This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crafted™, but DogTipper only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.
“Aye, aye.” The local man greeted us along the Arbroath Harbour, on Scotland’s east coast.
But he was no seaman. This resident was giving us a traditional Arbroath welcome, one that harked back to the community’s seafaring roots and its continuing links to the North Sea.
And the response to this traditional greeting? “We’re goin’ on,” we replied in true Arbroath style.
While this salutation may have been a far cry from a Texas howdy to which we were accustomed, we were feeling right at home in Arbroath. That Saturday afternoon, we weren’t just strolling the boat-lined harbor; we were steps from our intended destination: the local barbecue joint.
For years, John and I have written about barbecue, not just in our home state of Texas but around the globe. On assignment for various magazines, we’ve covered barbecue styles in Malaysia, Jamaica, and points much closer to home. The barbecue of Scotland, a far cry from our own Texas barbecue, consisted primarily of fish.
Arbroath became the capital of ‘que thanks to a nearby village, Auchmithie. Whisky barrels, cut in half, were used as the first smokers, burning a slow fire beneath the barrel and trapping a smoke under layers of dense sacking. Haddock were hung two by two on rods in this early barbecue pit.
Eventually many of the fishing families relocated to nearby Arbroath and the barrels were replaced by brick and cement pits. The barbecue business boomed and today the city is filled with smokin’ pits used for family barbecues, one-man barbecue joints, and large operations that sell their product not only across Scotland but around the world via the internet.
Small Batch Cooking
But what these Scottish pitmasters have in common with pitmasters around the globe is the fact that they cook in small batches, with an attention to quality that is a source of great pride.
And, while you may not barbecue in your own home, you no doubt cook in small batches. Now Hill’s® Ideal Balance™ Crafted™ pet foods use that same philosophy, slowly cooking novel proteins such as trout, salmon, tuna, roasted beef and chicken.
The artisan crafted foods are combined with ancient grains such as quinoa, buckwheat and vegetables like sweet potatoes, barley and peas. Like other Ideal Balance foods, all are made in the US from only natural ingredients with NO corn, wheat or soy.
Today we love to see many of the cooking techniques we’ve enjoyed writing about around the world being applied to pet food. As we travel with our dogs, we enjoy dining at small, family-owned restaurants with our dogs, ones that–you guessed it–cook in small batches.
If you applied the same care and slow cooking techniques that Hill’s Ideal Balance Crafted uses for its pet foods to a meal for your (human) family, what would it look like? It might be similar to this slow-cooked recipe that’s a favorite in Arbroath, Scotland. It’s simple, easy, and contains no ingredients that you can’t pronounce–just loving preparation for a dish to be remembered:
- Mesquite chips
- 1 5- to 6-pound brisket
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- Soak mesquite chips in water for 4 hours. Prepare charcoal or oak wood fire in smoker; let burn 1 hour or until flames disappear. Place mesquite on fire. Place water pan in smoker, and fill with water. (For a slightly sweeter taste, the folks at The County Line recommend tossing in a stick or two of pecan.)
- Sprinkle brisket with salt and pepper; place on food rack. Cover with smoker lid; cook 8 to 9 hours or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees, adding additional wood and water as needed.
- Yield: 15 to 18 servings.
- This recipe first appeared in our Texas Barbecue book.
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