- Baby Back Ribs with Tuscan Espresso BBQ Sauce
- BBQ Chicken Under a Brick with Cornell Barbecue Sauce
- North Carolina Pulled Pork
- Peach Mustard Grilled Pork Chops
- Wine Country Tri Tip
Three-day weekends are the best! They are like a mini-vacation; the days stretch ahead of us with untold delights in store. It is really remarkable how one extra day makes all the difference. We head out of town, plan parties, invite friends over, spend the day at the beach or have a neighborhood baseball game. We relax, breathe a little easier and forget about our troubles for a couple of days.
Barbecuing is an American pastime that has steadily gained in popularity since the 1950s. In those days it way always the dominion of the men of the house. When I was growing up my dad was the griller and he thought he was the finest in town. The only problem was that he cooked everything well done. I was an adult and cooking for myself before I realized that everything tastes better when it is moist and tender.
Dr. Robert C. Baker, a former Cornell University food science professor, developed the Cornell Chicken recipe in the 1940s. A favorite for decades in the Finger Lakes region of New York state, its unusual combination of ingredients produces an exceptionally tender and flavorful chicken. Try this recipe and see what all the fuss is about!!
The tri tip recipe can be used with any cut of beef, but the tri tip is an inexpensive option when you are feeding a crowd. If you do use a different cut, make sure you cook it as needed for that specific choice. If you have any questions you can always ask your local butcher. They are always happy to give you advice on the best way to prepare proteins.
The Peach Mustard sauce used with the pork chops is a heavenly blend of sweet and spicy that blends well with the flavor of the pork. It may not be the first marinade/sauce you think of, but it may just become your new favorite!
I think everything tastes better when it is cooked on a grill. I love the smokiness that grilling adds to foods. One of the tricks to successful barbecuing is creating a two-tiered fire; one side super hot and the other cooler. You start cooking on the hot side of the grill and then move foods to the cooler side to finish. This gives you the flavor of the smoke, the beautiful grill marks and keeps the meat moist without overcooking.
I always line a baking sheet with a double layer of aluminum foil. The raw food gets taken out to the grill and once on the fire, I remove the top layer of foil. This gives me a clean surface to place the cooked meat on with no chance of cross contamination. And don’t forget to wash your utensils after you place the raw food on the grill – that is another way of protecting yourself and your family.
Don’t forget that fruits and vegetable are also delicious when cooked on the grill. Keep the heat out of the kitchen and cook your entire meal outside. Just brush a neutral-flavored oil on each piece and cook until lightly cooked. Try some grilled peaches or pineapple served over vanilla ice cream – fantastic!
Enjoy your holiday weekend – I’ll see in a couple of days for Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Of all the things you can do to ruin barbecued or grilled foods, the number one on my list is using lighter fluid. Once you have eaten foods cooked without it you will realize how much it flavors what you make – and not in a good way. Use a charcoal chimney or electric starter instead and make everyone and the environment very happy!
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper
- 5 lb cut up chicken pieces (half chicken, whole chicken, whole chicken legs, chicken thighs, and/or chicken breasts)
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg. Add the oil and whisk until the mixture gets thick, homogenous, and a bright yellow, approximately 2 minutes. Whisk in the cider vinegar, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. NOTE: If you prepare the barbecue sauce ahead of time, refrigerate until ready to use. As this sauce is high in acid which kills any bacteria that might be present in the eggs. If you are still worried, use pasteurized eggs.
- In a large resealable plastic bag, place the chicken pieces of your choice. Pour the prepared sauce over the chicken and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours (the longer you marinate, the better).
- When ready to grill, preheat barbecue grill (spray grill with vegetable-oil cooking spray).
- For Barbecue with Charcoal: Light large chimney starter filled 3/4 full with charcoal (4-1/2 quarts should be about 75 briquettes); let burn until all charcoal is covered with layer of fine gray ash. Build single-level fire by spreading coals evenly over bottom of grill. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and heat until grate is hot, about 5 minutes. Use grill brush to scrape cooking grate clean. Grill is ready when coals are medium-hot.
- Place butterflied chicken, bone-side down, on grill rack. Set rimmed baking sheet or other flat pan on top of chicken; put 2 bricks in pan. Grill until chicken is deep brown, about 12 minutes. Using tongs, flip chicken skin-side down. Replace sheet pan and bricks, and continue cooking until chicken juices run clear and instant-read thermometer inserted deep into thigh registers 165°F, 12 to 15 minutes more. Brush both sides of chicken with barbecue sauce during last 2 minutes of cooking time.
- For Gas Barbecue (since you cannot maintain a hot fire without closing lid): Place prepared chicken, bone side down, onto hot grill. Top with rimmed baking sheet or other flat pan and set 2 bricks in the pan. Close lid, open any vents, and cook approximately 12 minutes. Remove the bricks and pan, flip the chicken with tongs, replace the pan and bricks and cook for another 12 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 165°F (juices will run clear when cut with the tip of a knife). Brush both sides of chicken with barbecue sauce during last 2 minutes of cooking time.
- Remove chicken from grill, then cover with foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Carve according to illustrations below and serve.
- Yield: about 6 servings and 1-1/2 cups sauce
- 5 cups Zinfandel
- 1/4 cup chopped celery
- 1-1/2 cups chopped leeks
- 3/4 cups chopped onions
- 3/4 cups chopped carrots
- 10 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 bunch thyme
- 1/4 bunch parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2 cups olive oil
- Marinade: Sweat the vegetables and herbs over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Season with fresh cracked pepper. Add red wine and bring to a boil. Reduce by 25%. Remove from heat and cool. Whisk in Worcestershire, soy sauce and olive oil. Pour over meat. Marinate for 12 to 24 hours.
- Grilling the Tri Tips: Grill Tri Tips over a hot flame to get nice char and color, and then move to the cooler side of the grill. Cook, turning often, until you reach 130°F in the thickest part of the steak, approximately 45 min. Remove from the heat, cover with foil, and let rest for at least 20 minutes to give fluids time to be reabsorbed.
- For the ribs
- 3 racks of baby back ribs
- Gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Espresso BBQ sauce
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup espresso
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Cut each rack of ribs in half. Season with salt and pepper. Stack the ribs on a foil-covered baking sheet, in two piles of 3 pieces. Bake in the oven about 2-1/2 hours, or until tender, rotating the ribs every 30 minutes.
- Remove the ribs from the oven and cover them with foil to keep them moist and tender.
- For the Sauce: In a bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, and espresso. Set aside.
- Place the olive oil and garlic in a small sauté pan. Cook over low heat for about 1 minute, or until it turns a golden brown. Remove from heat. Add to the honey mixture. Place the honey mixture in a saucepan and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.
- To Complete the Ribs: Preheat oven to 425°F, or preheat a grill. Brush the BBQ sauce on both sides of the ribs, and arrange them in a single layer.
- Turn and baste the ribs as they cook. Remove when the ribs are glazed and caramelized, about 15 minutes.
- Peach Mustard Barbecue Sauce
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp minced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
- 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup peach jam or preserves
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- Pork Chops
- 4 (1-1/2 inch thick) pork chops
- Safflower or corn oil, for brushing
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Peach-Mustard BBQ Sauce (from above)
- Make the Sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and boil until almost completely reduced and the mixture looks like wet sand, about 4 minutes. Whisk in both mustards and the jam or preserves. Simmer, whisking, until jam melts, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon and salt.
- Cook's Note: For a milder bourbon flavor, include it when you whisk in the mustards and jam (off the heat then return to the burner) and let some of the alcohol cook off.
- Prepare an outdoor grill with a high heat for both direct and indirect grilling. Position a drip pan under the grate on the cooler side of the grill.
- Prepare the Chops: Brush the pork chops on both sides with oil and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Grill the chops over the heat until brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Move them to the cool side of the grill and brush with some of the Peach-Mustard BBQ Sauce. Cook the chops, covered, turning and basting with sauce every 5 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted crosswise into the chops registers 140°F, about 15 minutes more. Let rest for 10 minutes.
- To serve: Drizzle the chops with more sauce and serve.
- Yield: 4 servings; about 1-1/4 cups sauce
- 1 (5 lb) bone-in pork shoulder or butt
- 6 cups molasses
- 2 cups kosher salt
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 20 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 2 yellow onions, rough chopped
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 3 to 4 bay leaves
- Simple Cabbage Slaw
- 1 head cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 yellow onion, grated and the juice squeezed out
- 1-1/2 cups Best Foods brand mayonnaise
- North Carolina Style Barbeque Sauce
- 3 cups cider vinegar
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1-1/2 cups ketchup
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp celery seeds
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 oz Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- 7 drops Tabasco
- Marinate pork by mixing salt brown sugar, molasses, garlic and vinegar together. Rub pork all over with marinade and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for 12 to 36 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Remove pork from the bag (discard bag and marinade) and set in a deep roasting pan or Dutch oven. Add water to come half way up the sides of the pork, onions, thyme, and bay leaves. Roast uncovered for 1 to 1-1/2 hours to develop a nice crust.
- Turn down heat to 250°F, cover pork and braise for 6 to 10 hours. Check water level every hour or two, add more if necessary. When pork is done you will be able to pull the bone from the center of the roast out without any tension and the meat will be falling apart.
- While the pork is cooking, make the slaw and BBQ sauce.
- Make the Slaw: Mix ingredients together, season with kosher salt & pepper. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Make the BBQ Sauce: Mix all ingredients in a saucepot and boil slowly for 15 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to toss with the pork. Reheat gently over low heat.
- Take roast out of oven and let cool enough to handle. Take pork out of liquid and pull apart by hand, discarding fat. Toss with a liberal amount of sauce. Serve on a soft white bun stacked with Simple Cabbage Slaw.