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Ugly Brothers Barbeque
Brines & Cures

Notes on brining:

Iodized salt will taint meat.

Solution must be fully dissolved before use & must cover meat. Brining must be done under refrigeration. Use only glass, crockery or food grade plastic containers as most metals will transfer taste (stainless is OK).

Brines are SALTY. A water rinse will remove some salt & spice. Rinse if desired. Prior to smoking air dry meat until surface is sticky and has a glazed appearance. A fan can be used top hasten process. Takes about 1 to 1-1/2 hours with fan.

Ugly Brothers Bird Brine

The Ugly Brothers prefer this "lite" brine for chicken breasts and other fowl. The meat is left to brine for several hours to overnight then rinsed and the dried prior to smoking. If you do not rinse off the brine prior to smoking the meat will taste salty, however, if refrigerated to serve cold the following day, the saltiness will be less apparent and the flavors of the salt and sugar will combine in a very satisfactory way.

1/4 cup plain (non-iodized) salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 liter water

Less salty than the basic brine.

Basic Salt Brine

Collected from the Ft. Lewis Hunting & Fishing Club

1/2 cup plain (non-iodized) salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 liter water

Soak in brine at least 2 hours.
For more flavor use 1/4 cup salt & 1 cup brown sugar to one liter water.

Salt Brine #2

Collected from the Ft. Lewis Hunting & Fishing Club

2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup plain (non-iodized) salt
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
2 cups dry white wine

Soak in brine at least overnight.
Can use 2 cups soy to 1 cup wine for stronger flavor.

Salt Brine #3

Collected from the Ft. Lewis Hunting & Fishing Club

1/2 cup plain (non-iodized) salt
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon onion salt
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 tablespoon dried chopped chives
1 teaspoon Old Bay Spice
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups water
1 teaspoon tabasco sauce

Soak in brine at least overnight.

Beef Pastrami
Based on the recipe of Emeril Lagasse

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
  2 TBS black peppercorns
1 TBS plus
2 tsp
thyme dried
  6 bay leaves crumbled
  2 tsp cloves whole
1/4 cup garlic minced
2 tsp juniper berries whole
  1/3 cup  juniper berries   crushed
6 cups water  
3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  3/4 cup kosher salt  
2/3 cup black pepper coarsely ground
1 beef brisket 4 or 5 lbs.
  2 chunks hickory chunks  
2 handfulls hickory chips  
1 handfull mesquite chips  

In a small bowl, combine the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, cloves, garlic & whole juniper berries. In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the water, brown sugar & salt. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar & salt. Remove from heat and add dry spice mixture and steep for 1 hour. Place brisket in a glass or plastic container. (DO NOT use metal containers which will give the meat an awful metallic taste). Completely cover the the brisket with the seasoning brine. Cover and refrigerate for three weeks, turning brisket every couple of days.

Preheat smoker to 200° F. Combine the crushed juniper berries and ground pepper in a small bowl. Using the palm of your hand, press two thirds of the mixture into the brisket. Press the remaining mixture into the other side. Place brisket in smoker and smoke with hickory & a small amount of mesquite until an internal temperature of 160° F is reached (approximately four hours). Remove from the smoker and allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Emeril recommends the following, which we omit: Place the brisket in a large Dutch oven, cover with water and place over medium heat. Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cool completely before slicing thinly.


Ugly Brothers Cured Tasso

Tasso is a Cajun smoked pork product. It made from strips of pork butt that have been intensely seasoned and heavily smoked. Because Tasso is so strong it used usually used to flavor jambalayas, gumbos & soups rather than being served on its own.

You want to smoke your Tasso at a low temperature with heavy smoke. Your finished Tasso should be FIRM so that it does not flake or fall apart, after all, you will be dicing it to add to your long simmering gumbos.

 Amount  Ingredient  Preparation Method
6 lbs  pork loin  cut into 3 or 4 pieces
6 TBS Morton Sugar Cure (plain)
 6 tsp brown sugar
2 TBS cayenne pepper
1-1/2 TBS black pepper  fresh ground
 2 TBS white pepper
4 TBS Hungarian paprika
2 TBS onion powder  
2 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS cinnamon ground
  1 TBS mustard seed   ground
1 TBS celery seed ground
1/2 cup water  

Cut the pork loin into 3 or 4 manageable pieces. Mix all spices well and remove 2 TBS of the spice cure mixture. Dissolve the mixture into 1/2 cup water and inject equal amounts into the pork lion pieces. Evenly rub the remaining cure mixture into the pork, place in plastic containers or baggies and refrigerate at 40°F for 10 days to two weeks.

At the end of the curing period rinse off the loins under cold water then allow to stand in cold water for at least a half hour. Remove from water, pat dry and allow to air further air dry.

Bring the temperature of your Big Green Egg or other smoker to about 190-200°F. Smoke the loins under heavy smoke for about 6 hours or until an internal temperature of 150°F is reached.

Another Tasso recipe can be found on our Cajun Recipes page.

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