Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Little Golf And A Lot Of Meat

For the last five years, three of my friends and I have spent a weekend at my parents' cottage in the late summer. Ostensibly this weekend is a golf weekend, and we do actually play golf, but it's mostly an opportunity to hang out, relax, and eat LOTS OF MEAT.

The four of us all know how to cook to some degree or another, but with Rob in charge of buying the meat, and because he gets it at the St. Lawrence Market, we always end up with a bit of an extravaganza on our hands.

Here is an exerpt from the e-mail thread going back and forth the day we left.

Hello all,

Our meat is procured. The total bill came to $192 for:
1. 2 4lb chickens and 1 slab of bacon ($31)
2. 1 lb smoked wild salmon ($24)
3. tub of cream cheese ($7)
4. wedge of apple smoked cheddar ($6)
5. 4 1lb USDA Prime Delmonico steaks ($85)
6. 100 pepperettes ($34)
7. dozen bagels ($5)

We shall eat like kings -- bloated, constipated kings.

Keep in mind, this food is for two days (Friday evening to Sunday afternoon). Oh, Mylanta...

Over the last couple of years, we have streamlined the meals somewhat. We found that cooking a full fry-up breakfast in the morning, though tasty, took up too much time when we had to make an 8:00am (or 7:30am, DAVE...) tee-off. In addition, we would drive everyone in the surrounding cottages crazy with the smells of bacon and coffee at 7am. Mmmmm.... bacon and coffee... So, with an eye for speed, breakfasts are now bagels, cream cheese and smoked salmon. Oh, and the requisite Breakfast Caesar. Gotta have your vitamins.

Lunches are mostly easy meals that can be cooked on the grill. Fire GOOOOOOD. This past year, I made up some of my Stuffed Mozza Burgers, which we ate with relish. Among other things. Ah, I kill me. These lunches are a very laid-back process. As we have just finished playing a round of golf, and as we are all in our 30s (though Dave won't be for next year's trip, heh), and most importantly, since we are ON VACATION, a little bit of sitting around doing absolutely nothing is a welcome part of the day.

Then there's the snacks.

Did I mention the snacks? The core snacking ingredient of every one of our golf weekends are pepperettes from the St. Lawrence Market. We got a hundred of them. No, really, one hundred. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, pepperettes are small, dry, pepperoni sausages that come mild or hot. We normally get fifty of each. For some reason, they just seem to go really well with beer. In addition to the meat snacks, there's the Hickory Sticks, the Clodhoppers, and other random goodies.
Dinners are the main culinary focus of the weekend. Saturday dinner is normally more of a production than Friday's, as we all drive up after work on Friday, and we're still getting settled in.

This year, Rob outdid himself with the meat purchasing. Upon his arrival, he presented us with four, 16 oz., USDA Prime steaks. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. We grilled those bad boys up, cooked a huge pot of mashed garlic potatoes (half of a 7 lb. bag) with chunks of crispy bacon in it and did up a big pile of vegetables in tinfoil right on the grill. Nice. That was without question the best steak I have ever eaten. There are no pictures of the steak dinner, because as soon as they came off the BBQ, we inhaled them. It wasn't pretty.
The pictures you see are Saturday's dinner - Beer Can Chicken. This was Rob's brainchild, so I guess he gets the credit, seeing as he bought the meat, prepared the meat, and cooked the meat, while almost burning himself several times. The Food Network's version of the recipe for this can be found here, though it's really not that difficult.

Take a whole (not too big) chicken, remove the giblets, pat the outside dry. Rub the chicken with a little oil, then rub the chicken inside and out with your favourite dry spice rub. Then take a can of beer, empty out about half of the beer(I find the best way to do this is drink it :-{>), then set the bird down on top of the can. Cook on the grill , or in the oven at 190C (375F) until the juice runs clear when stabbed with a sharp knife (about 1 - 1 1/4 hours).

We cooked two 4-lb chickens in the oven, as the BBQ wasn't big enough. The tricky part in all of this was to move the birds around in the oven without knocking them off of their precarious beer can perches (please refer to picture #2). Rob eventually had to wrap the oven mitts in aluminum foil so that he could actually handle the birds without knocking off any of the spice rub. Ingenious, really.
The menu for Saturday dinner looked like this:

Beer Can Chicken
Grilled Mixed Vegetables in tinfoil (onion, green onion, red and orange bell pepper, radishes, garlic cloves, butter, salt, pepper, ground chipotle pepper)
Sauteed Mushrooms
Roasted Asparagus
Mashed Garlic Potatoes with Crispy Bacon

What a weekend. All I could think about on the way home was, "I think I'll have a salad".


Anne said...

AWESOME! I am truly a carnivore and would have loved that! Great to "see" you again!

Sorina said...

Nice and easy...or fast and easy... this makes me hungry...