BBQ in Texas means brisket. And brisket is the featured item in the inaugural edition of the 70’s Big Cookbook.
Brisket might be the ideal 70’s Big food because it has massive amounts of protein, a good bit of fat, and no carbs until you break out the Stubb’s BBQ sauce. Brisket comes from the tough underside of the cow and must be cooked for a long time at low temperatures to break down the collagen and other fibers to make it tender.
The following video shows me preparing a brisket and removing it from the smoker 20 hours later. The first segment runs about five minutes because I talk about the virtue of brisket as a 70’s Big food. Yes, I could have simply written these comments out and saved you four minutes of viewing, but you will be a better person for having stared at 24 pounds of red meat.
The second segment shows me removing the meat from the smoker and includes cameos from pork ribs and sausage, as well as a little post-cooking commentary.
The total yield from this cook, and their respective smoking times, is two briskets (20 hours), pork ribs (6 hours), and sausage (3 hours).
Brisket is easy to make and good to eat on damn near anything. Like linear progression, there are no secrets to good briskets. It simply takes raw flesh, a willing participant, and TIME.
70's Big never rests
About to wrap after 14 1/2 hours of smoke
Ribs prepped the same way. Added right after briskets were wrapped.
Fork-tender brisket, finger-lickin' ribs, and succulent smoked sausage make for an excellent 70's Big meal.
I’ve always liked food. I’ll admit that I really didn’t know how to eat it, though.
Rippetoe reminds me of a medieval gentile; meat and mead are all he needs. I’ve seen him eat at least 10 different styles of meat, and every single one of them makes him say, “That’s the best shit you could ever put in your mouth!”
My buddy Chris is a grilling aficionado. It’s customary for him to grill pounds and pounds of meat, only to have them ground into satisfying bathroom visits within a day or so.
Gant is pretty serious about his eating, especially during a weight gaining phase. In fact, after the JM Blakely post, he brought in a two pound hunk of brisket to snack on while he trained. That’s dedication.
Gant invited me over for dinner last night. Some how he knew my chicken fried steak quota for the week had not been met. I walked in the kitchen to see him frying steaks, frying biscuits, and preparing mashed potatoes. It was just what I needed.
We each had about a pound of meat, quite a few fried biscuits, and generous helpings of mashed potatoes. It was easily a 2,000 calorie meal. This meal is particularly interesting for Gant, because he’s in the middle of moving back down to the 90 kilogram weight class for judo after competing in the 100 kg class. Hearty meals don’t scare this man.
Homemade chicken fried steak, fried biscuits, and mashed potatoes...all in gravy
Gant, Chris, and I were once eating at a local burger joint after training and we were all eating large double bacon cheeseburgers. This equals one pound of beef not counting the bacon, cheese, bun, or condiments. As we ate, Gant matter of factly said, “This is about the amount of protein your average CrossFitter would eat in a day while on the zone.” He was referencing The Zone Diet in which food is roughly weighed and measured for every meal. 16 blocks is a typical prescription, and this would equate to 16 ounces of meat. Chris, who weighed around 250 at the time, didn’t understand. He stared, horrified at Gant, and said, “Why would anyone want to live like that?” Edit: Brent was eating with us too. Sorry, Brent.
Got any good food pictures? Gant and Chris love to document the food that they build, and you should too.
“You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight?”
The following is a write up by my friend Gant
This nugget comes from JM Blakely, a bench press specialist who was known for gaining and losing significant amounts of weight depending on where he was in his training cycle. He wrote several articles for Powerlifting USA, including “The Big Boy’s Menu Plan“(reprinted here).
The article is gold. The summary: there are no hard gainers, only undisciplined eaters.
Blakely is specifically addressing bulking cycles for powerlifting. But anyone on the path to 70’s Big can can benefit from this knowledge. Make no mistake, eating for mass requires effort equal to that which you put into your training.
The mustache is good for another 10 pounds.
In a recent article article, Dave Tate tells how Blakely helped him over a mass plateau. Prepare to be inspired.
There was a time at the Old Westside gym where I couldn’t gain weight to save my fucking life.
There was this dude who trained there who could just put on weight like fucking magic. He’d go from 198 to 308 and then to 275 and back down to 198. And he was never fat. It was amazing.
I finally asked him one day how he did it.
“You mean I never told you the secret to gaining weight? Come outside and I’ll fill you in.”
Now remember, we’re at Westside Barbell. And this guy wants to go outside to talk so no one else can hear. Think about that for a minute. What the hell is he going to tell me? This must be some serious shit if we have to go outside, I thought.
So we get outside and he starts talking.
“For breakfast you need to eat four of those breakfast sandwiches from McDonalds. I don’t care which ones you get, but make sure to get four. Order four hash browns, too. Now grab two packs of mayonnaise and put them on the hash browns and then slip them into the sandwiches. Squish that shit down and eat. That’s your breakfast.”
At this point I’m thinking this guy is nuts. But he’s completely serious.
“For lunch you’re gonna eat Chinese food. Now I don’t want you eating that crappy stuff. You wanna get the stuff with MSG. None of that non-MSG bullshit. I don’t care what you eat but you have to sit down and eat for at least 45 minutes straight. You can’t let go of the fork. Eat until your eyes swell up and become slits and you start to look like the woman behind the counter.”
“For dinner you’re gonna order an extra-large pizza with everything on it. Literally everything. If you don’t like sardines, don’t put ’em on, but anything else that you like you have to load it on there. After you pay the delivery guy, I want you to take the pie to your coffee table, open that fucker up, and grab a bottle of oil. It can be olive oil, canola oil, whatever. Anything but motor oil. And I want you to pour that shit over the pie until half of the bottle is gone. Just soak the shit out of it.”
“Now before you lay into it, I want you to sit on your couch and just stare at that fucker. I want you to understand that that pizza right there is keeping you from your goals.”
This guy is in a zen-like state when he’s talking about this.
“Now you’re on the clock,” he continues. “After 20 minutes your brain is going to tell you you’re full. Don’t listen to that shit. You have to try and eat as much of the pizza as you can before that 20-minute mark. Double up pieces if you have to. I’m telling you now, you’re going to get three or four pieces in and you’re gonna want to quit. You fucking can’t quit. You have to sit on that couch until every piece is done.
And if you can’t finish it, don’t you ever come back to me and tell me you can’t gain weight. ’Cause I’m gonna tell you that you don’t give a fuck about getting bigger and you don’t care how much you lift!”
Did I do it? Hell yeah. Started the next day and did it for two months. Went from 260 pounds to 297 pounds. And I didn’t get much fatter. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life, though.
Follow the jump to watch Pisarenko in the clean and jerk portion of the 1982 World Championships. Continue reading →