A Carnivore’s Guide to Pic-a-nic Baskets
There’s just something special about eating outside. No, I’m not talking about having a dinner party on your fancy patio furniture. I’m talking about sitting on the ground under a shady tree and fishing prepared foods out of a basket. Yes, a picnic.
I see picnicking as similar to camping – you don’t have to do it, you can just stay inside as usual, someone in your family will whine about it, and it’s awesome.
The best way to get ready for a picnic is to prepare some easy-to-eat items beforehand so you aren’t trying to cook on-site or make anything in the moment. Easy and filling is the key to an easy and delicious picnic. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of items that will make your outdoor meal a savory success.
A loaf or two of crusty French bread, sliced thin and ready to be spread with cheese or piled high with meat. For a more filling role, grab a pack of sweet dinner rolls; perfect as a slider or on their own. Plus, it’ll keep the kids (or hungry adults) quiet while you get everything set up.
We suggest swinging by our Elgin Smokehouse and picking up some dry sausage that doesn’t require you to do anything other than chew. Also, brisket is another good choice, but you’ll want to plan ahead for that and prepare some slider sandwiches for easy eating. (Check out our brisket slider recipe below.)
We’re talking rich, fancy cheese, not processed cheese slices. I like to have at least two cheeses on board: a soft goat cheese and a firm cheese, such as aged gouda or cheddar. For a larger picnic, add a few more selections, such as a creamy camembert or Brie, a semi-firm blue or Gruyère, and another firm cheese, like Parmesan.
Nuts, Olives and Fruit
Mixed nuts or stuffed olives make the perfect outdoor snack for a break from the bread! And grapes, apples and bananas are easy to eat and enjoy.
- 1 Beef brisket, approximately 4 pounds
- 3 teaspoons Meyer’s BBQ Rub
- 1 1/2 cups Meyer’s Honey Mesquite BBQ Sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 package sweet dinner rolls
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Pour half of the sauce into the bottom of your slow cooker. Place the seasoned brisket into the slow cooker on top of the BBQ sauce. Cover the top of the brisket with the remaining sauce mixture.
- Cover the slow cooker. Cook brisket on low for 8-10 hours, or until the meat is tender.
- When the brisket is cooked, carefully remove it from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board.
- Pour the remaining BBQ sauce from the slow cooker into a large bowl and let it cool. Slice the fat off the meat and discard.
- Slice the brisket against the grain.
- Serve the brisket on top of sweet dinner rolls.
- Be praised as the Master of Meats.