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 REAL Southern BBQ

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Hound Dog
Amigo


Posts : 195
Join date : 2011-02-21
Location : Ajijic & San Cristóbal de Las Casas

20110301
PostREAL Southern BBQ

Yes, I know that here in Chiapas, they would not call this a BBQ as we would in Alabama but Dawg is being international in outlook now since Montgomery is the past and San Cristóbal de Las Casas is today. Let´s just say for clarification that we were invited yesterday by a Coleto (as folks from San Cristóbal are known) family to join them at the city´s locally famous park known as Rancho Nuevo Parque Eco Turistico within the boundaries of which one also finds the also locally famous "Grutas de Rancho Nuevo" which are a local tourist attraction as well. Locals flock to this large pine covered park in the High Jovel Valley (the park is at about 7,500 feet) especially for weekend picnics at the many stone BBQ pits available to the public for a ten peso fee on a first-come-first-served basis. These family members were determined to show us foreigners just arrived from Lake Chapala for the season what a true Coleto BBQ is all about.

The menu consisted of:

Longaniza Sausage: A sausage similar to the famous Portuguese Linguisa sausage found in many parts of the world but, in Chiapas, quite spicy and delicious with unique local ingredients.
Chorizo: Chiapas style made with, among other things, chiles and garlic. In Mexico, these sausages can be made with pork, cabrito or venison but here in San Cristóbal it is typically made with pork. Most if not all of you know that this is very different from Spanish Chorizo and must be cooked on the BBQ before being consumed.
Tasajo: Which, I believe, can mean a number of things from "piece of meat", to dried or "jerked" beef but here in San Cristóbal implies, according to our hosts, either air dried or fresh beef similar to cecina cut into strips, The tasajo we were served was fresh and not dissimilar to an arrachera cut and had been marinated in a mixture of soy sauce and lime juice which, to some extent, mirrors the significant Chinese influence popular in local cuisine and much of Chiapas because of the large Chiinese immigrant population living here.

These meats were, of course, barbequed over charcoal and served with
* Tortillas.
* A salso cruda made with fresh tomatoes, white onions, habanero chiles, cilantro, salt and lime juice.
* Large green onions charred over hot coals and peeled once charred with the sweet cooked inside layers served with the meats and tortillas.
* Avocados halved and served as accompaniments.
* Some habanero chiles served independently for more adventurous souls.
* Fresh limes to squeeze over all as desired.

Our contribution was cerveza and soft drinks and coffee and chocolate eclairs from a local French bakery.

Fantastic food and further proof that, as others have attested on these forums, the best food in Mexico is prepared by families for themselves and friends - not in restaurants generally speaking. That same rule exists in Dawg´s native Alabama - also famous for its BBQ - and I must say, whether it´s a slowly smoked BBQ´d pork butt for pulled pork sammiches outside of Montgomery or Chiapas sausages and beefsteak BBQ´d in an eco-park outside of San Cristóbal, or grilled lunches served al fresco with fabulous wines in Dawg´s wife´s natiive France, these are the memorable feasts of a lifetime.


Last edited by Hound Dog on Tue 01 Mar 2011, 18:44; edited 2 times in total
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REAL Southern BBQ :: Comments

Re: REAL Southern BBQ
Post on Tue 01 Mar 2011, 18:38 by Don Cuevas
Sounds damfine to me.

Re: REAL Southern BBQ
Post on Wed 02 Mar 2011, 10:37 by Peter
Real SOUTHERN BBQ in the REAL south - carne asada. I guess the name "barbecue" comes from barbacoa and really is a misterpretation of what method of cooking that is. Not that that is important though, barbecue has become an American tradition and has many variations all over the country, each region committed to their own style. Don't be presumptuous and try to tell a Texan how to barbecue, as doing so could start a major skirmish if not a war.

Carne asada, here in Mexico we just call it what it is, roast meat. It is also the name used for the event, you invite your neighbors over for a carne asada. Dawg describes the event well, it almost always consists of roasted meats like bistek and not complete without some Mexican chorizo the likes which those NOB would normally associate with longaniza and such varieties and not the kind of chorizo found in California and places that the sausage starts out in tube form but cooks down into a greasy puddle of chopped meat parts. I just don't find that NOB-type of chorizo here in Michoacán, these are solid sausages that keep their form and are fit for eating in ways other than just being stirred into scrambled eggs.

Roasted cebollas, onions, with the green stalks attached are always an integral part of the affair as is salsa made with a molcajete which resembles a large stone apothecary's mortar and pestle. the salsa can vary depending on one's tradition or by just what chiles are on-hand but typically is made with raw onion and chile and tomato that have been roasted on the parilla a bit, and a bit of salt added then ground together in the molcajete.

Often the long banana-like chiles of varying potency are roasted and served along with some other possibilities like piña (pineapple) wheels or wedges, calabasitas (zucchini squash), and other vegetables and fruit that can be roasted and eaten by hand. And tortillas are always a part of the carne asada, heated on the parilla (grill) and often used as a multi-function tool.

When inviting the gringo (me) for carne asada many would make sure I had a plate, napkin, spoon, and whatever else necessary for us northerners to eat with "properly" but that was not the manner the food was typically served to the men, I was invited to eat in the manner of the women, with all the dainty and proper utensils. For the men in the crowd, and now for me as well some several years of living here, like them I too use that muti-purpose tool and comida, the tortilla. I no longer require a plate nor tongs to serve myself straight-off the parilla. I grab a tortilla or two and use that in place of tongs and eating with a plate is neither necessary. Another tortilla serves as a spoon for serving salsa. Likewise when my fingers are greasy from handling the roasted cebollas, another tortilla serves as a napkin to clean my fingers, then when its done being used as a utensil it is eaten. How perfect is that?

The concept is similar but the execution is very different the American barbecue vs the Mexican carne asada. I imagine at Lakeside Chapala many ex-pat Americans roll out their Weber grill, spread out a bag of charcoal briquettes and spray on the lighter fluid and torch it up. Once ready some inch-and-a-half thick steaks are thrown on, and so it goes, very enjoyable in its own right. For some reason anymore this just doesn't appeal to me like before after having had this contrasted with the unplanned festivity ans spirit that goes along with the Mexican carne asada. Oh, and I left out the part about the cervezas. Nothing new there, you may ad-lib on your own what that adds to the occasion.
Re: REAL Southern BBQ
Post on Wed 02 Mar 2011, 12:16 by Don Cuevas
Quote :
Likewise when my fingers are greasy from handling the roasted cebollas, another tortilla serves as a napkin to clean my fingers, then when its done being used as a utensil it is eaten. How perfect is that?

You can also squeeze half a lime to wash your fingers. Fairly good trick when, for example, you are at a taco stand and no way to wash is at hand. (inadvertent pun.)

Quote :
The concept is similar but the execution is very different the American barbecue vs the Mexican carne asada. I imagine at Lakeside Chapala many ex-pat Americans roll out their Weber grill, spread out a bag of charcoal briquettes and spray on the lighter fluid and torch it up.

Probably an electric igniter, is my guess. Twisted Evil
Re: REAL Southern BBQ
Post on Wed 02 Mar 2011, 12:23 by Peter
Don Cuevas wrote:

Probably an electric igniter, is my guess. Twisted Evil

That shows how out-of-touch I have become. Charcoal lighter fluid was probably banned by the 90's.
Re: REAL Southern BBQ
Post on Wed 02 Mar 2011, 13:13 by cheenagringo
You aren't out of touch Peter as I have seen your described liquid charcoal lighter fluid at Super Lake.
Where there's fire, there's smoke
Post on Wed 02 Mar 2011, 16:08 by Don Cuevas
My wife., a former Campfire Girl, likes to start our charcoal fires. She uses ocote, a sort of pitchpine kindling, old dry cardboard and some vegetable oil.
We use only locally produced lump charcoal. A huge bag, too heavy for us to lift, costs about $150 pesos, delivered.

We have a Kingsford Barrel Grill with hood, which we bought at Costco Morelia abut 3 years ago. However, it's been underutilized. We need to start planning our next cookout soon.

Late last August, we smoked a 17 pound brisket in it. It was a helluva lotta work, but the results made it worth it. (Not the ensuing 6 weeks bronchitis or whatever from smoke inhalation. That part wasn't worth it.)


The results of that fire, below.

Peter and Tere were among the guests. They made a Lasaña a la Bandera, garnished in the Mexican National Colors.

Re: REAL Southern BBQ
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REAL Southern BBQ

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