Ever have one of those days that leads you to believe a solid 24 hours of food and sleep may just help?
Hell, even Oscar Wilde once quipped, “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.”
So, grab a pillow, a blanket and find a couch because this is about to get very real cooking comfort food and using a barbecue twist.
Try these recipes to ease your soul:
Bourbon Barbecue Sauce – Try this sauce for any of the following recipes or even on some of your own creations. Start with a 14-oz bottle of tomato ketchup, 1/3 cup good bourbon, 1 tablespoon maple syrup/molasses, 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard, some chopped garlic and ¼ cup minced Vidalia onion. Place this mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add to stock pot on low heat and add 2 tablespoons brown sugar, dash of hot sauce, dash Worcestershire, and a dash of salt. Stir and add cayenne to taste for heat. Heat through and allow to cool before jarring. Once made, put in a good sealed jar and it should last awhile in the fridge.
Burnt Ends – Using a smoker and a Dutch Oven will give you the easiest burnt ends with great flavor and tenderness. Start with a 4 pound Beef Brisket and rub with salt / pepper and garlic powder. Place in a plastic bag and let rest in the fridge overnight to infused flavors. Put the brisket into your preheated smoker and add apple wood chips early to avoid that bitter taste of chipping later. Smoke for 3-4 hours or until an internal temperature of 170ºF has been reached. Once the meat has been smoked, set aside an d let rest. In a Dutch oven, combine one cup beef stock and one cup of the Bourbon Barbecue Sauce from above and place on the grill to warm. Cube the brisket into one inch squares and add to pot and stir to coat. Cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes stirring occasionally so not to burn. Serve with some good old fashioned sweet coleslaw and some garlic toast. Chase these nuggets down with a good, cold Guinness, Murphy’s or a Rogue Shakespeare Stout Beer.
BBQ Meatballs – These can be made ahead of time and put in fridge till dinner. Start by adding one pound ground sirloin into a bowl and mix with half cup of dry oats, a small diced onion, a tablespoon of Worcestershire, and a pinch of salt /pepper and cayenne. Crack one egg and mix into meat. Use your hands and make golf ball sized meatballs. Drop each meatball into a bowl of flour to coat and set aside on a cookie sheet. Once all the meat balls have been coated, heat a cast iron skillet and add some cooking oil. Fry each meatball till brown on all sides and dry on paper towels. Place meatballs in a casserole dish, cover with your favorite barbecue sauce and pop into a 350ºF oven 30 minutes before dinner to heat through. Serve with garlic toast, mashed or baked potatoes and your favorite steamed vegetable. A nice and cold Dos Equis Amber Ale matches beautifully with this meal.
Pulled Pork Grilled Cheese – WHAT?!!! That’s right….pulled pork grilled cheese sammiches! Start with a 6-8 pound Boston Butt seasoned with salt / pepper and tossed on a charcoal grill, off to the side of course, and smoked with apple wood chips for 4-5 hours till 180ºF internal temperature. You know, your basic pulled pork process. From here, allow to cool and then pull apart. Heat a cast iron skillet and butter a slice of thick bread. Place in skillet and top that slice with some shredded Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar. Top with a nice portion of pulled pork and a dollop of that bourbon sauce we spoke of earlier. Top that with some more shredded cheeses and another thick slice of buttered bread. Flip carefully to not lose any innards and grill till a nice golden brown. Additional items can include some caramelized onions, grilled green/red/yellow peppers, or even some coleslaw. Serve with tater tots (ALWAYS GO WITH TATER TOTS!) and some jacked up ketchup. Follow each bite with a swig of North Peak’s Diabolical IPA at 6.66% ABV in those cool stubby bottles.
These are comfort foods. No doubt. They fill the stomach and ease the soul. They relax your mind from all your troubles and create an aura of calmness and serenity…okay enough of the hippie crap. It’s just good barbecued food that is easy to make for family and friends. The beers are nice companions along this food trail and can be altered to meet your taste buds.
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Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em and don’t forget your bib.