· The Hot Line - Newsletter
Jan. 2011: Variety Meats

January 2011
Whew. We've been busy over here in the land of Barbecues Galore. These pesky fireplaces that, from a business perspective, started off as a bit of an 'amuse bouche' have really started cutting into our hibernation time during the winter. Seems like, more than ever, people are interested in heating their homes efficiently. Go figure. Our fireplace installers (who, by the way, are the best in the business) have been seriously busy trying to keep people warm.  
This month in The Hot Line we're shedding a bit of light (not too much) on The Variety Meats (say...wouldn't that be a good name for a band?). Now, nobody likes a good premium cut like yours truly. You'll never see me say no to a rib-eye. But, if we all only eat rib-eyes, what happens to the rest of the critter? If we're going to take our status as omnivores seriously, don't we have an ethical obligation to make sure that the entire animal is utilized? I think we do. And so, what should we do with the non rib-eye bits? Well, eat it I guess. The variety meats are the "edible viscera of a butchered animal". You know, things like brain, kidney and ... glands. Yummy. As such, they're likely the last part of the animal we modern humans think about eating. But that's silly. There's some good, if slightly unsettling at the preparation stage, eating to be had here. Consider it a challenge. Any newbie with a decent barbecue and a set of tongs can make a sirloin taste fantastic. It takes a bit more talent to make organ meat into a delectable grilled meal.  
Oh, and speaking of organ meat, our facebook page is growing nicely. Thanks to all of you that joined the page after our pathetic, desperate cry for help last month. For those of you that haven't poked us yet - get poking; our egos need the boost.

Barbecue Tipster  
  Check out this great food blog 'Nose to Tail at Home'. A well written take on enjoying the lesser known cuts of meat - meal by meal. Inspired by a British cookbook. Lots of interesting links and guest posts that focus on 'soon to be famous' cuts of meat. The lamb's testicles had me squirming in my seat and licking my lips at the same time. Something that hasn't happened since ... uh...never mind, just check out the blog.

Gotta Have It  
One of our favourite spices around the store these days is Back Eddy's seasoning salt. It's one of those seasonings that seems to work on just about anything. If you're going to throw some meat on the grill and would like a bit more than just salt and pepper on it, but don't want to alter the taste with a marinade or rub - Back Eddy's is perfect.

Meet the Experts  
Meet Cindy. What does Cindy do for us? Well, actually, she does everything (and I thought that was my job). Right now, during fireplace season, she's busy getting the Calgary fireplace installers organized for their installations during the day. This is no easy task as most of our fireplace installations require the coordination of a long list of materials from different suppliers and, in many cases, a handful of trades people. Thanks Cindy. Cindy and her husband Marc have two boys, Andrew and Bob. Sometimes the boys help out in our North Calgary store in the spring. They both knew more about our computer system in half an hour than the rest of us have ever been able to figure out. Cindy's family also includes three dogs: Jo, Kona and Gem. I think they're Rottweilers but it's hard to tell.  
As it turns out Cindy knows a thing or two about the variety meats. She loves liver (again, 'thanks Cindy'). She grills it with bacon (natch), onions, butter and Back Eddy's seasoning salt (see above). The men in her family are also keen on Beef Tripe. Chinese style, steamed in wine and ginger. Available at finer dim-sum restaurants everywhere and damn tasty if you can get around the unusual texture (I can't).  
Cindy currently does her grilling on quite an array of machines. She swears by her Big Steel Kegs - one at home, one at the lake. She's also got a gas powered Napoleon barbecue and a trusty old Weber kettle. She also has a Centro barbecue (I even have to pinch my nose when I type "Centro") that is sitting in the garage waiting for a new owner. She's currently considering which of her many purchase offers to accept on that particular machine. Her favourite menu item to put on the barbecue is...rhubarb crisp (wait a minute - doesn't everyone always say "steak"?).

Recipe of the Month Grilled Tacos De Lengua Tongue is the Rodney Dangerfield of beef cuts and that's a shame - it's tasty, it's relatively easy to prepare and it doesn't cost very much. Ok, admittedly, it's not the prettiest girl at the dance, and it doesn't have the advantage of a pseudonym like "steak" or "prime rib" or "New York Strip"; it's just "tongue". And all of our brains have plenty of mental baggage when we hear the word tongue. So, I propose that we all adopt the Spanish version of the word, "Lengua". Sounds smooth and non-threatening. When you see "Tacos De Lengua" on the menu at a Mexican restaurant - order it. The taco is a perfect home for tongue Lengua. The meat is tender and it has more taste than most typical meat that ambles its way into a taco. Ingredients for the initial boiling:
  One tongue lengua (ours was about two pounds)
  One medium onion - chopped
  Three cloves garlic
  Three bay leaves
  One teaspoon pepper
  One tablespoon salt
Ingredients for the marinade
  Juice of two limes
  1 Tbsp olive oil
  1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  1 clove garlic
  ½ tsp cumin
  ¼ tsp salt
  ¼ tsp pepper
Ingredients for the finishing:
  Lots of Taco Fixins - whatever you like
  Tortillas. Of course, we got ours at Calgary's Las Tortillas - go there, buy some (and if you don't want to drive there right now at least check out their website so you can hear a beauty version of 'Guadalajara'.)
Lay out your ingredients. If, like The Hot Line Test Kitchen, you have an infestation of 'children' in your house - be fully prepared for a LOT of comments at this stage of the recipe. Some children will want to run away screaming. Some will want to put the tongue Lengua in their sister's pillowcase. You've been warned.
Fill a stockpot full of water. Add chopped onions, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Add tongue lengua to the water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for one hour per pound of tongue lengua.
Remove tongue lengua from the water and remove the outer skin with all the bumps and tastebuds. You may need help with this part. If so, try to enlist a team member that is not as squeamish as some of the children.
Make a thin incision down the centre of the tongue lengua. Once you've got some of the outer skin removed, you should be able to easily peel of the majority of the remainder.
Slice tongue lengua into thin sections for grilling.
Combine meat and marinade ingredients into a resealable container and let sit for an hour or two.
Warm up the tortillas on your griddle.
Grill your tongue lengua. It's already completely cooked from its time in the boiling water. Don't overcook now. This stage is to give it some nice grilled taste and caramelization.
Dice it up. You need small bits that fit well into tacos.
Serve with salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, sour cream, a squirt of lime and a few dozen Coronas. Scrumptious.
That tasty tongue lengua will keep them eating out of your hand!

Ask Dr. McGrillemup  
Question: Hi Doc, I have a gas fireplace that came with our house which was built about eight years ago. Our builder said it was supposed to be an efficient heater but it doesn't seem to throw much heat. Can I improve it somehow? Add a fan maybe? Thanks, F. Ryan    
Answer: Hi F, Most large-volume home builders put inexpensive gas fireplaces into new homes. Typically those fireplaces come with tempered glass which does not radiate heat like the ceramic glass that is in the efficient fireplaces. In some cases, you can buy replacement ceramic glass for your existing fireplace but it is very expensive and can be tough to install. Adding a fan can help the situation somewhat by, at least, moving some of the heat that your fireplace does produce into the room instead of letting it sit around the firebox. As long as you have an electric outlet near (underneath?) your fireplace, installing a fan is not too difficult. My advice would be to renovate the basement and install an efficient fireplace down there. Stay Warm, Doctor McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue Nerd alert. Check out this dude. Turned an old cast aluminum barbecue into a gaming console. Impressive.  
Send us a picture and/or story of you (or a friend of yours, or an enemy of yours) grilling and we'll send you a $25 gift certificate usable throughout our massive chain of four stores.

This Month's Winners  
Every single month, we randomly draw four winning names (one per store) from our newsletter mailing list. We only post the winning names below so you've got to keep your eyes peeled each month. If you win, you can claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification. Congratulations to this month's winners of a variety prize pack: Anne Fridt (Calgary South) Daniel Cheung (Calgary North) Lynne Russell (Burlington) Sarah Stronach (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue  
  Next month is the February 'love' issue. We're going to grill up some chocolate (or oysters - or maybe both).

Contact Us We want to hear from you! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: query@barbecuesgalore.ca Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

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