On tonight’s Cooking Channel episode of “Man Fire Food,” Roger Mooking, chef, musician and lover of all things smoky and delicious, went to the Paso de Record Vineyard in San Miguel and Santa Barbara in Central Coastal California’s wine country, to taste more barbeque in the episode titled “Carnivore’s Cookout in California.”
Roger is in gorgeous San Miguel at the Paso de Record Vineyard where he meets up with Randy, who showed the massive barbeque pit that is four feet deep. They added crumbled up newspaper to ignite the fire and then added pine cones and dried grape vine for the wood. They let it burn until it came to the right temperature. Their vineyard is home to several different types of grapes, and they make wine that will be paired with all they cook in their pit.
As Roger and Randy prepare gigantic chuck roasts, they cut slits and put garlic inside. They later put the large pieces of onion and the meat inside plastic bags, seal them up and wrap with aluminum foil. Once wrapped, it goes into a burlap bag that is wrapped with wire that they make a sling out of, to enable them to drop it down and lift it up when done. Before lowering the meat, the burlap bag will be soaked in water so it will not burn, next they lower it into the pit, put cactus paddles around them for moisture, covered it with the large metal cover to seal it, and then cover it with dirt so that no steam escapes. The meat will cook for 12-18 hours. When done, they carefully remove the wire, burlap and foil, then in a huge pan, they remove the meat from the bag that now contains a lot of juices. They rang the dinner bell to call friends and family to eat the delicious feast, and drink the perfect glass of wine.
He then went to Santa Barbara to the family residence of Rodrigo Gimenez Cocinero, where he is throwing a large party for his friends and family. Prepping for the feast, Rodrigo showed Roger the wood pile with oak and red eucalyptus. Today they will be cooking parilla (barbeque), some vegetables, Argentinean sausage. They will need two fires, one for the barbeque and one for the vegetables and sausage. The parilla will have logs built like a pyramid over the stacked wood, to act as a chimney. The fires will take about an hour to be just right, so they prepared the food while the fire did its job.
On the rib side, they sprayed water, so the seasonings will stick to the ribs. They hooked the meat to a metal rack and stood it next to the fire. For the parilla, they put a rack over the fire and added chorizo, blood sausage, onions, peppers and tomatoes. The tomatoes will be caramelized until they are crispy and juicy. Roger saw that the eucalyptus wood gave the meat a distinct flavor. When the group sat around the table, everyone, including Roger ate until they got their fill on this episode of “Man Fire Food.”