No Grill? No Problem. Great Ribs Anyone Can Make.

This is the time of year everyone is firing up their grill, buying a smoker, a big green egg (looking at you Dr Food), talking about ribs, kebabs, burgers. A city girl could get jealous. Without even the opportunity to fire up a little Smokey Joe - the mini-Weber - you might feel you’re missing out on one of the primary joys of summer. I used to. Of course rainy days can dampen grilling enthusiasm, too.

City Girl Ribs

Here’s a technique that will inspire you, no matter how urban or how small your kitchen is. If you have a grill, all the better. If not, don't worry - I got you covered.

First, the ribs.

All the best techniques, recipes and tips would be wasted if you start with factory-farmed, antibiotic-laden meat.


  • In one study published in the New England Journal of Medicine on February 6, 2002, researchers found links that strongly suggested that the people who developed Cipro-resistant bacteria had acquired them by eating pork that were contaminated with salmonella. The report concluded that salmonella resistant to the antibiotic flouroquine can be spread from swine to humans, and, therefore, the use of flouroquinolones in food animals should be prohibited.
  • Another New England Journal of Medicine study from Oct. 18, 2001, found that 20 percent of ground meat obtained in supermarkets contained salmonella. Of that 20 percent that was contaminated with salmonella, 84 percent was resistant to at least one form of antibiotic.

Superbugs are not invited guests at my house. We buy from local farms or Whole Foods, and look for good animal welfare standards as well as little or no antibiotics use.

Start with the best meat you can afford. We’ve found that eating better meat, less often, is much more satisfying than eating cheap meat every night. (It’s only cheap if you ignore the health consequences to your self and your environment.) Now, about the ribs you want to eat.


As with many things in life, preparation and technique matter.




Bite, lick, suck.

Hey, I’m still talking about ribs here - focus!

But seriously folks, ribs are sensuous food. They combine both salty and sweet flavors as well as spice and smoke. Don’t forget fat. They require fingers, paper napkins, and induce smiles, moans, grunts and usually some laughs.



First, remove the meat from the wrapper and check to see if the butcher has removed the “silver skin” from the back of the ribs. Most likely, it’s still there. Rubs, steam, sauces will not permeate that membrane so your meat will be less flavorful. Remove it for better flavor and easier eating.


Rub the ribs with a spice blend, I use an iteration of this one, though truthfully, it varies from batch to batch:

DIY Fajita Spice/Rib Rub


2 teaspoons each:

  • brown sugar or palm sugar
  • ground cumin
  • oregano *Seri if you can
  • ancho chile powder
  • pimentón (sweet)

1 teaspoon each:

  • ground coriander
  • ground black pepper
  • kosher salt* (you could also add a couple drops of liquid smoke to the beer in the pan for a smokier flavor)

Buzz these up in your spice grinder, blender or molcajete and store in a cute little jar. When you perfect your own blend, this makes a nice gift.

Rib Rub

Start several hours or the day before you plan to enjoy your ribs.

After removing the silver skin, rub ribs liberally with a shower of spice blend and some brown sugar. Place in zip top bag on a plate in the fridge overnight or at least a few hours.

Ribs rubbed, ready to steam


You know that pan that comes with every oven -- speckled gray enamel, shallow bottomed with and a slotted tray on top? Some people wonder what the heck to do with it. THIS is what to do with it.

Preheat your oven to 350. (or start your grill, fire up your charcoal)

Get a six pack of beer you enjoy drinking. Pop one open and take a swig, just to be sure it’s good of course. If it's really good, enjoy the whole thing and pop open a second one for your ribs. Pour the beer into the bottom of this pan. Place the rack on top, take the ribs out of their bag and place on the rack, pour any accumulated juices in the bag over the ribs.

beer in bottom of roasting pan

Take two pieces of foil long enough to cover ribs and seal pan, fold two long edges together, fold that seam a couple times to seal. Place your foil blankie over your ribs and tuck, tuck, tuck. You’re creating an envelope to steam the ribs as the beer simmers in the heat of the oven.

This tenderizes the meat, helps the spices permeate it and if it makes you feel any better, probably steams off some fat.

Check the ribs after about an hour at 350. You may try a thermometer, but likely you’ll hit bone and get a very high reading. Use your eyes. Has the meat shrunk some exposing some bone? Use tongs to pull up gently on the bone and you should be able to tell that the meat has fully cooked. You don't want it falling off the bone just yet.

Remove the foil (careful there's that hot beer in the bottom tray!) and brush with your own barbecue sauce or a good bottled variety. Return to oven to glaze the ribs, slather, turn, maybe 15 minutes on each side, as you wish. The ribs will be fully cooked at this point, it's just about how saucy or crispy you like them to be finished.

* Try making your own smoked salt! Place a 1/2 or so of Kosher salt in a ramekin or saucer and place in one of those smoker bags, along with a saucer of ice cubes.  Bake in the oven for about half an hour or so. The ice melts, creating steam, the smoke infuses the salt.

Resources / Books:

These three excellent resources are on sale now on my Powell’s Bookshelf. I recommend them all for anyone interested in grilling. Click on the image to go right to my Powell's page. $14.48 (list $40) $9.95 (list $19.99) $9.95 (list $19.99)




  • Should we fire up our "BBQ Bonanza" this year?
  • Who wants to do a guest post/recipe on the theme of Sustainability at the Grill?
  • Anyone want to sponsor...?

Seduced and Sated - Saying Yes to Lamb

UPDATE: Vote Here. Vote Often. Maybe even for me?


Upon being invited to join nine invited Boston bloggers for the inaugural American Lamb “Pro-Am Lamb” competition, I did what anyone in my shoes would do. I punted.

On Being Rational

I listened to the little angel on one shoulder who said “decline”. Alternately this angel bears a resemblance to my husband, patiently awaiting the day this “writing thing” takes off (read: makes money.) At other times, this spirit looks like my agent, possessed with almost as much patience. She too, looks forward to the day I begin life as a published author.

Then, the seduction began. I thought about a million recipes, cultures, angles I could explore and all the gorgeous flavors that complement lamb. I could go in a Mediterranean, North African, or Middle Eastern direction. “Accept!” “Do it!” “It will be great fun.” “You’ll be supporting local American lamb.

Being in the midst of a swirling vortex of “broken” - everything going kaput at once (not even kidding: dishwasher, phone, AC, computer, fridge), it would have been smart to say “No thanks.” With all the repair and troubleshooting calls, my time has disappeared faster than [insert illicit substance of choice here] at a LiLo party. Declining would have been the rational thing to do.

Seduced by Lamb

Rational has not always been my strong suit. Naturally, I said "Yes!" My pipeline is skinny enough to make Kate Moss look like plus-size model, but yes, I said, let me create a recipe or two, test them, edit them, cook them, shoot them. Tweak and tinker. I have faith that new work will come, as it always does, in the nick of time.

At the very least, I’ll be able to add a “cooking competition” bullet to the resume. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? Well, I'm a firm believer in doing what scares us - as often as possible.

Look at that gorgeous Lamb!

But First - Some Music

To accompany my Texas-sized flood of ideas, I put on Stevie Ray Vaughn. In addition to being a kick-ass album of bluesy rock, Texas Flood (the last album before his early death) wowed listeners across genres. It includes a clever tune incorporating the nursery rhyme Mary had a Little Lamb. Only he could make a children’s nursery rhyme sound naughty. Listen to his phrasing “...Tisket, ...tasket..” punctuates pauses, spitting out a dare. Whatever tisketing is, I want to do it. If you’re not familiar with the album, have a listen. Lenny, Vaughn’s instrumental tribute to his wife, is so moving, if it doesn’t get to you, I’m gonna have to start worrying.

Listening to Stevie Ray you can fairly feel the Texas dust kick up around you. Or, maybe that’s just the state of my house. Ignoring the hairball in the corner, I get to work.

On the Creative Process

Vaughn muses on the Texas Flood re-release, about the difference between creating from the mind, as opposed to listening to the heart.

“If I go with what’s in my heart and let it come out, then I’m okay.” Not bad advice. For musicians, for cooks. For all of us.

Random ideas swirl, a testament to the diversity of lamb:

  • Mongolian - salty, sweet palate of lamb-loving culture. After some research, I learn the “Mongolian BBQ” of my childhood was not so authentic. Scratch this one.
  • North African - cardamom, cumin, harissa (see Harissa Comes out of the Closet) Love these flavors but I may need more time to figure it into a lamb dish. Pita stuffed with spicy lamb and harissa sauce?
  • Mediterranean - garlic, lemon. Classic. Love it. Too common to excite me for this competition.
  • Korean - never heard of this before but something tells me the garlic-sweet-salty combo might be enticing with lamb. I will come back to this and try it again after the Lamb Pro-Am the first two tries were intriguing enough.


Back to Xi’an

Ultimately, I came back to the cumin-scented Sichuan profile I love. As a child I saw the newly unearthed army of Xi’an Terracotta Warriors in National Geographic Magazine. I vowed to one day see this magnificent army in person. When I was part of a management consulting team that went Beijing and Shanghai, I negotiated for extra time to complete my part of the report so I could make this childhood dream come true.

Imagine an army of these guys, each unique and life-sized?! Breathtaking.

One of the most memorable meals was a hot pot meal that included lamb, eaten alone, in a huge restaurant, where not a soul spoke a word of English. I saw the terracotta warriors and ate the local, authentic lamb. This memory helped to inspire this dish. Xi’an is in the Shaanxi province which borders Sichuan, many of the same flavors appear in each region’s cuisine. This recipe is probably not authentically representative of either, but it gives you a taste of both.

The techniques are familiar enough I didn’t need weeks of time, and a whole herd of lambs, to perfect it. This is simple enough you can make it at home, unique enough to entice you. And it’s very satisfying indeed.

Three Peppers Lamb LDGourmet-style

Sichuan cuisine is characterized by a balance of hot, salty, fragrant flavors. Chilli peppers were not originally part of the cuisine, but Sichuan cooks have fully incorporated them into dishes many of us have come to associate with the region.

Sichuan peppercorns (prickly ash) are not actually in the peppercorn family but are referred to as such. They’re actually more closely related to citrus. Toasting them prior to incorporating is key to getting the full benefit of their fragrant, slightly citrusy-floral flavor. They also are slightly numbing to the tongue.

Lamb is a staple in this part of China. Here, the lamb is sliced thin and tossed with a fragrant spice rub, scented with cumin and coriander, then stir-fried. I incorporate the spices and heat that characterize Sichuan dishes, adding the notes of warm sweet spices, citrus and vinegar.

Three Peppers Lamb

Serves 2-4. Three peppers here are the Sichuan peppers, white pepper and red peppers in the form of whole fresh and dried chilli flakes. The actual cooking time is quick, so be sure to read through recipe and have your ingredients all prepped (mis en place) before you begin.


  • 1.5 lbs of boneless leg of fresh American lamb

Cleaned of silver skin, sliced across the grain, into bite-sized pieces. You could also use other cuts of lamb, the trick is to use small enough pieces they will be tender to the bite and not so small you over cook them.

Make spice rub:

  • 2 TBSP cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 3 tsp Sichuan pepper
  • 2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander

Toast spices lightly until fragrant in dry skillet. Cool, buzz in clean spice grinder or mortar & pestle. (Tip: to clean spice grinder place a hunk of soft bread in it, and buzz. A silicone basting brush works almost as well. Be sure to unplug before sticking fingers in there! I keep one for coffee beans only, one for spices.)

  • 1/2 tsp 5 Spice Powder (recipe: How to Make Chinese 5 Spice Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 fresh red hot chilli peppers (try slicing one thinly and leaving one whole)
  • 1-2 scallions, sliced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced fine
  • 1 medium onion (halve North to South, then thinly sliced into thin half moons)
  • For garnish: toasted sesame sesame seeds, orange zest, cilantro


  1. Make the spice rub.
  2. Make 5 Spice Powder if blending at home.
  3. Slice lamb, toss with spice rub, refrigerate 4 hours to overnight.
  4. Heat large skillet, add one TBSP best quality peanut oil or corn oil. When it shimmers, add onion slices and one whole hot chilli pepper (to scent the oil, but don’t eat it.)
  5. Sauté in 1 TBSP peanut oil (I like Spectrum.)
  6. Push onions to edge of pan, add about 2 teaspoons more oil, then add meat.
  7. Next add scallions, garlic and sliced chilli.
  8. When the scallions start to soften, give your sauce-slurry a good mix, add it to the lamb and give a good toss.

Tip: you do not need a wok, get a good pan nice and hot, add the oil, then add onions. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar on the onions to give them a faint caramelized sweetness.

Sauce-slurry ingredients:

Into a 1 cup measure add:

  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP Xiaoshang Rice Wine
  • 1 TBSP Soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP fresh squeezed organic orange juice (save peel for zesting)
  • 1 TBSP Chinese Black vinegar

Fill measuring cup up to ~2/3 C with cold water. This should be about the amount of liquid to make a sauce that works for a pound or so. You can thin it by adding more water to the pan if you like. Garnish with any or all of the following: fresh zest of orange, chili threads, cilantro, sliced scallion, sesame seeds.




Please stay tuned for a link to the Boston Chefs American Lamb Pro-Am website. There, you can look at all 9 or 10 of our recipes and vote for the post and recipe you like best. Only four of us will make it to the next round! Please also share this around FB, Twitter, etc.


BBQ Bonanza 2011 - ‘Cued Cocktails at Kingsford University

What goes better with barbecue than cocktails? I'm talking about Grilled Cocktails. Well, we've grilled everything else, why not grilled cocktails?!

I'm thrilled that this week we have a guest post from Melanie Yunk, Founder of the SEO company, Roaring Pajamas. Denise Woodward who shot our BBQ Bonanza logo picture (above) at the Kingsford University. Denise and Melanie are both Twitter buds that found themselves at Kingsford U - sadly, without me. They both enjoyed the experience and came away inspired, lucky for us.


'Cued Cocktails at Kingsford University

Guest Post by Melanie Yunk

The day was beautiful, sunny and warm. The grills were hot and smoky. The cocktails were grilled with Kingsford Charcoal. Yes, that’s right… we learned how to grill cocktails!

Josh Perry, Mixologist, Picán Restaurant in Oakland, California, and Marcus Wang, Senior Scientist, Kingsford R&D, led my favorite course at this year’s Kingsford University in Las Vegas. Who would think that in the midst of all the RVs at the NASCAR Sprint Cup on March 4, we would be grilling fruit, bacon and flavored simple syrups for our afternoon happy hour cocktails?

When Kingsford donated a smoker to Picán for their outdoor patio, Josh experimented with smoked ingredients for his cocktails. The result: a smoky Berkshire Old Fashioned, a smoked Sangria and a Barbecued Bloody Mary.

One common ingredient in all these cocktails is smoked lemon juice, and lemons are so easy to grill. To smoke lemon juice, follow these simple steps:

  • Slice lemons in half through the equator.
  • Dip in sugar and place on the grill, cut side down.
  • Grill 5 to 7 minutes, until grill marks appear.
  • Remove lemons and set aside to cool. Once cooled, squeeze into a pitcher.

Other grilled cocktail ingredients included bacon, jalapenos and oranges. After sampling a delicious Sangria and smoked lemonade, we were all challenged to a Cued Cocktails Competition where the best grilled cocktail would reign. Teams were formed, ingredients selected and we all set off to grill and innovate.

Our team created the “Spicy Bacon Cherry Jubilee”, made with bacon-infused Four Roses Bourbon, smoked orange juice, gourmet Maraschino cherries and a Chipotle Sugar Rim. We garnished our cocktail with a cherry and bacon swizzle.

The judges included Chris Lilly and the folks from Kingsford. The competition was really tough and we were pushed out by the Bloody Pig, a spicy “Bloody Mary” with a pork rib sizzle. Oh well, better luck next time.

So, get your grill ready and try Josh Perry’s recipe for smoked Sangria during your next barbecue.

Louisville Sangria

Makes: 7-8 drinks

Prep Time: 30 minutes; Cook Time: 1 hour


  • 6 oranges, cut in half through the equator
  • 4 lemons, cut in half through the equator
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 6 chipotle peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 6 ounces Four Roses Bourbon
  • 12 ounces Seghesio Zinfandel
  • 12 ounces soda water


  1. Build a fire for indirect cooking using Kingsford charcoal. Once the charcoals are ready, push the coals to one side, leaving the other side of the grill void.
  2. Grill lemons and oranges per instructions above, cool, squeeze 4 ounces of orange juice and 2 ounces lemon juice and set aside. Slice remaining fruit for garnish.
  3. While the citrus is cooling, combine brown sugar and water and bring to a simmer over medium direct heat on the grill, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Add chipotle peppers and simmer at least 30 minutes.
  4. After cooling the syrup, combine bourbon, Zinfandel, 4 ounces smoked orange juice, 2 ounces smoked lemon juice and 3 ounces chipotle syrup in a sealable container and shake well.
  5. To create the Louisville Sangria, add the mixture to a pitcher filled with ice. Add soda water, stir and serve. Garnish wit remaining slices of smoked oranges and lemons.

Melanie Yunk is a food writer and former founder/saucier at Big Acres Gourmet Foods. She’s also a social media and search engine optimization consultant and founder of Roaring Pajamas.  She lives in northern California with her husband and 2 Cornish Rex cats.

Last Sauce Trio from Our Sponsor - Silk Road BBQ giving away another set of their terrific barbecue sauces; each winner will receive:

  • one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork);
  • one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy);
  • and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).

Enter a comment here to win the third and final Silk Road Sauce trio (not available in stores.)

I think the jerk marinade would be perfect for tofu or tempeh. Leave a comment here with your favorite vegetarian grilling tip or recipe and I'll use the Random Number Generator to pick a winner!

BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Tofu Barbecue

We've been grilling our way through the Summer and I do hope you've tried some of our guest posters' recipes. This month, we've got another fine line-up of guest recipes from friends near and far. Sustainability at the Grill has been our theme and if you're kind of tired of the same old burgers and dogs you'll want to take a look through our July Wrap Up and August, too. We've been to New Zealand via Virginia with Chef Peter Pahk's Cervena Venison (dying to try that!) and fished the coast of Alaska to grill Copper River Salmon on a salt block.

Amy McCoy, author of Poor Girl Gourmet, took us to Block Island (one of my favorite escapes) for Swordfish and we've had beef, pork, and goat. Channel catfish and calamari recipes (from Good Fish) bring sustainable seafood to the table in South East Asian-inspired flavors. Today's entry does not rely on coastal access to sustainable fisheries, nor on pricy but worth it sustainably raised meats.

Today's entry comes from a whirling dervish of a woman, my friend Kim O'Donnel, whose mission is to share the savory side of meatless meals with all us omnivores. As the Washington Post says, "If anybody can persuade Americans to eat more tempeh, it's Kim O'Donnel." Now, I have to confess, if you say the word "tofu" or "tempeh" around these parts, at least one of us is tuning out (I'm looking at you, Doc). If you say "eat less" you've probably lost us both. I think that when many people hear "meatless" they think of deprivation. The bun without the burger is just plain sad.

One of my greatest joys is to find meals that are satisfying and delicious, and it's a bonus if they happen to be meatless. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE meat. But for health, for the planet, for the budget, there's a ton of reasons I know I should eat it less often. And there's the fact that I love animals. I eat them and I want them to have had a good life and fair enough death before I eat them. To some, that's a problem, it's a paradox I live with. The "shoulds" are not really why I love Kim's book. Valid as they are, they cannot sustain interest for most of us, over time. I love Kim's book for the "want" the "oh, yes, please more".

It's only a failure of imagination - and a lack of good recipes - that keep many of us from trying more meatless meals. And this brings us to the heart of it: I get a thrill trying new foods. Making new recipes that work and are delicious is something I try to do as often as possible. This book gives us a way to explore new foods, with familiar enough flavors and profiles, but in new meatless ways. Try thinking of adding one new dish to your repertoire, not subtracting meat. Your heart, your pocketbook, and mostly, your palate, your belly will thank you.

This recipe comes from page 92 of The Meat Lover's Meatless Cookbook: Vegetarian Recipes Carnivores Will Devour.


The idea: Tofu barbecue. Not baked tofu with some tangy sauce slapped on top, but marinated and slow-cooked over wood, so that you can really taste the spice and smoke, like a brisket. A few rounds of testing revealed good flavor on the outside, but nada on the interior. We even tried one of those flavor-injector gizmos. I was about to hang up my cockamamie experiment, when my friend Jeanne suggested putting it in the freezer. As it turns out, freezing tofu changes both its texture (from cheesecakey to striated and chewy) and porousness (from No way, Jose, to Bring it on!). The result: Knee-slapping tanginess. It delivers both spice and smoke, just like that brisket. In fact, Id like to make a declaration: Freezing takes the oxymoron out of tofu barbecue. Served up with baked beans and vinegar slaw, this is one helluva plate.

Kitchen notes: Just as with ribs or brisket, tofu barbecue is a weekend/ leisure time project. A block of tofu needs 24 hours in the freezer, then about 3 hours of thawing time. (You may also try thawing in the microwave, in 2-minute increments). And thats before you start the coals. Because of its newly acquired absorbability, the tofu needs relatively little marinating time—30 minutes is sufficient. One last note: Given the time commitment involved, its worth smoking two full-size blocks of tofu, which will keep in the fridge for five days for leftovers of the best kind. One batch of spice rub is plenty for two blocks.



  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground New Mexico chile pepper (between paprika and cayenne in heat)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • About 2 cups of wood chips of choice (hickory, alder, cedar), for smoking
  • About 1/2 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce, mixed with 1 tablespoon honey
  • Optional sauce: 1/2 cup soy or teriyaki sauce; 1 tablespoon hot water; 2 tablespoons honey; 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced; squeeze of 1/2 lime





  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging and discard the water. Set on a plate and top it with a smaller plate, weighed down with a filled can. Allow to drain, about 20 minutes.
  2. Place the tofu in a zippered plastic freezer bag and freeze for 24 hours. The tofu will turn a shade of pale yellow; do not be alarmed, as the color will return to its original shade of off white when it thaws.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the spice rub: Mix the salt and spices together in a small bowl and place in an airtight container or jar. Stored in a dark, cool place, the rub will keep for a few months.
  4. Remove the tofu from the freezer; allow to thaw in the refrigerator (6 hours) or in the microwave in 2-minute increments (20 minutes—just remember to remove the tofu from the plastic bag before you start!). You may also start the thawing process on the counter for the first 30 minutes, then continue the process in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that tofu is perishable, and food safety precautions apply. Squeeze out any remaining water and pat the tofu dry.
  5. With a sharp knife, slice the tofu block in half, so that you have two smaller blocks. Measure out 1⁄8 cup of the spice rub and apply the rub all over each block. With a silicone or pastry brush, apply the oil all over the surface of each block. Marinate for 30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare the coals and soak the wood chips for 30 minutes, so they are ready for the grill. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking: Remove the wood chips from the water and place in a smoker tray or disposable aluminum pan or foil pouch, on the floor of the grill, off to one side. Fire up the grill according to the manufacturer’s instructions and bring the temperature to 350°F.
  7. Place both tofu blocks on the grate, on the opposite side of the wood chips (and charcoal, depending on what kind of grill you’re using). Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes on each side, while trying to maintain the 350°F heat.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare for the final step of lacquering tofu with the following sauce or use your favorite barbecue sauce.
  9. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir well. Apply your sauce of choice all over each tofu block and cook 10 minutes on each side, closer to the coals, if you like, for some charring.
  • Remove from the grill and slice thinly. Serve with True-Blue Baked Beans and Vinegar Slaw.


Makes 4 to 5 servings.


Last Sauce Trio from Our Sponsor - Silk Road BBQ giving away another set of their terrific barbecue sauces; each winner will receive:

  • one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork);
  • one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy);
  • and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).

Enter a comment here to win the third and final Silk Road Sauce trio (not available in stores.)

I think the jerk marinade would be perfect for tofu or tempeh. Leave a comment here with your favorite vegetarian grilling tip or recipe and I'll use the Random Number Generator to pick a winner!

Go Here, Eat This - BBQSmith Rolls into Leather District

A surprise opportunity for lunch with my husband leads to a savory, sweet discovery. Boston's burgeoning food truck scene delivers tasty results to Chinatown and Leather District neighbors. Real American Barbecue. On wheels and in the hood five days a week. Meet BBQSmith.

Restraint and BBQ

It might sound like an oxymoron, since BBQ is so often about BIG and BOLD flavors. It's about SPICE and SMOKE. It's about FAT and FIRE. But, restraint?

If you find yourself in my neighborhood, and you want to switch it up from Chinese style BBQ, head toward the Chinatown gate and look for the BBQSmith food truck. These guys balance just the right levels of smoke and spice, exhibiting admirable restraint in a menu of really full flavors.

BBQSmith in the shadow of the Chinatown gate.

The menu - with daily specials. Yes, you can find them on FB & Twitter, but they're better in person!

I chose the smoked beef sandwich. Doc had smoked pork. Both sandwiches were fantastic.


We shared a couple sides and the team threw in a couple extras to try. Not only were the sandwiches fantastic, a delicate, not overpowering smoke, tender meat; the meats are natural without added hormones or antibiotics.

Black beans also displayed restraint. Crunchy slaw, green tomato pickle, with optional hot pickled peppers - piquant, textural counterpoints to soft smoky meats.

Sides feature local farm ingredients and the corn, cuke, cherry tomato and dilly bean salad (without the buttermilk for dairy allergy girl!) was a delicious late-summer celebration.

Watermelon lemonade was like a not-too-sweet agua fresca, really refreshing.

Bonus: A frequent diner card!


August Winners - BBQ Bonanza


photo: Denise Woodward


So, it's almost 2:30 AM and I've finally cleaned the kitchen of most traces of, and all dishes dirtied in, the maiden voyage into canning-land. Eight pints and one bandaged finger later we have a tremendous sense of accomplishment and a foreboding sense of what lies ahead tomorrow morning when I try to rise in time for HVAC guy coming to investigate our AC's recent crapping out.

After Irene (who came closely on the heels of Mr. what-was-that?-Here?!-Yes, Earthquake), I realized that having good food put by for emergencies is even more important than ever. Well, it seems so anyway. Could be I'm simply trying to make myself feel better about this horribly bandaged finger. Did I mention I have a latex allergy? Actually all adhesives... but I digress.

One more thing I had to do before slugging the last of my G&T (Knockabout Gin, Ryan & Wood, Newburyport, MA) from a Ball jar, natch, was to pick our winners for August BBQ Bonanza prizes!

I am so genuinely grateful to our sponsors this year. And for the record, this little virtual cookout we've got going here has generated over 5,500 hits on these four August posts. Think this means we've gotta do it again next year. And stay tuned in September - more great guest posts coming!




Thank you to our sponsors for these terrific gifts.


A Sauce trio from the Silk Road BBQ guys. This is an exclusive offering of three of their sauces.

  • one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork);
  • one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy);
  • and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).


Gloria - Congratulations Gloria!

Random Integer Generator

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2011-09-01 06:17:05 UTC

Ask Jenni how she's enjoying the sauces, she was our July winner. Who will win in September?



Our second prize was donated by The Lisa Ekus Group. Andy Schloss is the author and we both have the honor of Lisa as our agent. Beyond cool to be amongst such a great group of accomplished authors. Mine is coming - promise!

Congratulations Sharon! As a baker, a home charcueterie maker and a great broad who knows her way around a heritage breed pig or goat, I'm confident Sharon will thoroughly enjoy this prize!

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2011-09-01 06:18:39 UTC

Prize #3

Finally our four piece grilling tool set, courtesy of OXO creator of our favorite kitchen and bath tools. I love the marriage of practical and efficient with affordable good design. Who doesn't?

I could not be happier that our friend the Random Number Generator picked David for this prize. Poor guy has been grilling everything since Irene visited his house and left with his electricity. As a huge supporter of local farms like Blackbird Farms (terrific Angus, pastured and dry-aged) he had a freezer full of good meat for his lucky girls. Unfortunately, last I checked he still had no power!

David will certainly get good use out of these.

Here are your random numbers:


Timestamp: 2011-09-01 06:20:11 UTC


Okay barbecue fans, stay tuned to see what's next in our BBQ Bonanza! Like a scavenger hunt?

✘ Find the location on Silk Road BBQ's site that is NOT one of their actual locations and enter the answer here for a chance to win.


Two Months of Sustainability at the Grill

Today I thought I'd collect links from our Sustainability at the Grill BBQ Bonanza series. It's been an impressive run and we're going to be grilling through September as well, so keep this bookmarked and share your own grilling recipes, sustainability questions, tips and traumas. We've got a fabulous crew who are helping us take new steps toward a more sustainable, but first and foremost, deliciously satisfying grilling experience.

[photo credit: Denise Woodward]



Gratitude & Love for Our Sponsors giving away another set of their terrific barbecue sauces (exclusively available for us); each winner will receive:

  • one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork);
  • one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy);
  • and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).
✘ Find the location on Silk Road BBQ's site that is NOT one of their actual locations and enter the answer here for a chance to win.


Comment on BBQ Bonanza August posts also enter you to win Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything. (Even includes recipes for goat, donuts, I kid you not, and scallops with grapefruit mojo. Really - there ARE recipes for grilling everything!)



The good people at OXO have graciously added this Four Piece Grilling Set to our August Contest!


How to win one of these THREE prizes:

  1. Enter a comment in any August BBQ Bonanza post.
  2. Write your own post on the theme of Sustainability at the Grill and link back here. You'll get a second entry!
  3. Hit the Silk Road! Find the phony location of a Silk Road yurt, post the true and the false locations in your comment here, and gain another chance to win.
  4. Tweet, RT (#BBQBonanza), post to Facebook.

Don't forget to stop by our sponsors' sites. Share a tip with fellow readers here in a comment.

  • Which OXO tool do you love the most?
  • What's your favorite order at Silk Road BBQ?
  • What would you most love to see a recipe for?


BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Swordfish with Grilled Fennel and Tomatoes

Our BBQ Bonanza continues this week with a sustainable seafood lesson. If you have ever tried to figure out what makes a fish choice sustainable, you might have felt that choosing fish is anything but a walk on the beach. Our guest poster this week is the inimitable Amy McCoy, who was inspired by a much-needed tumble in the waves of Block Island.

photo by Denise Woodward,


I will never forget Amy's hilarious post three years ago about DIY Turkey in a Hole in the Ground. Since then, she's become a published cookbook author. Her Poor Girl Gourmet makes a perfect housewarming gift for your niece or nephew just setting up their own apartment. I incorporated her Chicken in Cider Gravy recipe in my Sustainable Meats Class. It always pleases.

Amy brings us a swordfish recipe inspired by local Block Island swordfish. Her sensible approach to sustainability is one that's near and dear to my heart. Here's a post with five tips for making Small Steps that Make a Difference.



Amy is the author of “Poor Girl Gourmet: Eat in Style on a Bare-Bones Budget” (Andrews McMeel, 2010), and the blog Poor Girl Gourmet, where she shares budget-friendly recipes, tales (sometimes of woe) of raising chickens and turkeys, keeping bees, and particularly woeful this year, gardening (Blight! Chipmunks! Squash bugs!).

Amy was scheduled to speak about eating on a budget at the International Food Blogger Conference in New Orleans, LA on August 28 (curse you Irene!), and her recipes and writing have appeared in many newspapers across the country.


Block Island Swordfish with Fennel and Tomato

Guest post by Amy McCoy

Fish has been stressing me out for a few years now. And I say this without so much as a hint of hyperbole; such a worrier am I.

I want to eat fish, but I want to do the right thing. I don’t want the oceans depleted, and, quite honestly, pulling out a chart that delineates what’s okay to eat and what isn’t takes a little of the joy out of fish eating. And what I like most about food – the making and sharing of food – is the joy of it all.

So stressed I have been.

But then I read a few words of wisdom from fellow BBQ Bonanza contributor, Mark Scarbrough, that boiled down to this: calm down, make good choices, and enjoy yourself some fish, already, darn it.

So I stopped with the stress (sometimes it only takes one slap to snap me out of it). And decided to apply a trusted mantra to fish shopping: Buy local.

Fortunately, living in southeastern Massachusetts, local isn’t too far away – generally less than an hour by car, and sometimes, it’s an additional 13 miles by ferry. If a jaunt to Block Island is in order. Oh, which it was this past week. Which it was.

Block Island is a quaint, well-preserved Victorian-era village surrounded by rolling hills dotted with stonewalls and stunning golden cliffs rising up above its beaches. The water is colder than on the mainland (of course), and if you aren’t careful, you may find yourself smacked down to the sandy shore by a giant wave. It’s a lot easier to get smacked down and find the wave giant if you’re short. Not that this happened to me, um, two days ago, or anything.

It also happens to be quite the swordfish harvesting ground, with “BI Swordfish” signs posted at local fish markets - on the mainland as well as the island - causing glee at the mere sight (and angst-free glee at that, for it is local). And that’s all before you’ve laid eyes on the fish.

As it happens, harpoon and hand line swordfish are both “best choices” on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide (okay, so I checked my chart – I admit it. There’s still some guilt, despite my best efforts at being effortless in fish shopping).

Back home with my Block Island swordfish, I decided to add homegrown fennel and tomatoes (it doesn’t get much more local than your own backyard – and it helps to keep the cost down, too), grill ‘em up, then add the grilled veggies to a pan of sautéed shallots with white wine, crushed red pepper flakes, and oregano (which is also homegrown, and threatens to overrun our property, prolific as it is) for a rich, yet summery sauce.

Swordfish with Grilled Fennel and Tomatoes

Serves 4


  • 1 pound swordfish steak, approximately 1-inch thick
  • 1 medium bulb fennel, trimmed of fronds, sliced lengthwise into ¼-inch wedges.
  • 4 medium tomatoes (approximately 2 pounds), sliced in half lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


For the sauce:


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper




  1. Be sure that your grill is clean, and has been lightly oiled. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  2. Toss the fennel and tomatoes in a medium mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then season them with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush the swordfish all over with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the fennel and tomatoes on the grill, and grill until they are lightly charred and the tomato skins are beginning to peel, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove the fennel and tomatoes from the grill. Using a fork or tongs, remove and discard the tomato skin.
  6. Before starting the swordfish on the grill – or simultaneously, if you are fortunate enough to have a side burner on your grill – start the sauce.
  7. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, and cook until it is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fennel, tomatoes and any accumulated juices, then add the crushed red pepper flakes and oregano. Next, pour in the wine, and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes.
  8. Place the swordfish on the grill, flipping midway through the cooking time, and grill it until it is opaque and is easily cut with a fork, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
  9. Remove the swordfish from the grill, then cut it into 4 more-or-less equal sized pieces. Place the swordfish pieces in the saucepan, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the swordfish forth, topped with sauce.


This dish goes well with grilled potatoes, and can also be served stew-style: I recommend toasting (on the grill, of course) a slice of country bread, rubbing the bread with garlic, then placing it into a bowl and topping with fish and sauce. No guilt there at all, I can assure you. Only glee.



Great News from Our Sponsors giving away another set of their terrific barbecue sauces (exclusively available for us); each winner will receive:

  • one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork);
  • one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy);
  • and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).


Comment on BBQ Bonanza August posts also enter you to win Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything. (Even includes recipes for goat! Donuts, I kid you not, and scallops with grapefruit mojo. Really there ARE recipes for grilling everything!)



The good people at OXO have graciously added this Four Piece Grilling Set to our August Contest!


How to win one of these THREE prizes:

  1. Enter a comment in any August BBQ Bonanza post.
  2. Write your own post on the theme of Sustainability at the Grill and link back here. You'll get a second entry!
  3. Hit the Silk Road! Find the phony location of a Silk Road yurt, post the true and the false locations in your comment here, and gain another chance to win.
  4. Tweet, RT (#BBQBonanza), post to Facebook.


BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Barbecued Beef Short Ribs

Sustainability at the Grill continues this week with one of my favorite meats: short ribs. My friend David Dadekian, one of the organizers of the soon to be happening first Providence Food and Wine Festival, publisher of Eat Drink RI, photographer, and all around good guy. He was one of our first BBQ Bonanza guest posters last year. In addition to his writing, photography and raising his kids, we works with a small Rhode Island farm Blackbird Farm. As you'll see, he loves their beef. He's not alone.

When people start thinking about sustainability they sometimes think they have to give up red meat, forego beef. It's easy to look for simple rules to follow but to ensure your protein is a sustainable choice, you need to ask some questions:


  • Where is it raised? Locally, or in the midwest or west? Factory operation and feedlot or pasture-raised? The carbon footprint is much smaller for local beef than for beef trucked across the country.
  • What is it fed? Grass fed? Grain fed? Given growth hormones, antibiotics? Factory farms feed all kinds of crap to the cattle raised there.
  • How is it harvested? Some farms use huge processing plants and have little if any control over the cleanliness. e. coli, salmonella and other
Read more about what makes beef sustainable here at the Sustainable Table.


As we try to improve our diets, we're diversifying the proteins we eat (like bison burgers or goat empanadas), adding more grains and beans and vegetables. We're choosing meats by different criteria, not just price. We're eating less of it but choosing better quality when we do. Now, many of the farmers' markets include farmers raising meat on pasture, usually grain-finished.

Please enjoy David's post, drop a comment with your favorite local beef farmer, or ask us a beef question. All comments enter you to win "Fire it Up!" the book that he used to make these barbecued short ribs.

BBQ Bonanza 2011 – Barbecued Beef Short Ribs

Guest post: David Dadekian

I like grilling red meat. That’s right, I said it, RED MEAT! Sure fish is healthier, and if you get the right species—after consulting fourteen different charts, twelve books and Tweeting with experts like @chefreinvented and @ldgourmet—it’s sustainable. I enjoy grilling poultry, though I really prefer to smoke poultry, which is probably something I shouldn’t discuss in public. Grilling vegetables is tasty, very healthy, they’re sustainable and, if you pay attention to whoever says things are trends, vegetables are this year’s bacon. You’ll never, ever, ever see me type something as ridiculous as “vegetables are this year’s bacon” again. My belly is one-third pork belly (also good on the BBQ).

Which brings me back to red meat. For me, it’s perfect for cooking over super hot coals. My family and I don’t eat a lot of it, but when we do we’re fortunate to get it from a local farm that raises some of the best beef I’ve ever tasted. It is true I work with this local farm but I do not come to this claim lightly. I found the beef first, loved it and then said, I want to work with you Blackbird Farm in Smithfield, Rhode Island. In the interest of truth, as much as I love the beef from this small, family run farm, we cannot claim it’s 100% sustainable. Both the husband and wife farm owners have other small businesses for income and they have to bring in hay bales from upstate New York to nourish the cows in the winter months. Blackbird Farm is on the path, but the bottom line in all this is, sustainability is very hard.

So I won’t lay claim that the beef I’ve barbecued for this post is completely sustainable, but I will say it is pasture-raised, hormone and antibiotic-free and, from personal experience, pretty content and well-cared for. It’s also humanely slaughtered, which to me is a very important piece of this conscientious carnivore puzzle.

One of the things I do at Blackbird Farm is teach cooking classes. What started this was that people would come to the farm to buy beef, and they would always want steaks (rib eyes, strip, sirloins, etc.) or ground beef. We process two, maybe three cows at a time at Blackbird Farm. There’s only so much steak in a cow, and really only a certain amount of ground beef as well, unless you want to start grinding up all the other cuts like top round, brisket and short rib. So as we get to the end of a cow, we’d try to sell customers these other cuts, and usually people would say, “what do I do with a brisket?” or, “I have no idea how to cook a roast.” There’s a whole larger issue here about our society. But I digress.

So I teach these classes, and when it comes to short ribs, I always braise them. Which, for a three-hour cooking class, requires me to do the TV cooking magic trick of “this goes into the oven for three hours [turn back to audience and switch Dutch ovens] and look here they are all finished!” But I just read something to do with short ribs that I had never done before, and now I was going to barbecue them. What I read is in a new cookbook I was sent that I truly just fell in love with, “Fire It Up: More Than 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything” by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim with photographs by Alison Miksch. It just happens to be the cookbook giveaway this month on this very page so make sure you enter because you sure as heck aren’t getting my copy.



I got this book and I thought, “eh, it’s a grilling cookbook.” But my lack of enthusiasm quickly dissolved as I flipped through the book. First of all, there’s a lot of great grilling information in it. Sure, there’s a lot of great grilling information all over the place now, but that’s the point, this book has just about all of the information you could need in one place.  Secondly, the flavor combinations in the recipes, while not hugely unique, are still very interesting and, as with the grilling info, the recipes are very well organized. There’s a seriously huge amount of recipes in one resource. The other thing I love about the book is it really is, as the title says, about grilling everything, and I mean everything. The chapters include: Beef, Veal, Pork, Lamb, Goat, Bison & Other Game Meat, Chicken & Turkey, Duck, Goose & Game Birds, Fish, Crustaceans & Mollusks, Vegetables, Fruit, Cheese, Other Dairy Foods & Eggs and Breads, Sandwiches, Cakes & Cookies.

Now I’m hooked on this book and as I’m going through it I see a page on butterflying short ribs for grilling. As I said I’ve never done this before. All the more reason to try it.


The instructions in the book are very clear and it’s ridiculously easy. Even if you’ve never butterflied something before you should be able to learn this rather quickly.



Depending on your source for short ribs I would usually advise marinating them for a few hours or overnight because it’s traditionally a not-so-tender cut. “Fire It Up” points to a recipe for short ribs using a Korean Barbecue Marinade, though there are a bunch of great marinades you could try from the book. The Salsa Beer Marinade looks great as does the Rosemary Red Wine Marinade. I chose to go straight to a rub because I know these Blackbird Farm short ribs are somewhat tender. I went with the:

Toasted Cumin Rub

Recipe from “Fire It Up: More Than 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything” by Andrew Schloss and David Joachim with photographs by Alison Miksch - you can win a copy by commenting below)


  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt or smoked salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile
  • ½ teaspoon sugar


Toast the cumin, coriander and peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes, and then grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Combine with the salt, smoked paprika, chipotle and sugar. Store in a tightly closed container for up to 1 month.

I fired up some natural lump charcoal in a chimney starter, put the hot coals on one side of my grill, seared the short ribs for a minute or so on each side—there’s generally a lot of fat on short ribs so watch for flare-ups—moved them over to the other side of the grill and let them cook for another 5-10 minutes. I didn’t want to cook them rare like a steak, but I didn’t want to make them tough by overcooking. Unlike a braise which you could let go for days, by butterflying you’ve created somewhat thin slabs of meat, one third of which is mostly bone, so take the thickness of your final butchered product into account as you cook.

As you can see, because of the high amount of fat in the short ribs, there is a considerable amount of shrinking as the meat cooks. It’s also a bit easy to char that fat, but personally I love a little crispy fat flavor and the interior was a nice color pink. I thought the rub gave enough spiced flavor so while I had prepared a basic barbecue sauce, we didn’t use any. But there are a number of sauces in the book that I could see going well with this dish, depending on your overall dinner. Perhaps try the Espresso Grilling Sauce or the Grilled Tomato Marmalade.

There you have it, barbecued beef short ribs. A great way to grill a different cut of beef than the usual steak. Plus, if you’re concerned about eating too much beef—because portions really can get out of control with places selling 16 ounce or larger steaks—there’s not nearly as much meat on a short rib, perhaps 5-6 ounces, which is really a good thing in the long run for the sustainability of you.


Great News from Our Sponsors giving away another set of their terrific barbecue sauces; each winner will receive:


  • one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork);
  • one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy);
  • and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).



Comment on BBQ Bonanza August posts also enter you to win Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything. (Even includes recipes for goat! Donuts, I kid you not, and scallops with grapefruit mojo. Really there ARE recipes for grilling everything!)



The good people at OXO have graciously added this Four Piece Grilling Set to our August Contest!


How to win one of these THREE prizes:

  1. Enter a comment in any August BBQ Bonanza post.
  2. Write your own post on the theme of Sustainability at the Grill and link back here. You'll get a second entry!
  3. Hit the Silk Road! Find the phony location of a Silk Road yurt, post the true and the false locations in your comment here, and gain another chance to win.
  4. Tweet, RT (#BBQBonanza), post to Facebook.


A Lake, Tons of Beer, BBQ, and Chicago Blues

What's not to love? BBQ, Blues, Brews? The Fourth Annual Summer Brewfest takes place at Indian Ranch (Lake Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg - really - that's the name) on Saturday, August 27 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.


Are you a fan of Craft brews? Just want a fun excuse to get out of the city? Hankering for some Barbecue?


I've got you covered. We're giving away a pair of tickets to the Fourth Annual Summer Brewfest. Enter a comment sharing your favorite craft brew and why you like it. I'll use the random number generator to draw one winner on Thursday August 25th so you have time to make your weekend plans.



Lots of Brewers - Big and Small


Participants at Brewfest will have the opportunity to sample local, regional and international micro-brews, craft beers and malt beverages:


  • Sam Adams, Harpoon, Narragansett, Sierra Nevada, Guinness and Red Hook Brewery.
  • Joining the familiar favorites are these microbrews & craft brewers: Worcester’s own Wormtown Brewery, Blue Hills Brewery, Wachusett Brewery, 50 Back American Lager,  Ipswich Ale, Paper City Brewery, Watch City Brewing Company and Sherwood Forest.
  • But wait, there's more: Magic Hat and Long Trail Ale, Maine brewers Peak Organic and Geary Brewing, Woodstock Inn from New Hampshire and Olde Burnside from Connecticut.
  • Still not convinced you'll find something to sip? National brewers taking part in Summer Brewfest include Widmer Brothers from Oregon, Kona Brewing Company from Hawaii, and Goose Island from Illinois.
  • International brews include Estrella from Spain and Innis & Gunn from Scotland.
  • In addition, Malt Beverages Woodchuck Cider, Jeremiah Weed and Mike’s Hard Lemonade also will be available at the festival.


More than Beer

Summer Brewfest is more than just beer. From paddle boat rides to pole-ish horseshoes, fun and games will be in full swing on the beach at Indian Ranch. The Racky Thomas Band, (traditional Chicago blues, acoustic country blues, and gospel sounds) will perform throughout the afternoon.



And what is a Brewfest without food? You know we love BBQ around here. Check out our BBQ Bonanza for great recipes and prizes like Silk Road sauce trios, OXO grill tools and more.


Brewfest eats will include: BT’s Smokehouse in Sturbridge, voted one of the Top Ten BBQ Joints in New England by the Boston Globe, dishing up Southern BBQ. In addition, perennial favorite Tiny Tim’s Café and Catering will be serving food pulled pork and

other grilled items and the Uxbridge First Night Committee will be selling Del's Lemonade and Loaded Baked Potatoes.






Summer Brewfest takes place Saturday, August 27 from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Less than an hour's drive from Boston, Providence and Springfield, Indian Ranch is located at 200 Gore Road in Webster, MA.

Tickets are $20 prior to before August 13, and $25 thereafter.

All concerts at Indian Ranch are rain or shine.

Call or Click for more info. Admission includes 15 samplings, souvenir cup, music from the Racky Thomas Band, some activities. Some activities like the paddle boats have an additional fee. Food is additional as well.


➽ Enter a comment sharing your favorite craft brew and why you like it. I'll use the Random Number Generator to pick one commenter to win two tickets. Alternately, enter a comment explaining what the name of the lake means and in what language. Each separate comment equals a chance to win.

BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Tataki of Cervena, Chef Peter Pahk

We're kicking into August grilling with some fun new prizes (see below) and a great lineup of guest posters. I've been delighted to have had heritage pork and sustainable seafood both on the menu in July. It's fitting isn't it?

Given our theme of Sustainability at the Grill, we should be looking at things beside hot dogs (the new "cancer sticks"?) and hamburgers to grill or barbecue. Don't get me wrong, I love both hot dogs and hamburgers but really, there are plenty of alternatives that are tastier, better for us, and better for the planet. Among people who ate one daily serving of red meat, a new meta analysis shows that substituting one serving of whole grains per day reduced the risk of diabetes by 23 percent. (May I remind certain people that my excellent grain dishes are not meant as penance but offered in love?) The data look different for pasture-raised, grass-fed meats of course but that is easy to forget when it's so often left out of news reports and articles. And we need to diversify our diets for our satisfaction, our health and for the environment.

I'm here to put the sense back into sustainability. Sensual, sensible sustainability. Delicious, healthy and guilt-free - seems a tall order sometimes with relentless news about health risks, food safety failures, endangered or threatened species.

  • Take one look at our July Wrap Up and you'll find links to four posts that fit the bill.

Kingsmill Resort Executive Chef Peter Pahk

I'm delighted to have our next guest post from Chef Peter Pahk. He's now Senior Executive Chef at the Kingsmill Resort coming back East from the Silverado Resort in Napa Valley. There, he was recognized for his leadership, and for pioneering their many green, sustainable practices. He looks forward to bringing the same environmental focus to this resort. He has already begun by introducing the MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) Program to all menus, choosing natural proteins, Seafood Watch awareness and local when possible.

I first met Chef Pahk at the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Cooking for Solutions event the year I was invited by the Seafood Watch folks. I got to sample his abalone dish and he has since shared his beautiful recipes in TM2F, including:

Following his success at the Silverado resort, I've noted his attention to environmental issues. I'm impressed at how seriously he's been taking this business of sensual, sensible sustainability, for years. He was doing things in Napa Valley before it was cool to be green.

I got to catch up with Peter recently at the Chefs Collaborative Summit and learned about Cervena - pastured venison from New Zealand. Yes, New Zealand. Before you get all up in my grill (sorry couldn't resist) about the carbon footprint let's hear what Peter has to say. Others are noticing too, Kingsmill Chef Promotes Green Cuisine.


Tataki of Cervena - Guest Post, Chef Peter Pahk

There is no doubt, I’m picky when it comes to choosing ingredients. The products I use must be interesting and flavorful. But I also want them grown in the most natural way possible, minimally processed, and transported and sold in an environmentally responsible way.

Yep, I’m interested on the whole story. That’s why Cervena venison is one of my top choices for grilling.

To start with, banish any preconceptions you may have about venison. Cervena venison farmers have spent the last 30 years perfecting the art of raising venison with a very mild and delicious flavor, that is so tender you can almost cut it with a fork. Quite simply It’s the best venison in the world because it is young, raised naturally on lush pasture, and it’s free of hormones and steroids.

A plus for me is that grass feeding has lower environmental impact than grain feeding because all grass requires to grow is rain, sunshine (New Zealand has an abundance of both) and occasionally nutrients. Also, there are none off the waste disposal issues commonly associated with animals raised in feed lots because farmed deer roam on extensive ranches ranging in size from 200 to 10,000 acres.

And even though Cervena venison is imported from New Zealand, it's transported by sea freight which contributes less than 5% of the total emissions from the production, distribution and consumption of the meat. To put that in perspective, the carbon emissions per pound to transport meat from New Zealand to New York by sea is less than trucking it from Texas to New York – 44gms/pound verses 61gms/pound.

When it comes to grilling Cervena venison is hands down the fastest meat to cook – a 3 oz medallion of Cervena will take less that 4 minutes to cook.

The other interesting fact about Cervena venison is it is lower in fat, calories and cholesterol than skinless chicken breast, with more protein than salmon, beef and lamb. So, for those of you who love grilling but want a flavorful, tender and healthy alternative, Cervena venison is a great choice.

Recipe: Tataki of Cervena Venison Salad, Thai Style

Serves 8 as an Appetizer



  • 1 each Whole  Cervena Venison Ribeye, about  24oz.
  • ½ cup Sliced  Bermuda Onions
  • 1 each Seedless Cucumber, sliced into rounds
  • 3 each Early Girl Tomato, cut into 6 wedges each
  • 3 cups Mung Bean Sprouts
  • 3 heads Butter Lettuce, Use about 24 Leaves
  • ½ bunch Cilantro, Plucked into 2” sprigs
  • ½ cup Scallions, Chiffonade Cut
  • ½ cup Roasted, Salted Peanuts, Crushed
  • ½ cup Edible Flower “Confetti” or some whole Pansies, Snapdragons, Nastursiums, Mustard Flowers




  • 1/2 cup Mild Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Thai Fish Sauce
  • 1 cup Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
  • 2 oz.  Sliced Garlic, on Mandoline, thin as possible
  • 2 oz.  Sliced Shallots, on Mandoline, thin as possible
  • 1each Sliced Small Green Chile, on Mandoline, thin as possible, no seeds if milder flavor is desired, seeds if you want it hotter.


Dressing Preparation:


  1. Mix all Dressing Ingredients in a mixing bowl and Chill


Cervena Preparation:


  1. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper and sear Cervena Venison Ribeye on Hibachi Grill, very hot coals to char outside, about 1 minute per four sides.
  2. Roast in oven @350 degrees to rare/ med rare ..120 degrees internal, about 5 minutes, and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Slice into 30 medallions. Toss Cervena Venison Medallions with rest of ingredients, except cilantro, scallions, peanuts and edible flowers with dressing.
  4. In a Salad Bowl, use the tossed Butter Lettuce as a base and build with rest of ingredients…place medallions on top of salad.
  5. Garnish with cilantro, scallion, peanuts and flowers.


To find Cervena in the US, check your local Whole Foods Market, or order through D'Artagnan.


Great News from Our Sponsors giving away another set of their terrific barbecue sauces; each winner will receive:


  • one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork);
  • one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy);
  • and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).



Comment on BBQ Bonanza August posts also enter you to win Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything. (Even includes recipes for goat! Donuts, I kid you not, and scallops with grapefruit mojo. Really there ARE recipes for grilling everything!)



The good people at OXO have graciously added this Four Piece Grilling Set to our August Contest!


How to win one of these THREE prizes:

  1. Enter a comment in any August BBQ Bonanza post.
  2. Write your own post on the theme of Sustainability at the Grill and link back here. You'll get a second entry!
  3. Hit the Silk Road! Find the phony location of a Silk Road yurt, post the true and the false locations in your comment here, and gain another chance to win.


BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Salt block grilled Salmon with Basil Butter

Photo credit: Denise Woodward, Chez Us

BBQ Bonanza continues with this our fifth guest post. The theme this year, our second, is Sustainability at the Grill. I thought it would be fun to see what our guest posters would come up with -- I have not been disappointed. I began this year's kickoff post with this:

"You're standing at your barbecue grill with a package of hot dogs and you're wondering "why don't I do something more original?" Or maybe you're thinking about where the beef in your burgers came from..."

Our guest poster this week touches on our theme by sharing her awakening to issues of sustainability when she moved from Chilean Sea Bass to wild Alaskan Salmon, and discovered her connection to the issue. I share her desire to treat the planet, not as if we inherited it from the previous generation; but rather, as if we borrowed it from the next.

Later this year, I'll be hosting the 5th annual Teach a Man to Fish - sustainable seafood event anniversary with cooking classes for kids. My hope is to build the next generation of ocean stewards and conscious cooks.

Denise is half of the blogging couple, Chez Us "she cooks, he devours", that counts as half, right Lenny? Her stories are lovely and the photos, even better. The photo above which I nabbed for our bonanza badge was taken by Denise and you may have seen her winning entry in Saveur Magazine - gorgeous! Read on and you'll see why these folks became good friends - thoughtful, delicious, beautiful - what more can I say but thank you? And enjoy!

Salt block grilled Copper River Salmon with Basil Butter

Guest Post: Denise Woodward, Chez Us

Summer is the ultimate grilling season. It doesn't matter where you may live, or the culture you come from, summer and grilling go hand-in-hand. Every season I chuckle to myself as I light up the grill for our first cookout; why don't we take advantage and do it more often throughout the year? Besides the obvious that food just tastes really good when it comes off the grill, it is also social and inviting, not to mention, minimal clean-up. We are lucky living in the Bay Area as our seasons are mild and we can take advantage. But, we still don't. We save our sacred recipes for a few precious months and then we tuck them away until the next year. Maybe it is a comfort thing, or maybe some habits are just hard to break.

I was thrilled when our friend Jackie asked us to join her for BBQ Bonanza 2011 as we had a great time last year exploring Mastering The Grill last summer. When I said yes, I could not wait to see what delicious cookbook she was going to expose us too. Little did I know she would be asking us to write about a topic that is true to her heart: sustainability.

The first time I "really" realized that I needed to try to make a difference in my eating lifestyle was some 20 years ago when I approached my fishmonger to purchase some Chilean Sea Bass. I had been enjoying it weekly, even thought I was on a beer budget. As my eyes searched the case hungrily for it, I was told it was no longer available. I made a joke about the fisherman not being able to find it. He came back saying that was absolutely true. I walked home with a bag of pasta and thought long and deep (no pun intended there) about what was happening. How could this happen? How could we be so careless? Overfishing our oceans? It was criminal.

When I think about sustainability, common sense comes to mind. Kind of like ... you leave your house, you turn off the lights and shut the door; excessive behaviors will result in a diminishment of luxuries. Just like that Chilean sea bass.  I took advantage of eating something so delicious, every week, and soon it was not available to me. We try to eat sustainably in our home by asking questions, such as where our food is coming from? How did it come to us? Could we make a better choice? Also by eating seasonally. Do we really need bright red strawberries in the middle of February, when they have been put on a plane from Peru just to land on my table?

We try to do our part. We are only two people, a small speck actually, but we try. We have to, as we want the younger generations, such as our nieces, nephews and MEM to grow into fine adults who care; who have a planet to live on, a planet to grow their families on. If we don't try, who will?

We recently received a lovely package of gorgeous fresh caught Copper River Salmon. Granted it does have to board a flight to get to us; but, the fish is harvested sustainably. The salmon from the Copper River is special, it really doesn't taste like any salmon I have eaten. It is smooth, creamy and full of omega 3s. I tucked away a pound of the king salmon for a special occasion. I could not think of a better time to use it than now. One of my favorite ways to grill salmon is using a whole salmon. I stuff it full of fresh basil, lemon, red onion, butter and some white wine; then I grill it.

It is a delicious way to celebrate summer and the grilling season. Since I was not lucky enough to have a whole salmon, I made my recipe a bit differently this time. I seasoned the salmon with a little black pepper and then cooked it over hot coals, on top of a chunk of Himalayan Salt. The salt distributes heat evenly while lightly seasoning the fish. If you don't have a salt plate, grill the fish as you normally would.

Then, I made a compound butter using fresh basil, lemon zest, shallots and a little white wine. Right before taking the salmon off the grill, I put some of the compound butter on top. The slow heat that was left in the grill as well as the smoke wrapped around the salmon and butter, creating a very moist and flavorful piece of fish. Simple. Sustainable.

Recipe:  Grilled Salmon with Basil Butter


  • 1 pound of sustainably caught salmon
  • black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 stick high quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, minced
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine, optional
  • kosher salt, to taste


  1. In a small mixing bowl mash the butter with a fork, until creamy.  Add the seasonings.  Stir to combine.
  2. Roll the butter into a log using parchment paper.  Put into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat the grill to 350.  Lightly oil the salmon and season with pepper.
  4. Grill the fish until almost cooked.  5 minutes before removing from the grill, slice the butter into slices and evenly space on top of the salmon.
  5. Cover the grill with the lid and continue to cook for the last couple minutes.

Serve.  Eat.

BBQ BONANZA '11 is sponsored by:




Giveaway Rules:

We'll be giving away three Silk Road BBQ Sauce Trios. One trio will be given away in each month: July (congrats, Jenni!), August, and September.

Each winner will receive: one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork); one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy); and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).


Enter to win:

1. Add a comment on any of the BBQ Bonanza posts. I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner from that month's comments.

2. Add a post on your own blog - c'mon, you know you're grilling! - and link back to one of the BBQ Bonanza posts that inspired you. Let me know which one and you earn another shot. I'll link back, too!

3. Bonus entry: answer to this question and gain another entry in the drawing: Which of the sites on the Silk Road BBQ website is NOT a current, actual location of one of their yurts?


Second Sponsor for August:

For the month of August, we are thrilled to add a second sponsor: OXO! OXO joins the BBQ Bonanza family, graciously offering this groovy and practical four piece grilling tool set. Groovy and practical, isn't that their sweet spot?

These tools have long handles (safely keeping your arms away from the heat. They feature retractable hanging hooks, durable stainless steel tools with comfortable beech wood grips, and the silicone basting brush incorporates OXO’s patented design to prevent marinades from sliding off bristles. I can tell you from personal experience, once you've used an Oxo kitchen tool, nothing else compares. The other basting brushes in my house are lonely, pressed into service only when two separate things are being basted or when my Oxo brush is in the dishwasher. Tongs lock, too. They really think of everything.


Remember all you have to do to enter is drop a comment on any August BBQ Bonanza post, and extra entries can be yours, simply share the link love (see above).

We want to know what you're grilling and how you incorporate sustainability at the grill.

Now go on, fire it up!





Don't forget, BBQ & Grilling love this month also includes a chance to win:

Your comments on any BBQ Bonanza post in August enter you to win Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything. Even includes recipes for goat!


BBQ Bonanza 2011 - July Wrap Up & Prizes

photo credit: Denise Woodward

BBQ Bonanza '11 Wraps First Month

What have you been grilling lately?

Turkish Chicken Brochettes - I used the spice blend my in-laws brought back from Turkey and marinated these chicken pieces in them. I had the last of the garlic scapes I'd grilled, chopped them up in some rice adding lime and cilantro. Grilling these Turkish (or Turk-ish?) skewers with these beautiful cherry tomatoes, I was reminded of the word "brochettes".

It seemed very sophisticated to me the first time I heard it. I was on one of my first "real" dates (i.e. one that didn't involve a group of kids and beer and running from the cops) at a real restaurant. Every time I have skewers with cherry tomatoes, especially over rice, I think of brochettes. All grown up and yummy. And no running.


Guest Posts in July

Thanks to our stellar posts by our first four guest posters. Each shared a recipe and a story about what "Sustainability at the Grill" means to them.

Pulled Pork Tacos - Sharon Miro

② Squid with Tamarind & Orange - Becky Selengut

③ Goat Skewers with Vinegary Herb Sauce - Mark Scarbrough & Bruce Weinstein

Channel Catfish with Chili Coconut Glaze - Martin Reed, I Love Blue Sea



And our Winners Are

We have two winners for July. Thanks to Silk Road BBQ for sponsoring us! Using the - Random number generator. I listed all of our July BBQ Bonanza comments, omitting my own, of course:

  1. Silk Road BBQ Sauce Trio - Jenni [Random Integer Generator; Here are your random numbers: 7 Timestamp: 2011-08-02 02:23:03 UTC] Jenni was #7.
  2. Goat: Meat ✼ Milk ✼ Cheese, Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein - Denise [Random Integer Generator; Here are your random numbers: 1; Timestamp: 2011-08-02 02:52:04 UTC]
Don't forget, BBQ & Grilling love continues next week...

Your comments on any BBQ Bonanza post in August enter you to win Fire it Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything. Even includes recipes for goat!

A second sauce trio from Silk Road BBQ is also going to one of our commenters in August.

BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Channel Catfish with Chili Coconut Glaze

photo credit: Denise Woodward

Recently I've been reading books like Mark Kurlansky's A World without Fish and Paul Greenberg's Four Fish. Both men write persuasively and eloquently about the ocean. They speak of fishing, Kurlansky with his daughter and Greenberg as a boy, and connect us to a time of innocence, now lost in the often contentious world of ocean conservation. I sometimes get sad and frankly a little frustrated when I'm attacked for bringing up the S word: sustainability.

What I want most is to get to solutions that work and systems that enable the future fishermen to take their children out for a day of snorkeling or fishing, to have their children inherit their fishing boats and to have that be a viable choice. To imagine oceans teaming with healthy fish populations and to have sane fisheries management that enables them to thrive: sometimes seems impossible. Solutions can be hard to come by. Too often, it's "us against them" thinking that takes over.


Can we just kick back, pop a cold one, and fire up the grill? Can we do it without guilt if we're grilling fish?

Yes. Yes we can.

I Love Blue Sea is a company that was borne of the same fondness for the sea and a desire to re-think how we do things. In this case, entrepreneurial thinking and personal longing for fresh, sustainable fish spurred Martin Reed to create a company to fill in the gap he saw between sustainable purveyors and conscientious cooks. Now, with a couple of clicks you can experience sparkling fresh seafood that's shipped to your door. They even take care with packaging to use soy based inks and recyclable materials where possible. Remember, our theme for BBQ Bonanza this year is Sustainability at the Grill.


When I read Martin's guest post, I thought of Kurlansky and Greenberg starting with their own innocent fishing days. When you speak with Martin (read my post Sustainable Seafood Delivered: I Love Blue Sea makes a Splash), you sense his love for the ocean. With clear vision and a reassuring smile, he makes the business of sustainable seafood seem more than possible, he makes it real.


In that same way, he takes a beautiful sustainable fish and shows us anyone can enjoy it grilled with an easy sauce. No fussy stuff here, so kick back and enjoy a guilt-free grilled fish.

Channel Catfish with Sweet Chili Coconut Glaze

Guest post: Martin Reed, founder

I fell in love with fish as a young boy when I caught my first out of the icy waters of San Francisco Bay. This love grew to include sushi, surfing and finally to the great body of water that produces these magnificent species – our ocean. The past five decades have seen catastrophic decline in ocean life as we’ve cleverly found ways to outsmart fish in a battle first waged many moons ago. Boats the size of football fields fish for months at a time in areas inaccessible just one generation ago.

So maybe you know this, and try to support sustainable seafood – but it’s not always easy is it? The NY Times recently revealed 20 - 25% of fish is mislabeled intentionally. My passion is to change that and make sustainable seafood easy transparent and convenient. With the purpose of restoring trust to fishmongers, I started i love blue sea.  Browse 120+ types of sustainable seafood online and enjoy sushi-quality fresh fish anywhere in the US. We’re a partner of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, and they just named us a ‘2011 Seafood Champion!’  OK, okay enough about us. Let’s talk catfish.


Yup, if you haven’t had domestic farm-raised catfish, hold your judgment.  Most catfish is raised in Asia and is not something I would buy either. Our Channel Catfish is raised in closed-containment ponds in Louisiana. They are primarily vegetarian so they have a favorable feed conversion ratio. This means it takes less than one pound of wild fish to create one pound of catfish. This is a net gain in protein - not something all farmed fish can claim.

I’m still pretty new to the world of gourmet cooking so I’ve been trying lots of new ingredients. Right now, I’ve been enjoying experimenting with oils. So this recipe uses three. I recently found coconut butter and sometimes sneak a spoonful before bedtime. It’s that good.

Obviously, feel free to use oils interchangeably here based on what’s in the cupboard.


Channel catfish with sweet chili coconut glaze



  • Channel Catfish Fillets - about 1/2 to 3/4 lb per person.
  • Peanut oil
  • Your choice of seasonal vegetables for the grill (how about onions, peppers, and baby eggplants? Bok Choy?)




  1. Brush fillet with peanut oil to prevent sticking to hot grill
  2. Put veggies on to grill.
  3. When veggies are about halfway done, add fish to grill.




  • Blend 2 parts coconut butter, 1 part hot water and 1 part sweet chili sauce (I like Mae Ploy).
  • Splash a streak or two of Sriracha across the plate if you want a little spice.

I devoured the dish before I thought to do this. Serve with:


Mixed summer veggies with Canadian flair


  • Buy some local, seasonal vegetables at your favorite market cut into whatever shape just feels right.
  • Toss with sesame oil and Montréal steak seasoning to taste. Olive oil also works really well.
  • Throw on the grill and flip a few times till satisfied.



Previous Guest Posts in BBQ Bonanza '11

❶ Pulled Pork Tacos - Sharon Miro

❷ Squid with Tamarind & Orange - Becky Selengut

❸ Goat Skewers with Vinegary Herb Sauce - Mark Scarbrough & Bruce Weinstein


❦ ❦ ❦

BBQ BONANZA '11 is sponsored by:

Click on the logo to visit their site.

❦ ❦ ❦





BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Pulled Pork Tacos

BBQ Bonanza 2011 continues with our third guest post. Sharon Miro writes the Nickle Moon blog and I've loved her posts, loved her friendship on Twitter. She was one of our first guest posters on this theme last year; reviewing the Kansas City BBQ Cookbook last year. Her stories can make you well up with memories of her family or laugh with her through snippets of her life now. She's a great baker, a fan of good food, and a better writer than I think she gives herself credit for. I'm thrilled to have her join us again this year.

photo credit: Denise Woodward

In this post, Sharon does what I love most: sharing a family memory and calling on that to create a new food tradition. I think Helen would be so proud. And hungry. Read on.


Pulled Heritage Pork Tacos - Channeling our Inner Helen

Guest Post by Sharon Miro

Another year, another few dozen BBQs and Family Dinners. The 150 pounds of heritage, pasture raised pig we bought last year in September is almost gone. Can you believe that? We have made sausages of various persuasions, “pulled” a record number of pounds of pork, cooked pork chops and roasts and stews and fresh hams. We have cured belly, and made 4 different kinds of bacon. We have made prosciutto and guanciale. And we are not quite done yet.

While we were reveling in the sweet taste of this pig, Charcutepalooza came along. A real national movement in how to cure and use good meat, it has hundreds of bloggers who participate and thousands of people that follow along. And there is Goaterie. Jackie started a conversation about goat with Mark and it took off, and now a second group to tout the joys of cooking with goat: milk, cheese and meat.

When Jackie asked again about a guest post, I jumped at the opportunity without a second thought as to what the subject matter might be—I knew it would be fun.  I did not know that it would provoke a real awareness of what I did not know about the issue of sustainability. When I started thinking about sustainability at the grill, our subject matter for this year,  I realized that this was a serious subject that could get deep pretty fast. And what did I know about it? And what could I cook that would fit in with this?

Hmm. Well, as much as I think I know, the subject of sustainability is vast. It has started feuds online, and wars in the heartland. And the more you look, the more you know you don’t know enough.

As always, when stymied by a subject I cannot quite get my arms around I try to bring it down to, as Sister Francis Loretto would say, the lowest common denominator.

Sustainability, at its root, is about common sense. About all of us using what’s readily available and easily replenished from both an environmental & social impact viewpoint.

My mother, Helen, could squeeze 2 meals out of a pound of hamburger and make pasta sauce out of what was left. Nothing went to waste in our house. My mother cooked with an economy of motion and money. If the definition of sustainability is “the capacity to endure”, my Mom had it knocked before it was popular. Her ability to take what was available and make a delicious meal is unrivaled, except perhaps for her father who could take a cold boiled potato and…well that’s another story.

I can’t tackle the entire issue of sustainability here, but I could channel my inner Helen, and figure out how she would best tackle this issue. I will be trying to expand on my thoughts about sustainability on my own blog and I hope you will visit and take a look.

So, back to why I am here, guest post.

I am not a big fan of ham. Cured ham that is. But I have become a fan of fresh ham and have cooked it several times in the last year in a variety of ways.

My task for the Fourth of July party that my daughter, Kristina, always has, was to cook a fresh ham from our stash of pork. Slow cooked, pulled pork with a mole inspired sauce was lurking on the edges of my mind and I decided to see if I could create 3 “sauces-rubs-marinades”, each with a different use for this dish, but with a similar flavor palate with what I had in the house.

This recipe does take a few days, so requires a bit of planning but the results are well worth it. The pork turned out better than I had hoped for, and the pork tacos were a great hit among the other great dishes there. Plus it makes enough left-overs for several meals. I hope you enjoy them too.

3 Sauces


Basic Ingredients:

  • Dried Chilis
  • 1 TBSP Salt
  • 10 Peppercorns
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 TBSP oregano
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP coriander seed
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 TSP mustard seed
  • 2 TBSP cumin seed
  • 1 cup dried tomatillos
  • 3 cups warm water


Take the dried chilis - I used 2 each ancho and guajillo. Toast them slowly in a dry cast iron pan taking care not to let them burn. Carefully stem, and remove most of the seeds. Put them in a bowl, and cover with 2 cups of water and set aside.

Take the dried tomatillos and cover with one cup of water and set aside.

Take the rest of the spices and toast gently in the same dry pan, add them to a spice grinder an grind fine. Add to minced garlic-this should be a dryish paste.




Sauce 1 - oil rub

While the chilis and tomatillos are hydrating, mix about 2-3 TBSP of the basic paste with ¼ of olive oil. Carefully cut slits in your fresh ham. This one is about 7 pounds. Rub the paste into the ham well, and refrigerate in a covered container for 12 hours, or overnight.


After the chilis have hydrated carefully pour them into a blender and puree. Divide into 2 parts about 1/3 to 2/3.

Drain the tomatillos, use for Sauce 3 - taco sauce.

Sauce 2 - for wet marinade and cooking


  • 1.5 TBSP of dry paste
  • ½ C brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • ½ C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TBSP tamarind
  • Juice of one lime
  • ½ C strong coffee
  • 2/3 the chili mixture


Mix the above ingredients in a blender and set aside. After 12 hours in the oil rub, add ½ of the wet marinade to the container and coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for 12 hours. (I put the meat in zip-lock bag at this stage) Reserve ½ the marinade.


Sauce 3 - for Taco sauce

  • 1/3 chili mixture
  • 2 TBSP dry tomato paste
  • 1 can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
  • ½ C vinegar
  • 1 cup re-hydrated tomatillos
  • 1 TBSP oregano
  • Salt to taste


Mix all the above in a blender until smooth. This taco sauce is dark, and rich and will keep in the fridge for up to a year.

Cooking the meat

After 1 ½ days marinating, I took the meat out, wiped off the excess marinade and let it come to room temp. I then smoked it for 3 hours, adding 6 smoke packets ( I make them myself) and then slow cooked for another 9 hours, at about 175 degrees. I use a stand alone smoker by Magic Chef.

At the 6 hour mark, I put the ham into a foil container, added the reserved cooking sauce and some red tea and cooked covered for another 4 hours. At 10 hours I removed the cover and cooked another 2 hours.

After cooking cover well, and hold for 30 minutes, or more. Then pull apart with two forks.



We served this with all the fixings for tacos including the homemade sauce.



➊ Check out our first BBQ Bonanza '11 guest post: Vinegary Herbed Goat Skewers, by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein, authors of Goat: Meat, Milk Cheese.

Grilled Squid with Tamarind & Orange, by Becky Selengut, author of Good Fish

BBQ BONANZA '11 is sponsored by Silk Road BBQ, click to learn more:




BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Grilled Squid with Tamarind and Orange

Since our theme for BBQ Bonanza 2011 is Sustainability at the Grill, you knew we'd feature some seafood, right? And you know my rule of sensual, sensible, sustainability: first, it has to taste good, then we have to be able to afford it and also we want to be able to consume it without guilt. This recipe sails through with flying colors on all three counts.

This our second guest post is by my friend, author, chef, wiseacre and sustainability soldier: Becky Selengut. Her new book is gorgeous, inspiring and dying to come live on your bookshelf.

I love what Becky is about, how she cooks, her razor sharp wit and her joie de vivre. Joie de Vivre sounds a little too white-gloves-and-party-manners, though. She's one of those women that we used to call "a great broad." Something I aspire to be. Smart and quick, a good drinker and a good sport. My Journalism prof in school wanted me to pursue writing and described me as very similar to his favorite journalist, a great broad by the name of Joan if memory serves. Wonder what the current equivalent of "a great broad" is? Hmm...

Anyway, I knew that if Becky agreed to a guest post, we'd get a fun, salty story. She doesn't disappoint.

Photo credit: Clare Barboza

Calamari or Squid and Hypocrites

Guest Post: Becky Selengut

When I told my friend I was including squid recipes in my book, she wrinkled her nose and gave me a judgy look. “Have you even tried squid?” I asked, my eyebrows hitting the ceiling as I mustered my most condescending expression. “Ick. Never,” she said, “though there was once some calamari I had in the Riviera that I looooved.”

I blinked 4 times in pained, slow motion succession.

“You realize squid and calamari are the same thing, dumbass” I said.  “No,” she countered, “they’re not. Squid is disgusting and calamari is Italian and Awesome.”

I couldn’t even be bothered to blink at that, so I just stared at her until my eyes dried up and fell out.

Whether you call it squid or calamari matters not in how fabulous it is, marinated in a spicy, gingery and tart tamarind bath and then quickly caramelized on a hot grill.  Squid is a low cost and sustainable seafood option and a ridiculously simple dinner.  To your friends who claim they don’t have time to cook or can’t afford going out to restaurants I say: grab a few chunks of wood briquettes, a kettle grill and a pound of squid.  While you can substitute lemon for the bright acidity of tamarind, most supermarkets carry it these days and it really does give the squid a unique depth, so don’t be lazy.

Feed this to your judgy friend and gloat while she chokes on her Eurocentric hypocrisy.

Grilled squid (calamari) with tamarind and orange

Primum non nocere. First, do no harm. All medical students are taught this, and I am of the opinion that it should also be taught in culinary schools. In medicine, sometimes the cure can do more damage than the sickness, and similarly, overzealous culinary students and chefs can sometimes do more damage to food than if they had simply let the poor ingredient be. I’m a big fan of sauce, don’t get me wrong, but some foods shine the brightest when prepared the most simply. Great ingredients don’t require heroic culinary interventions.

Serves 4

1 teaspoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 tablespoon minced Serrano chile (seeds left in)

1 orange (1 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)

2 teaspoons tamarind paste

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound squid bodies, cleaned* – skin removed

1 teaspoon minced fresh mint

Maldon or gray salt as optional garnish


Mix together shallot, ginger, serrano, orange zest, orange juice, tamarind, salt and 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Pour over squid bodies and marinate for 30 minutes.  Heat a grill over high heat (you could also do this on a grill pan).  When the grill is very hot, oil the grates well and lay 1/2 the squid on the grates.  Weigh down immediately with a cast iron skillet (or similar heavy heat-proof pan). Grill for 1 1/2 minutes until you see grill marks. Flip and weigh again with skillet and grill for another 30 seconds to a minute.  Remove and repeat < script src="plugins/editors/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js" type="text/javascript"> with the rest of the squid.

Lay the grilled squid out on a small platter and drizzle the rest of the extra virgin olive oil over the top. Squeeze some more orange juice over the top and sprinkle the mint and some Maldon or gray sea salt over the pieces of squid.

Wine pairing: An Albariño, such as Abacela 2009, Umpqua Valley, Oregon, or a Grüner Veltliner


*Go to for a video demonstration of cleaning whole squid.

Recipe from Good Fish: Sustainable Seafood Recipes from the Pacific Coast (Sasquatch 2011)

Chef Becky Selengut,,

You can support an indie writer (me), an indie bookstore (Powell's) and a great chef (Becky.) Click on the cover to buy.


➊ Check out our first BBQ Bonanza '11 guest post: Vinegary Herbed Goat Skewers, by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein, authors of Goat: Meat, Milk Cheese.

❦ ❦ ❦

BBQ BONANZA '11 is sponsored by:

Click on the logo to visit their site.

❦ ❦ ❦




BBQ Bonanza 2011 - Goat Skewers with a Vinegary Herb Sauce

You're standing at your barbecue grill with a package of hot dogs and you're wondering "why don't I do something more original?" Or maybe you're thinking about where the beef in your burgers came from. Whether you use an indoor grill, a gas grill, a Weber with Kingsford charcoal or a hibachi with fancy Japanese super-coal...What you put on the grill, and how you cook it (brine? marinate? grill as is?) is as important as the tools you use.

BBQ Bonanza 2011

This year, our theme is Sustainability at the Grill. I'm going to be hosting a killer series of guest posts from award-winning cookbook authors, famous chefs, food writers and bloggers, BBQ experts and new converts to the cause, over the next three months. I can almost guarantee that you'll be inspired to expand your grilling horizons, each week, all summer. And there are giveaways, recipes, contests. So fire up that grill - or plug it in - and get ready to rock some amazing sustainable food.

We begin this year's Bonanza with a recipe from my new friends in sustainability, chiefs of the "Goaterie" Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein. Mark and Bruce are the enviably successful authors of several cookbooks, including the Beard nominated Ham. They also write a great blog called Real Food Has Curves.

Photo credit: Denise Woodward, Chez Us

Why We Love Goat

Guest post Bruce Weinstein, Mark Scarbrough

Mark and I refer to our selves as the hardest working food writers no one’s ever heard of.  How can it be when we’re North America’s most published food team? Mark’s the writer and I’m the chef.  We’ve developed over 10,000 original recipes over the past 11 years, most of which have been published in one of our 19 cook books, some in our magazine work, and the rest posted on our food blog The blog is named after our book Real Food Has Curves – a 7-step plan to get off processed food - which was published last May.

This March we received our first James Beard Award nomination for HAM: An Obsession With The Hind Quarter and published its sequel, GOAT: Meat Milk Cheese. According to Bon Appétit Magazine, “If we’re all eating goat in 5 years it will be because of this book.” High praise indeed.

So why goat?  We’d both eaten it in the 70s—Mark in Cancun, while mine was served up by my grandmother’s Jamaican home health aide in Manhattan. Delicious? Yes. But our first tastes were strong, musky, and a bit gamey. Neither of us ran to the butcher looking for more anytime time soon.

Three decades passed before we had the chance to try goat again. We had driven up to Vermont’s Mad River Valley to buy some grass fed ham from North Hollow Farm. To our surprise, Julie and her husband Mike (owners of said farm) were keeping a few goats around with the grass fed cows and pigs.

“They’re going to be slaughtered for meat,” Julie said, “but I don’t know if I’m doing it right. Would you be willing to taste test and let me know what you think?”

This goat meat was nothing like the Caribbean meat we’d both had years earlier. This was sweet, mild, and tender— tasting like a cross between dark meat turkey and pork — we were hooked. No wonder most of the world loves this animal. Did we mention that it can be both kosher and halal? And it accounts for 70% of the red meat eaten on the planet. Goat is going to be the next big thing  - and with any luck, Mark and I will go along for the ride.


Goat Skewers with Vinegary Herb Sauce

This recipe appears in Goat: Meat, Milk, & Cheese. (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2011)

You'll end up with four skewers. (One per person, maybe? double or triple the recipe at will.)

Some of the best chunks come from the goat leg, the meat sweeter and subtler. We’ve already considered that meat in the Goat and Quince Stew (page 52), but here it’s more elemental, less adorned, a real pleasure on its own. Bruce’s sauce here is sort of like chimichurri (page 111) but skewed more to the Middle East, less to South America.

  • 1/4 cup (55 g) minced fresh chives or the green bits of a scallion
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) stemmed, packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup (55 g) stemmed, packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3  cup (165 ml) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680 g) goat meat chunks from the leg, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 1 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 metal kebab skewers

1. Whir the chives, cilantro, parsley, vinegar, pepper, and salt in a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. While the machine is running, pour the olive oil through the open feed tube in a slow dribble to make a light sauce.

-- No food processor? Mince the chives, cilantro, and parsley on a cutting board, then mash them with the other ingredients in a mortar with a pestle until pasty. Drip in the oil, grinding the mixture into a sauce as the oil is added in dribs and drabs. It won't be as smooth as that from a food processor, but it'll do in a pinch.

-- No food processor, no mortar, no pestle? (Are you sure you wanted to buy a goat cookbook?) You can make this sauce by rocking a knife through the herbs on a cutting board until they’re minced, almost pureed, then adding coarse-grained salt and wiping the side of the knife’s blade across the mess, using the grainy salt to further mash the herbs into a pulp. Scrape all this into a bowl, stir in the vinegar and pepper; then whisk in the olive oil in a slow, steady stream.

2. Place half of this herb sauce in a large bowl (reserve the remainder in a separate bowl in the fridge for a garnish). Add the meat cubes, paprika, and cardamom. Stir well, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 12 hours.

3. Thread the meat cubes onto the skewers and set them aside at room
temperature while you prepare the grill, either heating a gas grill to high heat (about 550 F [288 C]) or building a high-heat coal bed in a charcoal grill. If you don’t want to use the grill outside, heat a large, heavy grill pan over medium-high heat until smoking. As the grill is heating up, take the reserved sauce out of the fridge so it comes back to room temperature. You can even nuke it for a few seconds to take the chill off (but don’t get it too hot or the taste will become too pronounced, almost bitter).

4. Set the skewers directly over the heat (or in the grill pan). Grill for 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into a cube without touching the skewer registers 160 F (71 C). Serve the skewers with the reserved sauce on the side.


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BBQ BONANZA '11 is sponsored by:

Click on the logo to visit their site.


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Here's Ed at the Rowes Wharf "yurt" and that's their 1st place trophy from the Cape Cod BBQ event. That's right, first place. Stop by one of their locations to sip a free cup of tea, savor some fantastic BBQ and enjoy some old school social networking.


Giveaway Rules:

We'll be giving away three Silk Road BBQ Sauce Trios. One trio will be given away in each month: July, August, and September.

Each winner will receive: one bottle of Carolina sauce (for dressing pulled pork); one bottle of pomegranate chili sauce (versatile sweet/sour/spicy); and one bottle of jerk marinade (meat brine or stew base or ceviche base).


Here's what you have to do to win:

1. Add a comment on any of the BBQ Bonanza posts. I'll use the random number generator to pick a winner from that month's comments.

2. Add a post on your own blog and link back to one of the BBQ Bonanza posts (and let me know which), earn another shot.

3. Add an answer to this question: Which of the sites on the Silk Road BBQ website is NOT a current actual location of one of these yurts? -- Or this one -- in what category did Silk Road BBQ win first place? -- and gain another chance to win.



Bonus Round!

➜ Bon Appetit says goat may be the next big thing. Tell us your goat story on this post and you will also be entered to win a copy of Mark Scarbrough's and Bruce Weinstein's terrific book.

BBQ Time - Who's grilling what now?

Fire up those grills kids, it's finally warm and sunny! Remember that grilling is not only about burgers and dogs. You can grill up a lot of fun with a little inspiration from our BBQ Bonanza.

Fish, salad, fruit, vegetables, indoor, outdoor, with charcoal, with smoke, with electricity, or gas. We can enjoy savory meals that scream of summer.

Here are several books, reviewed by my friends in guest posts last summer. Wonder what they're grilling up now?

BBQ Bonanza Guest Post - 300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes

Cyndi Allison had the good fortune of not getting an Easy Bake Oven as a child. We're all the better for it. This is our second guest post in our BBQ Bonanza. Cyndi publishes the Yes You Can Grill website and also the Barbeque Master blog.

BBQ Bonanza - 300 Big & Bold Barbecue & Grilling Recipes

by Cyndi Allison

I wanted an Easy Bake oven for Christmas when I was younger, but my Mom said we had a kitchen and to “have at it” anytime I wanted. After I made fudge with condensed milk rather than evaporated milk and caught Pop-Tarts on fire, I was banished to the yard where fire is the norm, and where there are no smoke detectors. I did burn a few hot dogs along the way, but I found my niche with outdoor cooking.

Being a goddess of the grill was a handy skill to have in college, since most of my friends never did master the cheap, open-air hibachi grills of the 1980s. Then, I grew up and had sons, so outdoor cooking simply worked out better for our household. The boys thought cooking outside meant a party instead of being household duties that simply had to be done. We grew up with lots of parties and lots of buddies to help us polish off the grilled food.

Beyond Burgers and Brats

Although I grill all the classics, I also enjoy going gourmet on the grill. In fact, my boys are absolutely hooked on grilled crab legs. I hope they both do very well in college and get good jobs or homes near the beach, because they are going to find that crab legs put a dent in the wallet, although they are worth every cent.

What’s Between the Covers Of “Big & Bold?”

When you’re putting together 300 recipes for a grilling cookbook, you can cover a lot of ground, and Adler and Fertig have recipes for everything from rubs/sauces and seafood to beef, lamb, and fruit. Believe me, this is a cookbook that could keep you busy for a very long time. I am still working down my list of things to grill from the cookbook. I tried out several recipes and adapted some to my area. When grilling gourmet in a rural area, there are some items that are hard to come by. I was intrigued by the recipe for bread sticks wrapped in Swiss chard or beat leaves, but those were not available locally here yet, so I used turnip greens. In other cases, I simply added ingredients to my ongoing grocery lists and picked up items when on a city grocery run.

Top Pick by the Gourmet Boys (who do not know they eat gourmet)

I gave the boys the cookbook and had them pick out something they wanted to try, and they went with Stir-Grilled Coconut Shrimp. We lived on the eastern shore of Virginia for a while, so they are big shrimp fans, although I still can’t convince the older son that heads-on shrimp are the way to go. He just does not get into taking off the heads and deveining shrimp. Oh well. The younger one can hang with that.

In this case, the shrimp recipe is in a grill wok. I don’t see those used very often around here, but I think everyone should get one. You can do so many things in a grill wok, and they are very easy to use. If you like to do your sides on the grill, then a wok is perfect for vegetables on the side.

In this case, I made up the coconut marinade and let the shrimp rest a while. Then, I put the shrimp in the wok over a medium hot fire and tossed them until they were orange in color. This took under fifteen minutes in terms of grill time, so although some people are afraid to try the fancier grill recipes, many are actually easier than the traditional grill recipes which also take longer over the fire.


Is This the Grill Book for You?

“300 Big & Bold Barbecue Grilling Recipes” is not really a beginner barbecue book, but no gourmet grilling cookbook would be. It’s better to get to know your grill and to try some of the most basic recipes out first – kind of like learning the scales when taking music lessons.

On the flip side, the recipes really are easy to understand and follow. These ladies do know their barbecue and grilling. The steps are easy to follow, and the tips are right on the money. The boys helped with the grilled shrimp (the older one made up the coconut sauce), and the two teens had no problems understanding how to grill wok the shrimp, although they have not done that before.

Grillers may have to purchase a few barbecue accessories like grill planks (easy to find now and not too pricey) and also may have to look around for a few ingredients in the book (although not so much in a city). But, that is how you go from being the hot dog queen or king to making some really fabulous outdoor dishes that will make you blush with pride and impress the heck out of your family and friends.



Other BBQ Bonanza Posts:






BBQ Bonanza Guest Post - Cookbook Music & Kansas City BBQ -

Our BBQ Bonanza guest post today is a review of the new Andrews McMeel book: The Kansas City Barbecue Society Cookbook. I'm delighted to bring you this post. Check out Sharon's blog post about Remembering Pork: BBQ, old road trips, and "the Chinese guy."

Cookbook Music & Kansas City BBQ

by Sharon Miro, publisher of the Nickelmoon blog.

When Jacqueline Church, The Leather District Gourmet, asked if I would be interested in reviewing a cookbook dedicated to BBQ, my first thought was sure, after all, how hard could that be, considering my love affair with all thing porcine.

When I got the book, The Kansas City Barbecue Society Cookbook, I opened it while standing over my chopping block, with a pad of stickies and a pen. Pretty soon I wondered how much I could write without drooling on the keyboard. Here’s what the book looked like after the first hour.

Getting this book and thinking about BBQ resulted in a post on my own blog not so much about BBQ as it was about certain milestones in my life and how BBQ played a part. It stills marks many a Sunday dinner, as it did on Memorial Day weekend, and it is the catalyst of many an experiment in my gastronomic growth.

BBQ is like music: the same chords can be rock & roll or jazz, it depends on the player.

The KCBS (take that anyway you want-they do) is a serious barbecue society but they don’t take themselves too seriously. Make no mistake: they are passionate about their barbecue-but the 3 founding principals agreed that the only requirement for membership was “to take nothing too seriously. To do so was grounds for expulsion.”

This cookbook defies the tradition of most society cookbooks and goes outside the perceptions of traditional BBQ. This isn’t about tall food, or foam on the plate. It’s about food that evokes childhood memories of daylong picnics. It’s about lazy smoke drifting over the grass like the Kansas City blues. It’s about the happy groans of satiated diners. It is a written mosaic of succulent pork, lip-smacking side dishes and innovative grilled dessert recipes.

The expected slow-smoked recipes and their accompaniments are there, and some great “how tips” so that you really do end up with moist, tender meat that will make you the toast of the neighborhood. And that doesn’t even get us to the bridge. New takes on fish, shrimp, vegetables and appetizers, and more make this cookbook a collection of riffs on familiar themes.

Each recipe is accompanied by a paragraph or two on its creator, and the anecdotes and tips abound everywhere. There is a great glossary of BBQ terms and special tips from KCBS in the back of the cookbook.

If I had one complaint about the cookbook, it’s about that: it’s packed with info and at times can seem too “busy” in its design. But that’s OK- any book that includes a recipe for Koolicles is OK by me. And no, I will not tell you what they are. Buy the book.

Leave your preconceived notions at the door, and be prepared to be inspired to hum some new notes.

I was inspired by this book to cook two pork butts prepared for the smoker in different ways. I used the standard Barbecued Pork Butt recipe on page 12, and created my own run for it. I used it on one of the butts. The other was done with an Asian inspired marinade.

  • 1 ½ Tb sugar
  • 1 ½ Tb salt
  • 2 Tb paprika- I mixed sweet and smoky
  • ¼ cup dried wild mushrooms
  • 1 ½ Tb pickling spice with extra mustard seed
  • 1 ½ Tb Sharon’s special spice-juniper berries, crushed cinnamon sticks, dried orange peel, cloves, nutmeg, pepper corns
  • 1 ½ Tb Italian Meat Spice ( I bought mine in Campo De Fiori in Rome, but if you can’t get there, mix together Rosemary, Oregano, Marjoram, Dried sliced garlic, dried spring onion, crushed chilis
  • ½ cup brown sugar


Mix the sugars, paprika & salt together. Grind the other spices in a spice grinder and blend with the sugar mixture. This really will be enough for several roasts, and is good on fish, chicken and beef.

Take about 2-3 Tb of the combined mixture and rub it into the pork butt thoroughly. Tie the butt with string and put into a zip lock bag for 24 hours. Follow instructions for slow-smoke cooking for your grill or smoker. I used hickory and soaked rosemary, and cooked the two 5lb butts for 10 hours. Yum!!

830 AM

130 PM

Done: 6 PM

The Kansas City Barbeque Society Cookbook

Published 2010 by KCBS, Andrews McMeel Publishing


For more information , see, or call 800-851-8923.