Its spring time and that means braai time! I did not post last Friday because I was supposed to have posted on Saturday, but things got out of hand… here’s what went down.
I’m awake, Pria pushed me out of bed. Today I’m attempting to smoke my 2nd brisket, it’s quite a process, which for this cut of meat means about 8 hours of cooking. This means I’m going to have plenty of time on my hands…
Now, I’ve done most of the prep work already so it’s just a matter of lighting the coals. Which I’ve done. I’ve got some time to kill while waiting for the braai to reach temp. Time to break out an old friend.
Disaster! The braai hit temp in time and it was perfect. BUT. The drip tray had a hole in it. All the water was gone. Now I have to boil more water because cold water will lower the temperature too much. Some cooking time gone.
The temp hit 200F so I put the meat on. We used boiling water so the temp rose quickly. I hope it wasn’t just the heat from the water. Might have to use a crutch toward the end. I was planning too anyway.
Temp is 200F, Mage Knight is setup I think I’m good to go. I’m slightly behind schedule but hey, no use crying over what you cannot control.
Temperature on the braai is fine, I check it approximately every 7 minutes or so. I’m 2 round in of MK. Things started pretty good but I took some early hits in a mage tower and a dungeon. This lead to a lot of time spent healing, now I had to move if I want to finish the game in the remaining time. Gaining a spell and artifact was worth it though.
I also managed to recruit a pair of units along the way, which will help.
Ok then. Exploring was fun, but the enemies are getting crazy! Venturing north revealed both cities and they are very heavily defended. The dragons don’t help either.
I got 2 artifacts out of this dungeon. I think I selected the wrong ones 🙁 2 rounds to go. My units are wounded and I’m getting desperate. I think I might just try to attack a city. Let’s see what happens.
Oh, the meat has been smoking for a little over 2 hours at a decent 220F. I’m not particularly stressed, mostly because I’m having a fun game of Mage Knight.
Damn, I just realised that both cities have enemies that have paralysis attacks! If I can’t block, I’m out for the round . This is very very bad.
It was a devastating combat but I managed to clear the first city and move out towards the 2nd. Phew. New round and an awesome unit is available in the city. *sigh*. I cannot really go back now. I need to wait it out a bit.
On the plus side the smoking is coming along nicely!
Oh what a combat!
I ended up using every card in my extended hand and blasted through most of the Defenders of the City! It was tight, I almost missed it but then I realised that I could sacrifice my Endless Gem Pouch for 1 of each colour mana, I guess it wasn’t a waste after all. Unlike the units that I recruited, they spent 90% of the game wounded…
And that won me the game. I don’t recall ever winning the Conquest scenario before! Right, now time for a break. Pria wasn’t idle all this while we have fresh cookies, time for tea 🙂
Final score : 141
Ok, so I’m back had a nice break. The fire is still good. I’m worried about the level of the water in the drip tray. It’s not as deep as the old one was. I’ll have to take a look at some point but not right now let’s give it another hour or so.
After the brain burner that was Mage Knight, it’s time to ease off a bit.
Ok, that was quick. Fast, fun and light. I confess to playing on the shorter game mode. I should have made some notes about the game so I can write a bit more. Some rules were missed but I’m just rusty.
Final score : 106 note to self, collect income next time!
I need to get that suckered to 190F. So crutch it is. The crutch is a double foil wrap, this allows the meat to steam in its own juices. Hopefully that makes it tender, if I’ve not left it too late.
My last attempt was over smoked and over salted, in my opinion anyway. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this isn’t the opposite!
Ok, it has been a while. In the interim Pria and Samara returned from shopping and I found a hole in my foil wrap! The juices were leaking out 🙁 *sigh* I wrapped it on my own, Pria is better at making a foil bag than I am. *crosses toes*
While I was waiting Ronin setup a game of Formula D for us to play. It’s been a while. We played twice, super close games, the first was pretty epic, I had quite a big lead and he came out of nowhere but I just pipped him on the finish!
The brisket is off. I’ve not checked the temperature because I don’t want to open up the foil. I just realised that it has been cooking for essentially 7.5 hours and not 8 oops. From what I gather the brisket must rest, preferably wrapped up inside a cooler box.
I don’t have a cooler box, so I just double wrapped it with thick towels. Apparently the internal temperature can raise another 10 degrees during the resting period. I’m hoping that will do it.
Now to wait for the guests to arrive. ETA 1:30.
They arrived on time at exactly 1:30, I could have used a few more minutes of rest but such is life. We had an AWESOME time, essentially a small party that lasted well into the wee hours of Sunday morning. We got suitably smashed playing a drinking game called Pig Out. It’s one of the oldest board games I own, I don’t think it’s even on BGG.
The meat actually turned out too dry. The flavor was great but I just preferred how juicy my previous attempt was.
- Don’t ask the butcher to trim the fat, they take of way way too much, do it yourself.
- Make a proper crutch, I need to practise this.
- More Smoke. The first time I had way too much, this time I have just too little, somewhere in between.
Tomorrow is a public holiday, Heritage Day. For South Africans this means National Braai day. I’ve got family that I’ve not seen in a long time coming over, I wonder if I can twist some arms for a board game or two?