Working on smoking the brisket, all set for the start of football season

Mark Derry

It’s a major undertaking to try and perfect the BBQ recipe for beef brisket. Miss Jenny and I have the Mango-Chipotle Baby Back Ribs and the Carolina-style Pulled Pork down, but the brisket is tricky and I’m burning a lot of pellets on the Traeger grill trying to perfect it. Cooked up the best one yet last weekend after making a brothy injection and patting on two dry rubs in between a coating of mustard. Smoked it, wrapped it, sprayed it with butter, let it rest and 15 hours later we carved it up. Tender, great texture, but the flavor wasn’t quite the rich beef melt-in-your-mouth I’m looking for. So, it’s back to the drawing board for fine tuning ingredients and time and temperature to get it right. Then I can serve it up for the poker boys and have an Indian summer BBQ with friends and a great bottle of 2008 Merlot from Solis Winery.
Big local winery news with the purchase of the historic Lion Oaks property on Hecker Pass (see front page story) by Jason Goelz who is partners with vineyard owner Stephen Dorcich, but heading out on his own with this venture. The Jason-Stephens partnership has really benefitted all the wineries in South County. The summer Friday night music events, despite the parking snafus, were wonderful entertainment in a bucolic setting by the creek and exposed locals and out-of-towners alike to our beautiful vineyards. The addition of a marquis winery property that will host weddings and be a definite **** four-star South County venue on the winery map is just another step in the right direction for the industry here.
Speaking of the parking problems that some winery owners wanted to just pin on Jason-Stephens and their Friday night events, I drove past the Clos la Chance Winery entrance off Watsonville Road last Thursday where a Journey tribute band was playing as a part of the weekly Time for Wine series. Overflow cars packed Watsonville Road and concert-goers were walking the streets on the busy thoroughfare a la Jason-Stephens Friday night concerts. It’s dicey walking along Watsonville Road. The wineries should solve the parking problem, so they can host those bigger events. Park and shuttle? Santa Clara County Sheriffs Department controlling traffic? Do something before an accident happens and it becomes a crisis.
When you have a mini-crisis at home with your residential phone service provided by Verizon and you’re trying to get through to a human being, rather than a robot voice who really doesn’t understand diddly squat, remember It’s very useful for busting down the digital shields put up by so many mega companies that don’t give a horses-pituti about customer service. Just find the company, read the tricks and you won’t be entirely frustrated and waiting for nearly as long.
No waiting at the Second Annual Morgan Hill Kids BikeFest Saturday. It’s a fun and free way for children to learn about bicycle safety. The event is put on by the Rotary Club and Specialized Bikes and goes from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Community Cultural Center. Bring a bike, bring a helmet, traverse the obstacle course and visit stations that teach about intersections and turn signals. At the end Mayor Steve Tate, PD Chief David Swing or Rotary Club President Brad Ledwith will reward the youngster with an official passport. That’s cool, and next year maybe Specialized can donate a bike to raffle off …
Congrats to Morgan Hill Mayor Tate for spearheading the effort to pass the extension of the library parcel tax, Measure A. Maybe as a devoted baseball fan and spring training aficionado he can give a motivational speech to the SF Giants in spring training next year.
Next year for the 49ers starts Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. Game time from Candlestick Park is 1:25 p.m. Over and under number of wins on the regular season: 12. I haven’t been this excited about a Niners season since a guy from the University of Notre Dame named Joe was behind center.
Remember, plenty of sports memorabilia in the live auction at the Gilroy Foundation’s big event “Day in the Country” themed “For the Love of the Game” at the Elks’ Lodge on the Hill Saturday, Sept. 14. Sal and Annie Tomasello are chairing the event and tickets are online at for $100. “Give Where You Live” and get the tickets now because it’s a sellout every year. Wonder if there are any seats for a game in 2014 in the new 49ers’ stadium in Santa Clara? Now that would create quite a bidding war.
Happy to bid a few bucks for a better burger and the other day when nothing but a  burger would do, I remembered the new spot, Cafe 152 Burger Company on Church Street in the strip center across from the car wash on Welburn Avenue. When you have a hankering for a burger and great fries, go. It’s that kind of burger joint.
Reach Editor Mark Derry at [email protected]