Welcome back to Uncle Tom’s Corner and Happy New Year. Welcome to 2020. Now if only that were indicative of my eyesight. Things are so laid back on Uncle Tom’s Corner that New Year’s Eve didn’t actually arrive until January 4 th . In that respect it’s a lot like being back in Nebraska. I did see one bit of advice worth passing along. When signing documents requiring a date you shouldn’t date them with 1/25/20 because the 20 could be altered. Instead write the whole 2020. That’s it for Public Service
Announcements for this issue of Uncle Tom’s.

After a couple of months of no bbq contests I was really looking forward to the National Western and kept watching for the sign-up. Finally called ‘em to find out what the deal was and learned that it (the bbq contest…not the National Western) wasn’t going to happen this year. Bummer! The next competition after that appears to be in Lamar in May. Since my last contribution to Inside Educated Minds I had/celebrated/suffered another birthday. The reason I mention it is because someone gave me a book entitled The Curmudgeon. It’s a collection of “curmudgeonly” quotes. What was distressing was to read how many of ‘em I had muttered at least once. Which is to say I think I may be one and my grandson wouldn’t hesitate to confirm.

On to cooking.
I had the Yoder (come to think of it I was in the Navy with a guy named Yoder but pretty sure he has/had nothing to do with designing my smoker) fired up near-constantly from Christmas Eve day through New Year’s Day. Pretty sure Greta Thunberg woulda been absolutely apoplectic at the prospect but bear in mind that the Swedes eat lutefisk so… Christmas Eve we had traditional (family tradition) potato soup cooked on the smoker. Christmas day was a spiral cut ham with a raspberry chipotle glaze.

 8-10lb Spiral Sliced Ham
 8oz Raspberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce
 8oz raspberry preserves
 1 oz. bourbon

1. Preheat smoker to 275 degrees using cherry wood or pellets for smoke flavor.
2. Remove the ham from packaging and place on a meat rack
3. Place ham on pit and smoke for 2 hours.
4. In a small sauce pan over medium heat add raspberry jelly. Cook the jelly until it turns
into a liquid stirring often. Add the raspberry chipotle sauce and stir to combine. Add the
bourbon and reduce heat to low and keep warm.
5. Apply the glaze over the ham using a basting brush. Continue to cook for 30 minutes or
until glaze sets.
6. Remove the ham from the smoker and rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Apparently the tradition for New Year’s Eve is prime rib because every supermarket in town was running a sale on prime rib. Who am I to resist a national trend? And anyway I wanted to experiment on pumping a prime rib full of an injection and smoking it using Uncle Tom’s. If I’m experimenting I’d prefer to do it at half price and if the whole thing is a screaming failure I always have Pizza Hut on speed dial. That turned out not to be the case and prime rib was delicious. The roast I bought had the ribs attached so I cut those off and saved them for New Year’s Day when I planned to smoke St. Louis-style pork ribs. As long as I’m cooking ribs (my grandson’s request) I may as well smoke the beef ribs at the same time, right?

The Injection (for a smaller prime rib or any other beef roast for that matter)
1) ¼ C. soy sauce
2) ¼ C. Worcestershire sauce
3) ½ tsp. garlic powder
4) ½ tsp. onion powder
5) 1 ½ C. beef stock

In a small sauce pan mix all the ingredients over low heat stirring until thoroughly blended.
Allow to cool before injecting.
Using a large-bore injection needle inject in a 1 inch checkerboard pattern. Wipe excess from the
suface of the roast.
Apply a binder-yellow mustard, sriracha, olive oil or whatever you choose.
Apply a liberal coat of Uncle Tom’s All-Purpose Seasoning (the recipe’s a secret) or the rub of
your choice.
Pre-heat the smoker to 225⁰ using hickory wood or pellets. Cook to an internal temperature of
135⁰ to 145⁰ depending on your preference of doneness.

Let rest for 30 minutes.

Throw in a nice bottle of Malbec and try to defy the urge to fall asleep long before midnight. I failed again. 

Lastly, New Year’s Day. The evening before I prepped the pork by removing the membrane on the back side of the ribs, applying a binder and a rib rub (who knows what the ingredients might have been. There was a sticky-note label that said rib rub.) As for the beef it was just coarse sea salt and ground black pepper (the Texans would be so proud).

Pre-heat the smoker to 275⁰ using 50/50 hickory and apple wood or pellets.

Although the rule is “If you’re lookin’ you ain’t cookin’” it doesn’t hurt to mist the ribs about every hour with apple juice.

When you see the flesh pulling back from the ends of the ribs you can add the sauce. Close the lid and allow to smoke for 10 to 15 minutes while allowing the sauce to set. Turn them over and sauce the other side. They were in the smoker about 5 ½ hours.
The ribs (both the pork and beef) were great and I maintained my hero status with my grandson…the ultimate determination of success.

That, my faithful followers, about wraps it up for this issue. Once again, Happy New Year and I’ll see you back at Uncle Tom’s Corner in a couple of weeks.