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Restaurants

Fogo De Chão Brings The Full Brazilian Steakhouse Experience Straight To Your Home

 

fogo de chao picanha

If there’s one thing that I’m a fiend for, it’s all you can eat meat. Whether it be devouring thinly sliced brisket by the plateful at a Korean BBQ joint or gulping down whole pieces of picanha at a Brazilian churrascaria, just know that I like to have my protein quotient fulfilled to its max.

But ever since the whole quarantine situation we’re all going through right now, fulfilling such dreams have been damn near impossible — that is until lauded all you can eat Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chão made their offerings available for takeout.

Dubbed Fogo To-Go, it is a new menu from the mansion of meat that lets folks indulge on two ready-to-grill feasts and one read-to-eat bundle to help enhance your next family meal. Here’s all the juicy details for the three meals bundles:

  • The Full Churrasco Home Experience: Bring the Fogo experience home with this all-in-one assortment of ready-to-grill meats – including Picanha (top sirloin), Fraldinha (bottom sirloin), chicken legs, lamb steak, and Brazilian sausage – plus a variety of Brazilian sides, Pao de Queijo (cheese bread) and the steakhouse’s iconic red and green service coasters. Guests can add a Dry-Aged Tomahawk Ribeye or Wagyu New York Strip a la carte, as well. This complete package starts at $95 and feeds six or more people.
  • Date Night Grilling: A romantic meal for two, this date night package includes a choice of any two of Fogo’s ready-to-grill premium steaks or entrees – such as Ribeye, Filet Mignon or Atlantic Salmon – plus salads, fresh vegetables for cooking and Pao de Queijo to enjoy over a bottle of exclusive Fogo Tribute wine, as well as two signature desserts. This cook-at-home package starts at $98 and even includes heart-shaped red and green service coasters.
  • Celebration Pack: Perfect for any special occasion, this fully cooked and ready-to-eat meal for four brings the celebration home with an assortment of Fogo’s most popular cuts (Picanha, Fraldinha and marinated chicken breast), Brazilian sides, salads, Pao de Queijo and signature Chocolate Brigadeiro cake. This complete package starts at $75, feeds four and even includes a pack of candles for the cake.

But the fun doesn’t stop there, as the Fogo To-Go menu also features a variety of individual entrees, freshly butchered and ready-to-grill cuts of the restaurant’s signature meats, fresh produce, and even pantry staples. Fogo To-Go orders can be placed online at Fogo.com or by calling the restaurant directly for contactless, curbside pick-up at Fogo locations nationwide or delivery by a Fogo team member.

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Cravings

Come Get This Unbelievably Tender Wagyu Brisket At Upcoming Queen Mary Cook-Off

As a barbecue enthusiast, the quality of the meat you choose is essential to a proper beef brisket. If you’re using any kind of inferior meat, you better be a master of the smoke because you’re pretty much in an uphill battle. Now I’ve had briskets made with amazing cuts of beef before, but I’ve yet to see one that’s smoked with Wagyu meat.

For the unfamiliar, Wagyu beef is widely regarded as ultra-premium quality beef that’s of the utmost level of tender. And Wagyu beef brisket is exactly what The Q Joint BBQ is bringing to the world of barbecue.

Slicing up USDA Prime Wagyu Brisket, The Q Joint is an Irvine, California-based barbecue company that offers a plethora of smoked and grilled meats. This includes smoked, deboned chicken thighs, St. Louis-style ribs, and their 12-hour hickory-smoked brisket.

All their items come together in what they call The Judge’s Box which boasts: 1 chicken, 2 ribs, pulled pork, 2 slices of brisket, and 2 burnt ends.

This incredible platter of smoked delights can be found at The Queen Mary’s Waterfront Cook-Off. The annual event will be held on May 11 from 12PM to 5PM. There will be two competitions held during that day, one that pits BBQ masters together in a smokey cook-off. The other brings together some of the country’s best chili cooks to see who can craft the most delicious bowl of chili.

Sounds like heaven on earth.

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#foodbeast Adventures Culture Features FOODBEAST Video

Is Kansas City The Barbecue Capital Of The World?

The regionality of barbecue in the U.S. is but another wrinkle in the textured history of the cuisine’s rich contribution to the canon of American cooking. You’ve got four distinct kingdoms of ‘cue that are fierce in their respective representation. Think of it as a friendly yet spirited feud between dynastic families or noble houses.

With House Carolinas you have a fine affinity for pork. Their whole hog obsessions and expertise make for a destined pairing with their trademark vinegar-based sauces. House Memphis flies the banner of pit-smoked, dry-rubbed ribs coated in a thin, tangy sauce. For House Texas, their juicy brisket cooked low and slow is their pride and joy. Fun fact: when folks use the term “Texas barbecue” it more than likely refers to the Central Texas-style. But no matter what, beef is their main course. Finally, you have House Kansas City, where slow-smoked meats rubbed in a complex formula of spices and slathered in their signature, gloriously gloppy, tomato-based sauces are their bastion for barbecue braggadocio. Oh and they also happen to be the loudest of the bunch to tout themselves as the barbecue capital of the world.

Bold claim, sure, but the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Barack Obama, and even (oddly enough) John Madden co-signing hold merit. As they say, where there’s smoke, there’s fire — or in this case, succulent, soul-stirring ribs that put the concept of an otherworldly kind of goodness on a pedestal.

And it’s there where I trailed the lead, curious about this barbecue capital of the world and finding out whether such a crown is too heavy for Kansas City to wear or just the right fit. Along the way we put this assertion of barbecue dominance to the test, whether it be through conversations with a barbecue historian to attending the world’s largest barbecue competition to even finding out the preferred choice of pork brand for these lauded bbq pit-masters (pro-tip: it’s Smithfield).

 

Editor’s Note: Pitmaster Tuffy Stone of Cool Smoke Barbecue
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Culture Humor Video

4th Of July Video Captures Food And Fireworks Exploding In Beautiful Slow-Motion

July 4th is nearly upon us and, while it’s locked in the middle of the workweek, it doesn’t mean we can’t get weird and fun with the national holiday.

You may remember director David Ma from his many food series such as Superhero Hands and Jeff’s Table.

As a tribute to Independence Day, the director celebrates July 4th in what he feels is the most “AMERICA way possible” — combining food and fireworks.

Watch as traditional 4th of July picnic foods like hot dogs, watermelon, and Jell-O explode to the National Anthem.

Ma told Foodbeast:

“This was a personal project and ode to my favorite 4th of July foods with fireworks I was never allowed to play with as a kid.”

The director revealed that the foods chosen were not only iconic to Independence Day picnics, but items that would also yield to beautiful explosions in slow motion.

“I had a small but brilliant team who made all this happen. Brett Long was our food stylist who worked in tandem with Mike Quattrocchi (our fireworks technician) to attach M80 and mortar fireworks to watermelons, potato salad, Jell-O molds and hot dogs for precision in our blasts. For the set decoration and propping, Chuck Willis and Melissa Stammer brought to life my vision for the tabletops, which was a kitschy Americana ’80s feel.”


Remember kids, DO NOT try this at home. As this behind-the-scenes pic shows, the explosions were very real.

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#foodbeast Cravings Culture Features FOODBEAST

What I Learned: Santa Maria-Style Barbecue

santa-maria-bbq

Photo: Peter Pham

I have always been fascinated with barbecue culture. Waking up at the first light of dawn to tend to the fires, choosing from an assortment of wood to burn to enhance the flavor, and the plump and tender reward that comes from hours of manning the smoker.

There have been so many different styles of barbecue, each specific to a region, that always leaves me salivating for details. Every time I visit a new barbecue joint, I find my inquisitiveness for the details just as powerful as my hunger for the ‘cue.

Here I am, just a dude who loves barbecue ready to seek out pitmasters from all over to see what’s the story and techniques behind these different types of barbecue styles.

First up on my barbecue tour of knowledge is Santa Maria-style.

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This Central California-based type of barbecue is the lifeblood of pitmaster Jason Espiritu’s Stoked! concept. Found at Smorgasburg Los Angeles, Espiritu runs the Stoked booth with fellow pitmaster Mario Dolete where the team serve hungry barbecue fans Santa Maria staples like tri-tip, garlic bread, and pinquito beans.

I spoke to Espiritu, eager to learn more about his craft and where his barbecue comes from.


So what’s Santa Maria Barbecue?

santa-maria-bbq

Photo: Peter Pham

According to the pitmaster, the Santa Maria style barbecue tradition began in the 1800s when California was still a part of Mexico. A region ripe with cattle, Mexican ranchers known as “vaqueros” were the gatekeepers to the supply of beef.

The vaqueros would throw huge barbecues for the community a few times each year, bringing everyone together for a feast. I’d like to picture it as a meat-filled House Party prequel, complete with an 1800s Kid ‘n Play.

A few cows would be chosen to be butchered and all the cuts would be cooked over a large pit dug into the ground. The meats would then be seasoned with a simple rub and whole logs of red oak thrown into the fire, letting the wood burn beneath the meat for hours.

Espiritu recalls:

“During the summers every weekend there would be 10-20 barbecue pits set up all up and down our main street in Santa Maria called Broadway. The smoke would literally fill the air making it where we had to drive a little slower. This almost served as a surefire way to bring everyone together.”

Style of Cooking

In Santa Maria, meat is smoked directly over fire in an open pit grill. Traditional cuts of beef such as tri-tip, top sirloin, and ribeye are most commonly used.

A cooking grate is used to lower or raise the meat in order to control the temperature over the course of the smoking process via a crank and pulley system.

Red oak wood, a local wood to the Central Valley of California, is deemed the King of Oak Wood. The wood burns strong, but the smoke doesn’t overpower the taste and texture of the beef.

A typical Santa Maria dry rub consists of salt, pepper, and garlic salt. The idea is to focus more on bringing out the natural beefy flavor of the barbecue.

On The Menu

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Tri-tip

-Tri-tip is typically red oak-smoked and simply dry rubbed.

-It is cut both thin or thick against the grain and served medium rare.

Garlic French Bread

-Garlic butter on French bread toasted over a wood-fired pit.

Pinquito Beans

-A bean local to Santa Maria that’s smaller than the pinto.

-Originated in Mexico, the crop was brought to California where it flourished.

Salsa

-Santa Maria-style barbecue doesn’t use barbecue sauce. Instead, the meat is served with salsa.

Local Central Valley Wine

-Because the Central Valley of California is a well-known wine region, barbecue is sometimes served with wine.

-The robust profile of the wine pairs nicely with the barbecue.


Jason concludes his crash course into the richness of Santa Maria barbecue by reiterating that Santa Maria-style isn’t complete unless it’s shared with others. Seriously, no one wants to eat barbecue alone.

Anyone curious to try the authentic Santa Maria tri-tip smoked with red oak and served with garlic bread may want to check out Stoked! at Smorgasburg LA every Sunday. Currently, they are working to open a brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles.

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Meet The Hog Heaven: A 5-Pound Cornbread Bowl Stuffed With Your Favorite BBQ and Mac & Cheese

To say that I love BBQ would be like saying Andre the Giant was kinda tall. An understatement as huge as the man himself. Any chance I get, I talk to pit masters from all over and try to experience as much regional BBQ from across the United States as I can.

One of my first opportunities to try Kansas City BBQ led me to Ember Barbecue where I discovered the Hog Heaven, right in my own backyard of Santa Ana, CA.

Owned by pit master Derick Foster, a former marine who studied at the Culinary Institute of America, Foster grew up in Kansas City where he wanted to bring the city’s famous and  beloved style of BBQ to California. With his wife Kylie, another graduate of the CIA, the two run Ember together inside Downtown Santa Ana’s Native Son Alehouse.

The Hog Heaven is a cornbread bowl that’s filled to the brim with a three-cheese macaroni and cheese, layered with sweet BBQ beans, creamy coleslaw, and slathered with both Ember BBQ sauce and cheese sauce. Pitmaster Foster then stacks on a handful of pulled pork, St. Louis ribs, chicharron fresh from the fryer, beef brisket, and jalapeno cheddar sausage so juicy you’ll need to lay out a “Caution” sign on the floor. Finally, as a signature to his slow-cooked masterpiece, Foster finishes the Hog Heaven with more mac and cheese, cheese sauce, and Ember’s BBQ sauce.

Overall, it weights in at over five pounds and is essential a meaty birthday cake for BBQ lovers.

While the Hog Heaven is intended to be enjoyed with friends and BBQ aficionados, ambitious individuals can try to conquer this sweet and savory beast on their own. In our case, we made it last a week.

Ember Barbecue typically has 2-4 Hog Heavens available each day they’re open, so cue connoisseurs should take note if they’re trying to get their fix.

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Alcohol Hit-Or-Miss

3 Thrifty White BBQ Wines To Chill Your Meat Sweats

If you live in all-season weather you might wonder why I’m writing a list about white wine in fall. Although it’s a rather gloomy 82 and sunny this week in the California, we’re still placing bets in the office that the weather will be triple digits in October for our cheese event, Oozefest. This is why we’re still talking about BBQ wine. 

Searching for white BBQ wine pairings online finds a plethora of articles talking about supposed pairings. Grilled chicken, grilled fish, all types that are not actually barbecue — and quite frankly, I find it offensive and sad.

Having consumed more than my fair share of fatty meats and wine, here are three pretty damn affordable white wines that you can guzzle down at your next thigh-sweat-inducing meat gathering.

Yalumba “Y” Viognier – $9.99 Total Wine

I had a bottle of this with some brisket my friend and co-worker Chris made. He’s no meat slouch and neither is this Australian Viognier. It stands right up against my favorite fatty meat while not outshining the glistening beef. Sometimes refreshing wines like to hide, but this one pops right out to say, “Hello, I’m here to ease that brisket down!”

Pine Ridge White Blend – $10.97 Total Wine

Although we drank the 2015, I’m sure the 2014 linked above is fine. This white blend was perfect to gulp down with some delicious smoked pork shoulder. We ate it alone, we ate it with rolls, we ate it with sauce. In every situation, this fruity, tart blend washed it all down perfectly.

 

Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc – $11.97 Total Wine

One of my favorite BBQ meats is sausage and I like it hot and spicy, sweet and herby. Doesn’t matter, I love them all and when you bust into a saucy, juicy meat tube some alcoholic relief is crucial. Pop this wild New Zealand Sauv Blanc open and bask in a sweet, tropical oasis that’ll keep your meat sweats at bay.


So the next time you’re eating out or barbecuing at home, I hope you’ll consider trying out some white wines. There really are some pretty amazing combinations that work even with the heaviest of meats. It also helps to have a great friend willing to BBQ for wine, seen below.

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This 5 Pound Jalapeño Popper Bacon Cheeseburger Meat Log Is A BBQ Marvel

Football season in full swing, which means tailgating is back. We all know the key to an awesome tailgate party is – of course – barbecue. It’s always important to have a go-to tailgate barbecue recipe that’s not only easy to make, but also delicious.

This year, let Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q Sauce be your coach in making one of the most unique barbecue bacon creations that’s sure to score points with the crowd, no matter what team you’re on.  

This Stubb’s-infused recipe is like a fusion between a giant jalapeño popper and a barbecue bacon cheeseburger that’ll tackle any hunger pangs in your belly and satisfy the most meat-centric appetites.  

The best part of this beautiful, barbecue, bacon-weaved amalgam of flavors is that you can make it at home, and once you get to your home team’s tailgating spot, simply brush it with a healthy layer of Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce, and throw it on the grill for just over an hour.

Tell your friends to grab a bottle of Stubb’s– we’ll see you at the game.

Here’s the recipe play-by-play.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Estimated Cook Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Rest Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3 lbs. ground pork sausage

1 package cream cheese

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 package American cheese slices

3 packages bacon

1 onion, diced

2 jalapeños, diced

1 cup Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce

Step 1

Dice one package of bacon and add to a medium-sized sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté bacon for 2-3 minutes, or until fully cooked. Remove bacon pieces from the pan, but keep fat.

Step 2

Add jalapeño and onion to the bacon fat. Season with salt & pepper and sauté until softened. Once fully cooked, remove to a large bowl. Add cream cheese and shredded cheese, and stir until combined. Place a layer of plastic wrap on a cutting board, spoon mixture onto the plastic wrap, and form into a log. Roll the log in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to cool.

Step 3

To start rolling the first layer of sausage, place another layer of plastic wrap on your cutting board. Spread about one third of your ground pork sausage into an even layer on the plastic wrap. Pull the cheese and sautéed mixture log filling out of the fridge and unwrap.

Step 4

Place the filling in the center of the sausage layer. Using the plastic wrap for support, pull one end of the sausage up and over the filling. Continue to roll the sausage around the filling until it is completely covered and press the seams together to create a seamless sausage barrier around the filling. Roll the log in plastic wrap and set aside.

Step 5

Start creating your second roll by placing another layer of plastic wrap on your cutting board. Spread the rest of your sausage into an even layer on the plastic wrap. Spoon a layer of Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce all over the sausage. Sprinkle crispy bacon on top of the sauce, and then cover everything in a layer of American cheese.

Step 6

Unwrap the previous sausage log and place it in the center of this new sausage/bacon/cheese roll. Using the same technique as last time, roll it up so the bottom layer completely engulfs the existing log. Press the seams to close up any gaps and wrap the whole thing in plastic and set aside.

Step 7

Place another layer of plastic wrap on your cutting board, because it’s time to start building your bacon weave! First, lay down a layer of bacon strips side by side. Fold every other piece of bacon in half so they are half as long. Place an additional piece of bacon at the very edge of each of the folded pieces, perpendicular to the existing slices. Unfold the currently folded pieces over the perpendicular slice. Next, fold all of the bacon slices that weren’t folded previously. Repeat process.

Step 8

Once you’ve completed your bacon weave, unwrap the sausage log and set it in the center. Roll the weave around the sausage starting from one end and rolling toward the other so you end up with the bacon seam side down. Tuck in any loose bacon ends to create an impenetrable bacon shield and your log is ready for the grill.

Step 9

Set up your grill for indirect heat. Bring the temperature up to ~300 degrees. When you’re ready to cook, throw on some wood chips. Place the log in the indirect heat zone of your grill and close the lid. Use your vents to maintain a temperature of 300 degrees. Cook the meat on the grill for one hour, and then check the temperature of the internal layer of sausage every 15 minutes until you reach 150 degrees.

Step 10

Brush on a thick layer of Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q Sauce. Let the log cook for another 15-20 minutes to bring the internal temp to 165 and set a beautiful glaze of Stubb’s on the outside. Watch carefully so the sauce doesn’t burn or char.  

Step 11

When the sausage is fully cooked and the Stubb’s Bar-B-Q glaze is thick and sticky, it’s time to pull your log off the grill. Set the fatty on a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Then, slice the fatty as thick as you like and serve with Stubb’s Original Bar-B-Q sauce on the side.

Photos by Peter Pham


Created in partnership with Stubb’s