thankful for his help with that. So after Martha and I got home Sunday from dinner I launched in to this little project and I think it turned out rather well. Here is a step by step pictorial I took of the process. Starting with the mirepoix (chopped celery, carrots, onion). Then about 3lbs of lean ground chuck was added to it with herbs, mushrooms in a food processor. You see a picture of that nasty looking stuff in the tupperware. Then it was added (very cold) with the veal demi (or stock) and simmered for close to 2 hours. Further down in the pics you can see the "raft" form and then it opening up for the simmer. Then it was strained with an old T-shirt of mine (had to put a redneck spin on it somewhere) and the finished product is what I am holding up to the light. It is golden, has clarity and is packed with flavor!

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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 life.....you 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!