Baltimore’s BBQ That Isn’t BBQ – The Pit Beef Sandwich

What some refer to as Baltimore’s version of BBQ isn’t BBQ at all. Of course, what would someone from the New York Times know about BBQ? I’m referring to the pit beef sandwich.

Pit beef is prepared by grilling a beef roast under high heat until it is medium rare, then sliced thin, and eaten as a sandwich with horseradish. Here’s how to make it:

First, the roast. I prefer sirloin tip, although some use top or bottom round. I don’t like the latter due to the thick wedge of fat then runs through it. I’ve heard of people using eye round, but grilled eye round is barely fit for human consumption, so I really can’t suggest that.

Next, the spice rub. I use two portions of salt to equal portions of ground red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, and a little ground red pepper. There’s no exact science here.

Coat the entire roast with the rub.

Then put it in the fridge at least a day before you’re going to cook it.

Next, take the roast out of the fridge, and let it sit on the counter for an hour or so, to warm up a bit, so when you grill it, you’ll maximize the volume that stays at medium rare. Of course, the USDA food safety police say this is a dangerous food safety violation.

Meanwhile, get your grill going nice and hot, and put the roast on.

Grill with the lid off on high heat.

When your instant read thermometer says 123F, you’re done. That’s medium rare. The USDA says 145F is medium rare. They’re idiots.

Next, you want to tent your beef under aluminum foil, to let it rest, so you don’t lose the juices. Don’t skip this step.

While your beef is resting, you want to slice your onions. I use an electric meat slicer, since I’m going to use it to slice the beef anyway.

Slice your onions thin.

Slice your beef thin as well. Sure, you can use a knife if you’re good at it and not lazy. Me, I’m lazy. And I have a deli slicer, so I may as well use it.

Put some horseradish on your bun, the beef, and the onions. If you’ve got mayonnaise, throw it away now, before someone uses it.

Serve with chips. Ideally Grandma Utz chips, cooked in lard.

The radio connection? The Baltimore Hamboree and Computerfest held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds used to serve pit beef sandwiches. Now that there’s no outdoor tailgating, I’m not sure if they do anymore.

Vladimir Putin Destroys Pirate Radio

For the last few weeks, there’s been a new source of QRM on the most popular shortwave pirate radio frequency in North America, 6925 kHz. Last night, it was particularly bad. Here’s a recording of what it sounds like, when tuned to 6923 khz USB.

Putin on the QRM

The offending signal is a Russian Military 12 Tone PSK AT-3004D modem, often referred to as the “Russian 12 Tone Modem” in utility DXer circles, and also the MS5.

There is a very good writeup about it at this site:

Here is an SDR waterfall image of the modem:

You can see the stronger pilot carrier on the extreme right (highest frequency) as well as the 12 PSK channels.

The signal faded in at around 2300 UTC, was quite strong around 0030 to 0200 UTC, and faded out around 0400 UTC. The local fade in time is due to the Sun starting to set here, and the path being mostly dark, to support propagation on this frequency. The fade out time is due to sunrise at the transmitter site. This suggests a location somewhere in Europe.

If this modem continues to transmit around 6925 kHz, operators may wish to work around it, by avoiding 6925 kHz during the time the 2300-0400 UTC time the signal is present. Unfortunately this is also the most popular time for pirate transmissions. Due to the strong signal strength, and the wideband nature of the signal, it can to obliterate any weaker stations on the frequency.