No Grilling Today…. but don’t go away!

12 Dec

Today was one of those rare days when I didn’t fire up some kind of grill or smoker. I took the day to drive to Lauderdale County, Alabama to visit with my Mom and Dad (aged 90 years). I often take the opportunity when I’m visiting with the folks to fire up one of the several vintage cookers that my Dad has collected and had built over the years, such as a Portable Kitchen PK Grill that is at least as old as I am (50), but today, the timing didn’t work out. So, I stopped in Rogersville, Alabama at the westernmost outpost of Decatur, Alabama BBQ joint Whitt’s BBQ and picked up smoked turkey sandwiches for Mom, Dad and me. More on Whitt’s another time.

Just because I didn’t grill or BBQ something today, however, doesn’t mean that I don’t have something to write about. Tonight’s dinner at the Smith house was beef enchiladas (for Dynamic Daughter #2 and me) and shrimp and veggie enchiladas (for the World’s Most Wonderful Wife). So what’s so special about that? I’ll tell you – tonight was the first dish prepared with some of the “premium, dry aged, pastured” ground beef from Boutwell Farms in Edwin, Alabama. This is significant because this was my first venture into trying to buy my beef from small, local producers rather than from the factory farms from which almost all of our meat now comes.

So, what was the verdict? The enchiladas were wonderful – but I knew they would be because the World’s Most Wonderful wife prepared them. When asked about the beef, she commented that it was very lean and there was virtually no fat to drain after the meat was drowned. Yet, the enchiladas were not lacking in beef flavor. The first Boutwell Farms meat meal was an unequivocal success. We’re planning some taco soup soon as well as some chili and spaghetti and I think the meat will work wonderfully in these dishes as well. We’ll have to see how the burgers turn out – or I may have to have Melissa Boutwell, the proprietor of Boutwell Farms, send me a batch that has a little higher fat content for the next burger-fest. One thing I am waiting on from Boutwell Farms since they were back ordered when the farm made its last delivery to the Birmingham area is the All-Beef hot dogs – or “Cow Dogs” as Melissa calls them. I suspect these are going to be some excellent grilling dogs, and that they will be well-suited for my two-step “steam in beer, then grill” treatment. We will see, and when we do, I will blog!

In the meantime, I’m always looking for sources of tasty, locally grown and processed meats and vegetables.

You can learn more about Boutwell Farms at, or by sending an email to Melissa at


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