.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


WhiteTrash BBQ -- Real Pit Barbecue from New York City. This is the story of a fire obsessed guy, living in Brooklyn, with a dream of producing award winning, competition busting, real Barbeque. Come live the dream as I compete around the country in the KCBS Championship Barbecue circuit.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ewe Don't Get It! Or At Least We Didn't.

We didn't win squat! After smoking for 8 hours over apple and hickory, mopping with a Moonlight mop, wrapping and resting in a heated cooler for an hour, shredding and pulling and removing all fat, we didn't win squat.

I really liked the lamb. It tasted like an outstanding smoked/barbeque lamb. It was tender, moist and flavorful. I'll post the losing recipe later in the week, but damn, I'm cooking this lamb again. To me - this was a winner.

Here's a list of the contestants for this year's Lamb Takedown. All worthy opponents. We didn't get to try most of the entries unfortunately. The crowd was too large and many of the teams ran out of food. I hope when Matt Timms does this again, he sets up a competitors choice award where all of the cooks get to taste the competition.
  1. Robert and Johanna Fernandez - Blue Moon of Kentucky Lamb
  2. Sara Morrisson - Lamb Sliders
  3. Blondie and Brownie - Rock the Casbah Lamb
  4. Emily Hanhan - Lambda Eata Thai meatballs
  5. Jen De La Vega - Wham Bam Thank You Lamb
  6. Trish Tchume - Indian Pizza
  7. Ross Hutchison + Joanna Cybulski - Team Redneck caviar
  8. Mike O’Neil and Christine Schmitd - Lambs in a blanket
  9. Jordan Goldstein - Harissa Explained it All
  10. Jules Acampora - Lamb Stew
  11. Melissa Sands - Hoi Tomato Lamb Noodle Soup
  12. Ben Conniff and Henry Chan - Baa Baa Bruschetta
  13. Keavy Landreth - Lamb Cupcakes
  14. Ben Sargent - Cocoa Loco Lamb Chowder
  15. Cody Burke - Rogan Josh
  16. Sarah Howland - Mini Greek Gyros
  17. Tony Santoro - Grape Leaves of War
  18. Greg Erskine - Gyro Pita OPA!
  19. Carol Pitts - Vietnamese Lamb Stew
  20. Barbara Warnock Morgan - Baa-BQ
The judge's winners (who received fancy cookware and knives) were: Wham Bam Thank You Lamb, a Filipino-style braised lamb stew, Harissa Explains It All, oroccan spiced lamb with carrot salad and minted lebne and Lamb on Goat, smoked lamb shoulder braised in bacon marmalade atop a round of goat cheese polenta all took home honors.

The people's choice winners were...
  • 1st Greg Erskine - Gyro Pita OPA!!!!
  • 2nd Ross Hutchison + Joanna Cybulski - Redneck Caviar
  • 3rd Jordan Goldstein - Harissa Explained It ALL
  • 4th Cody Burke - Rogan Josh
  • 5th Sara Morrisson - Lamb Sliders
  • 6th Ben Conniff and Henry Chan - Baa Baa Bruschetta
I learned a lot from this experience. The first thing I learned was that presentation matters. When I decided what to cook - I gave it no thought on how to serve it or present it. We decided to serve the lamb on tortilla bread with a slice of dill pickle. Sounds good right? Well, it looked like shit and was extremely messy to eat. And it was almost impossible to pick up.

Also, 13.5 lbs of uncooked lamb shoulder, which was provided by the American Lamb Board, is no where near enough for 250 people to sample! We ran out of meat long before this was over and when the picture above was taken we were no longer making lamb sandwiches but placing a few strands of lamb on 1/6 of a tortilla with the slice of pickle.

We almost made it to the end. When I do this again, I will seriously look for ways to supplement the meat, as all the winners did either with toppings, fillers or serving containers like bread or crackers. Something to take down the flavor of the meat. We, my wife and I, tasted most of the winners and we both thought that the flavor of the lamb was masked by the other ingredients. Sometimes so much, that the lamb flavor was completely lost. Our lamb was front and center. There was no mistaking it for anything but lamb. Maybe that wasn't a good thing.

And finally, I've learned that the rules of the barbeque competition circuit don't apply in the Takedown world. In the barbecue world, it's a meat contest. End of story. Here in the Takedown world - its all about presentation, combinations, creativity, degree of difficulty and familiarity.

A gyro wins? Seriously? Now I didn't taste the gyro - but look at what it was up against. The sliders were served on home made potato buns. Lamb shoulder braised in bacon marmalade atop a round of goat cheese polenta. Moroccan spiced lamb with carrot salad and minted lebne - hell I don't even know what lebne is.

I can't wait for the next one! I will whip you yet, Takedown! Just you wait!

Photo courtesy of Metromix

Labels: , , , , , ,


At 12:43 PM, Blogger Cody said...

Hi, just stumbled across your blog.

I was competing as well at the Takedown, first time for me, took 4th in people's choice with my Rogan Josh curry.

Agree wholeheartedly with your critique, the lamb was not nearly enough, after I trimmed down the shoulder I got, I had lost at least 1/3 of the weight. I think I ran out with maybe 40-50 to go.

Had same issue as you with presenting, wanted to do little wraps with some chipatti bread I made, but it looks horrible, so just gave people the cup of curry and told them to dump it on the bread and eat it like a little taco.

Will be rethinking my strategy for the next one, see you there.

Side note, my brother and some friends said the flavor on your smoked lamb was excellent. Alas, I did not get to try it.

-Cody Burke

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Chris said...

Hey, you live, you learn. I learn a lot from reading blogs like yours, the people have the guts to put it on the line in contests.

At 7:56 PM, Blogger Terry (aka) Big Daddy said...

You tried and did your best brother.

I've never cooked lamb because Julie says no...I'd like to but when the wife says no...she means no deal. When I bring out the lab coat she gives me one shot.

Some times two...


At 9:22 AM, Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...


I wish I got a chance to try your lamb curry. It's one of my favorite dishes.

I really don't regret doing what I did, but boy is it different. I see many ways I need to improve my game to take on the take down world.

No more playing Scrabble with Yahtzee rules!

Thanks for the kind words on my lamb.

See you next time.

At 11:32 AM, Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...

BD - You should try the lamb. I lot of people never give it a chance - but it is good eats. Just make sure you buy American Lamb.It's much more flavorful without that gameyness so many folks don't like.

Chris - Thanks for the compliments. I really don't feel I'm putting anything on the line in these events. No one's life is at stake - it' just for fun and bragging rights.

I learn a lot from you blog too. But what I really want to know is how you find all this time to cook and document! Share your secrets brother.



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

WWW WhiteTrash BBQ
Your Gateway to Barbecue Information
A service of
netRelief, Inc.

This site is a member of The Smoke Ring
A linked list of BBQ websites

Next - Skip Next - Next 5 - Prev - Skip Prev - Random Site

Join the ring or browse a complete list of The Smoke Ring members

If you discover problems with any of The Smoke Ring sites,
please notify the Ringmaster

[ Previous 5 Sites | Skip Previous | Previous | Next ]

This RingSurf Food~n~More Ring Net Ring
owned by WhiteTrash BBQ.

[ Skip Next | Next 5 Sites | Random Site | List Sites ]

Search Popdex:
Ego Vereor Haud Sus!