Old NFO asked for an AAR on my new smoker, so it's only fair that I give him one.
I wanted to cook a brisket in the smoker as the first go-round. I know plenty about briskets, and I've been cooking them for years on a variety of pits, smokers, and even in the household oven. I may not be the best brisket cooker, but I'm consistent, and I know brisket. So, yesterday I went to the grocers and found a nice, select, packer-cut brisket. About 14 lbs raw. That's a nice brisket with plenty of fat for cooking.
Milady and I counted heads for lunch today and found that we'd be serving a light crowd for Sunday lunch, about 20 people. So, I packed it home and I picked up about 5 lbs of good Richards smoked sausage. Milady and I decided that we'd cook the brisket, that sausage, along with bean and Ouida potatoes.
I haven't talked about Ouida potatoes, a recipe given to me by Milady's good friend Ouida. They're damned fine and you've got to try them. Don't over-think this recipe. If you can boil water, you can make Ouida potatoes.
3 lbs red potatoes
Green onions, chopped for garnish
Regular bottle Ranch Dressing
Grated cheese. Any type.
Wash those potatoes, and cut them in bite-sized pieces. Boil them till they're fork-tender. You've done all the cooking you're going to do.
In a casserole dish, put the drained potatoes, hot. Add ranch dressing till they're covered. Garnish with green onion and bacon bits, then cover it all with grated cheese. Set aside. In about five minutes, the heat from the potatoes will soften the cheese. Serve.
Really, that's all there is to it, and they're magnificent.
Okay, back to the brisket. We decided to do beans, sausage, brisket and Ouida potatoes. Then we got invited to go catting, so we put everything in the fridge and went catting-around. Had a few drinks, a few laughs and got home about 1:00 a.m. A Saturday night with friends is a wonderful thing.
So, about 1:00 this morning, I fired off the smoker then went inside and gave that big brisket a good rub with nothing but salt and pepper. Put it in a pan and added half a beer. Drank the other half. I put that brisket in that 225F smoker, added a good handful of hickory chips and went to bed.
Woke this morning about 7:00, made coffee and went out to check the brisket. Looking good, so I added a handful of hickory to the chip tray and closed the lid. At about 10:30, pulled it out, and had my younger son help me trim and slice it. We put the brisket back in the au-jus, and returned it to the smoker, bottom rack. On the next rack we put Milady's beans, and on the top rack, we put 5 lbs of that good smoked sausage.
We let that cook till about noon, the sausage dripping fat into the beans, the brisket soaking that au-jus, and keeping everything hot until feeding time, when we pulled it out, said grace, and let the thundering herd at it.
It mist have been okay, because when it was over, I had no sausage, and even though I tripled the recipe on potatoes and cooked plenty of beans, this is what I was left with at the end of the day.