by Dana ‘Big Papa’ Hillis
If you cook in a lot of FBA BBQ events, you will cover all of Florida, South Georgia and into Alabama. Recently, we’ve had events in Haines City, Tallahassee, Punta Gorda and Cler- mont, and the teams and crowds have been coming out in record numbers to support these events and the charities they support.
Tallahassee and Haines City were held on the same day, and over 160 teams competed that day. Wow! That is amazing, considering the economy and the cost of fuel today.
If there is a contest near you, do your best to get out and support the teams and contests and enjoy some good BBQ from the teams that are vending. Try to get to know some of the teams from your area and buy some of their leftovers from the competition – this will give you a chance to get some great BBQ and help that team generate a little cash for so they can afford fuel to get to the next contest.
Rub Bagby and Swamp Boys found their way back to the winner’s circle by winning Grand at Punta Gorda, which put on one of the best first-year events I have been to.
The City of Punta Gorda sure does come out to enjoy the festivities. Terry Mckay with Git R Smoked has been hot – winning Reserve Grand at Punta Gorda and winning Grand at Haines City two years in a row.
Matt from Hot Wachulas had his best finish with a Reserve Grand at Haines City and has moved into second place in the “Team of the Year” race, proving his BBQ is for real. Jack’s Old South won Grand at Tallahassee, with Budmeisters taking Reserve honors. Clermont saw record crowds and Team Unknown took the stage for Grand with a close win over Uncle Kenny’s.
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Big Papa Beef Skewers
• 1 lb. thinly sliced beef sirloin steak
• 1/4 cup steak sauce
• 1/4 cup Big Papa’s Spicy Peach BBQ sauce (or any BBQ sauce)
• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Toss steak with 2 tablespoons steak sauce let it stand 10 minutes
Combine steak sauce with BBQ sauce and mustard. Heat grill to 225 degrees.
Put steak onto 6-8 skewers (if wood, soak skewers for about 30 minutes to keep them from burning).
Grill for 6 to 10 minutes until steak is done, basting several times to use all the sauce mixture. Enjoy!
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The competition has been tough this year. There have been nine different winners in nine contests! Go to the FBA website (www.flbbq.org) and check out the schedule for a contest near you. Come watch the teams compete and see which team will come out on top.
If you are in the Deland area, stop in at Pitmasters – a new spot for some good BBQ. Poppy Sam Trivett has expanded his BBQ empire to his new location at 4425 N. Hwy. 17 in Deland.
They are serving Big Papa’s-style BBQ on the back porch and steaks and chops inside at the Saddle Club. Call ahead for reservations on the weekend, ‘cause the place is rocking. Sam has been a big supporter of Big Papa’s Country Kitchen competition team, and I have to let out a big secret – I taught him how to BBQ!
If you are in the Lakeland area, stop in at the BBQ Shack – a cool little BBQ joint owned by Ray and Linda Parsons (located at 1428 Combee Rd.) in Lakeland. They are putting out some down-home good BBQ. They have an everyday $6 special that includes a BBQ sandwich, side and a drink, and they serve an awesome pork taco.
Ray has been cooking for a long time and was a member of the original championship BBQ team called the Junk Yard Dawgs. Stop by, you’ll be glad you did.
Big Papa and Wooley Bully BBQ are heading off on a new adventure together – entering a Whole Hog Contest in Adel, Georgia – where we will be cooking a whole hog, shoulder and ribs and hosting on-site judging. This will be a new twist to our BBQ world, and we are truly excited.
I will share details on the outcome next month. If you are anywhere near Adel, Ga., be sure to stop in and see us. Here is a simple recipe for the grill that can be cooked in 1/2 hour.