Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mackay Barbecue 2012 Part 2 of 4 - September 15 2012

The Mackay BBQ Oven was fired with wood for a full 24 hours from Thursday afternoon, September 13th until the 14th. Then, the metal doors were loosely shut while the roast beef is prepared at the Mackay Fire Hall. Mackay's Assistant Fire Chief, Ken Day, closes the metal doors loosely. He measured the temperature at 950 degrees PLUS (the thermometer only goes to 950 and then says "HI" for anything greater).

Mackay BBQ Preparations Continue - September 15 2012
South Custer Historical Society volunteers Dave Wilson and Earl Lockie were at the Mackay Tourist Park setting up for tomorrow's barbecue. Don't forget to stop tomorrow and buy baked goods to support the historical society!
Most people who have not helped with the barbecue believe the meat is cooked over burning wood embers inside the barbecue oven.  However, the wood embers are only used to heat the brick structure of the barbecue oven and removed before the meat is place in the oven.  Accordingly, when the meat is placed in the oven late Friday night, the heat from the bricks of the oven cooks the meat.

On Friday night before Barbecue Saturday a large group of volunteers met at the Mackay Fire Hall (previously at Lin Hintze’s Big Lost River Meats, and before that at Ivies IGA).  

Back over to the Mackay Fire Hall for the roast preparation. 2,000 pounds of roast beef!
An assembly line is formed and a group of volunteers prepare the 2,000 pounds of purchased beef roasts.  Each roast weighs approximately 30 pounds when removed from the boxes. Carvers removed the plastic covering on each roast and cut the roasts down to a uniform size about the size of a football or 10 pounds. Holes are stabbed into each roast and garlic is stuffed inside. The garlic was purchased peeled this year (in the past, volunteers had to peel the garlic first).  

Holes were cut in to each roast and garlic stuffed inside each hole.  
Each roast is rolled in a large tub of donated Lost River Seasonings (Pauline Chaney Layne's recipe) and dropped in to a cheese cloth bag.
Finally, each roast is double wrapped in tinfoil.
The wrapped roasts are placed on the barbecue cart shelving (5 total) after each shelf is covered with 2 layers of tinfoil. Below is the rolling cart that the 5 shelves fit on. This year (2012), the five empty shelves were taken to the Mackay Fire Hall on Daryn and Stacey Moorman's flatbed trailer to be loaded with wrapped roasts and returned to the Mackay Tourist Park.
Just before the wrapped roasts on the shelving arrives at the Mackay Tourist Park from the Mackay Fire Hall, volunteers from Mackay's all-volunteer Fire Department got the the Tourist Park and remove the wood embers from the barbecue oven. This is done quickly to maintain the temperature of the oven brick lining.

After all the racks are packed with wrapped roasts, the rolling cart is rolled into the barbecue oven - this is a HEAVY endeavor and requires many men. Finally, rock salt is placed on top to prevent the meat from burning.
A large pan of water is placed under the rolling cart to add moisture to the cooking process.

One new volunteer was heard to say, “I always thought these guys were just down here partying before the barbecue.”  She couldn’t believe the incredible amount of labor the dedicated volunteer crew goes through to put on the Mackay Barbecue each year.

The barbecue oven is then quickly sealed (shown below the morning of barbecue before the oven was opened.

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