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A Little Smoky Goodness

June 30th, 2011

The beef we eat comes from the same farm we get our milk from. Their cows spend their days out in the fields eating green grass and feeling the sun on their backs. As a result the meat is really great – tasty and healthy. We eat mostly venison around here because of Mr Chiot’s hunting prowess, but we buy loads of meaty bones from the farm to feed the resident Chiots. I also use the bones for making stock and every now and then some braised beef.

Last week I made dinner to take to some friends who were moving. I wanted to make something that would taste great hot or cold and would be quick and easy to eat. After looking in the freezer and the pantry, I decided to make pulled beef sandwiches. I thawed out some beef shanks, beef short ribs, and a venison roast. These fatty bony bits are perfect for braising, the meat gets tender and falls off the bone and the fat melts into the sauce making it so smooth and velvety (not to mention super healthy). The venison roast added more meat since the other pieces don’t have a ton of meat on them.

I rubbed them liberally with freshly ground pepper and sea salt and seared them over a campfire out back. Then I threw them all in a big cast iron dutch oven with a three cans of Guinness and braised them for a few hours until the meat was falling off the bone (mine braised for 4 hours total, but you could do more if needed). I made a huge batch but you could easily scale this down for four. You’ll be wishing you had leftovers though so maybe you should go ahead and make a big batch.

After braising, I pulled the meat off the bones, shredded it, then mixed it with the remaining braising liquid, which had become thick and rich from the beef bones. We put the meat on homemade ciabatta and topped with onions that I had caramelized over the fire in a cast iron skillet. We topped it all off with some local raw milk cheese and what a meal it was! I kept wanting to take a photo of the sandwiches, but never remembered because they were so good. We’ll be making these again on Saturday for a cookout before enjoying the Fourth of July fireworks display in our community. I figured I’d share this fantastic recipe in case any of you were trying to come up with something tasty to make.

What’s your favorite kind of cookout food?

18 Comments to “A Little Smoky Goodness”
  1. Sue Nugent on June 30, 2011 at 5:57 am

    I have a small hibachi grill that I use for decoration. I might just try using it to whip up a steak or two for supper. Yours looks superb. Pop has always tended to the meat cooking on the grill,but with his age, he doesn’t feel much like cooking lately. I need to begin learning how it’s done.

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  2. kristin @ going country on June 30, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Lamb kebabs with tzatziki sauce. I always purposely save the lamb kebab meat long after the rest of the lamb is gone, waiting for the cucumbers to be ready to make tzatziki. TOTALLY worth the wait.

    I love pulled anything, but I kind of hate shredding meat. So tedious.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

  3. Carol on June 30, 2011 at 7:51 am

    The steaks from our own grass-fed cows. Paul has his faults, but the man both raises and grills a fanTAStic steak. We eat like kings!

    Reply to Carol's comment

  4. Gabe on June 30, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Any good fresh hunk of meat is always a winner, but I love doing kebabs when I have fresh peppers and onions and tomatoes and squash and eggplant, and whatever fresh veggies I can find to throw on them.

    Reply to Gabe's comment

  5. Denimflyz on June 30, 2011 at 9:18 am

    I love and use the parts of beef that no one else loves. Shanks, briskets, the slow cooking stuff that memories are made of. I do slow roasting with my great grand mother’s cast Iron dutch oven and do it in my grill/smoker for hours. Yum!
    Have a wonderful flavorful 4th Of July. Enjoy

    Reply to Denimflyz's comment

  6. Songbirdtiff on June 30, 2011 at 9:28 am

    Doncha feel sorry for folks who are afraid of a little fat? I mean, usually those are the same people who will eat macaroni and “cheese” (you know, the orange powder food product). That’s just not how food is meant to be…but what you have represented in this post is.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

    • Susy on June 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

      I sure do – give me butter, whole milk, lard, bacon, cheese, beef tallow and all that healthy fats any day over processed “food”. Once I started adding real fats to my diet I no longer get sick – no colds, no flu, nothing. And everything tastes better and is more satisfying!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  7. Donna B. on June 30, 2011 at 10:30 am

    To your question: I like anything. Not picky at all. My mother is korean, so one of my favorite grilled foods is Calbi. [Short-ribs marinated overnight w/ soy-sauce, sesame seeds, anchovy paste, scallions, and garlic. ♥] I can never get leftovers for the next day. We eat them all.
    But holy almighty internet… this post has made me really hungry – and my lunch isn’t in another two hours! Noooooooo.
    I really want to try to cook with my fire pit. I can never source pure wood though. Afraid to gather cut logs from the neighborhood due to contamination issues… maybe I need to grow an apple orchard for the wood. ^_^

    Reply to Donna B.'s comment

    • Susy on June 30, 2011 at 10:34 am

      We’re lucky to have an ample source of wood because we’re surrounded by woods. And after having all those trees taken down we’ll have ample firewood for years to come. I think that’s a great reason to start an apple orchard!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Nancy M. on June 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I do a lot of grilling and BBQing. Organic, pastured lamb from our CSA farm is one of my favorite meats to cook on the grill. I’m looking forward to a slow-roasted leg of goat in few weeks!

    Reply to Nancy M.'s comment

  9. Candie on June 30, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    WOW that looks fantastic! We buy beef from my cousins, a half cow will last us most of the year. I love the meat we get from them it really is better then store bought.

    Reply to Candie's comment

  10. Sincerely, Emily on June 30, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Your big tray of meat looks great. I do love grilled meat, but I love grilled eggplant &/or zucchini – oh lots of veg grilled. And your mention of caramelized onions – a big fav of mine – love them on toast with morning eggs and on pizza. Dang – need to go eat. I used to be big into fat-free this and that but I am so far the other way now. Buying healthier meats and foods, not even considering the fat is the way I used to think. Now thinking about how good it is. Emily

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  11. Mr. Chiots on June 30, 2011 at 2:13 pm


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  12. Jennelle on June 30, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    That looks and sounds amazing! Stomach is growling…

    Reply to Jennelle's comment

  13. MAYBELLINE on June 30, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Confession: I love a good hot dog.

    Reply to MAYBELLINE's comment

  14. Daedre Craig on June 30, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    My first glance at the first photo had me thinking that the tray of meat was floating in mid-air!

    Reply to Daedre Craig's comment

  15. tj on June 30, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    …lol I have to agree with Daedre up there, I had to study that photo too thinking, “what is going on with that tray of meat?” lol… :o)

    …My fav’ cookout food would have to be the 2 1/2 in. thick Porterhouse Steaks my husband buys and then grills. Now I am not much of a meat eater but I do have to say that they. Are. Awesome! Sadly, they’re just from the local Schnucks Supermarket but he always has them custom cut and they’re always delish!

    …So sweet of you to make a dish for friends who are undergoing the task of moving – ugh! Your recipe sounds incredible and we have Venison in the freezer that we need to use. Thank you for sharing!

    …Blessings :o)

    Reply to tj's comment

  16. […] Braised Beef Sandwiches like those ones I blogged about […]

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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