Hi everyone! Once again, a good long while since I’ve posted. Hope you all enjoyed your Super Bowl Sunday! I know I overdid it on the wings and guacamole. Anyway, now that I’ve gone on vacation and officially settled into my school and work schedule for the time being, I’m here to post on two movies today. Boyhood and Men, Women and Children. Both were filmed in Texas, so I decided to make something that I know I’ve only seen in Texas before: Cowboy Frito Pies made with BBQ brisket. Let’s get to it!
The Food: My very first job was at a family owned BBQ joint in Amarillo, TX called Doug’s BBQ, which was famous for their chopped beef Frito pies topped with beans and tangy sweet BBQ sauce. I decided to make this solely because I was craving it and have yet to find this dish outside of Amarillo, but the internet tells me that it does exist at other restaurants in the area.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Beef brisket (I got about a 6 lb brisket I believe which was perfect for a few days worth of leftovers)
BBQ marinade (my dad uses Claude’s, and that’s what I decided to go with and the smell of nostalgia filled my home)
Vinegar based BBQ sauce (any kind will do, just make sure it’s a thin sauce and not thick and molasses-like)
1 can pinto beans
Transfer your brisket to a gallon-size zipper bag and pour your marinade onto it. I poured only 3/4 of the bottle onto it because I wanted to make sure I had a good amount for the crockpot, but I could have poured the whole bottle and it would have been fine. Refrigerate your meat and allow to marinate over night. The next day, transfer your meat to the crock pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
I did mine for 8 and it was perfect. There is a large amount of shrinkage as it cooks, so if you’re worried about that, get a bigger brisket. Start your pinto beans on the stovetop. I used salt and pepper to taste, but also spooned some of the juice and marinade from my brisket to season those up. Heat up your BBQ sauce on the stove as well if you like. Now it’s time to build your pie! Start with your Fritos, add beans, shredded brisket, cheese and top with your BBQ sauce that has been heated on the stove so that it melts the cheese and is awesome. Also, be liberal with that meat juice and bean juice, I like my Fritos a little soft and soggy.
The Critique: There’s no way to mess this up. It was literally the most delicious and easiest hand-off meal I’ve had in a while. You really don’t even have to start working until about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve them up just to get your beans and sauce ready. After 8 hours in the crockpot, shredding that brisket is like buttah and the flavor was fantastic with Claude’s, but feel free to use a home-made marinade. Great meal, worth the little effort it took since I missed my opportunity to get the real deal when I was in Amarillo a few weeks ago.
The Movies followed by The Critique:
1. Boyhood (2014)- Written and directed by Richard Linklater over a 12-year period which centers around a boy named Mason and the trials and tribulations one goes through from age 5 to 18.
The Critique: This movie is entertaining. I will say that the plot didn’t do a whole lot for me, but it’s fun to see 12 years unfold before your eyes. I think it’s important for people to see this movie for the piece of art that it is, even more so if you’re a Texan! Even if the story is a little flat, that’s not really the important part of this piece. The acting was a little lacking in some scenes, understandably because the main character is kind of an unknown. One scene was a little disappointing, when it came down to the acting, because it was executed so poorly that I almost thought that it shouldn’t have been in the movie at all. However, it tied back to another moment earlier in the movie, so I wanted to see it in there. Other than that, there are some really beautiful shots throughout and the look of it is very uniform throughout. It’s fun to point out the places I’ve been in this movie (shot in San Marcos for a few scenes which was cool) and it’s cool to figure out which year you’re watching based on pop culture references. It’s a good watch and a really neat project that no other film maker has done before.
2. Men, Women and Children (2014)- Directed by Jason Reitman and based on the novel by Chad Kultgen, this movie (which was filmed in Austin) follows a group of individuals that are all struggling as technology affects their sexuality, self-esteem, social communication and personal relationships with most of the stories being somehow intertwined yet completely separate.
The Critique: The trailer for this movie caught my attention immediately. I saw the preview for it for the first time in the set of previews preceding Boyhood, and I was so intrigued and needed to see more immediately that I ran around town looking to rent it the very next day. I had to settle for renting off of iTunes because all copies were out! With that being the case, I hoped that the movie would do the trailer some justice and I think it did. It reminded me a lot of the movie that came out a couple of years ago, Disconnect, which is generally about the same social media world that we live in that Men, Women and Children tried to convey. This movie has a lot of drama coming from quite a few different angles, so there’s always something to keep your attention. I will say that I wanted a little bit more from it, such as some tied off ends, but I still enjoyed it. It’s not much of a warm and fuzzy movie at all (if you’ve seen the trailer, you get that right off of the bat), but it has some nice and redeeming qualities like humor and sweet relationships that help to balance out the tragedy so you don’t feel so empty when it’s over. Amazing cast of people and interesting concepts that made the story unlike any I had ever seen or heard before. All in all, I think it’s a good watch.