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Add This Technique to Your Repertoire: Smoke-Braising

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The ancient Greeks and Romans named late July and early August “the dog days of summer.” Many people associate the phrase with insufferably hot weather and panting, shade-seeking canines, when in fact, it references the annual rising in the nighttime sky of the dog star, Sirius.

In any case, this is the time of year when all but the most intrepid cooks avoid “heating up the kitchen.”

But do you have to give up flavorful, long-simmered comfort foods like short ribs, coq au vin (chicken cooked in wine), pot roast, or stews until the cooler days of fall? Not at all. In fact, your grill or smoker (gas, charcoal, or pellet) is capable of producing the best iterations of these dishes you’ve ever eaten.

 

What is Braising?
All of the above rely on a combination cooking method called braising (from the French brasier). Meat—especially tougher cuts with abundant fat and connective tissue—and sometimes dense vegetables are seared over high dry heat, then cooked low and slow with liquid (often broth fortified with aromatics) in a covered heat-proof container. The results are meltingly tender with rich, deeply infused flavors.

Braising outdoors not only keeps your summer kitchen cool, it gives you the option of seasoning your dish with fragrant wood smoke. (Try that in an oven or slow cooker.) Whether you cook over wood or a wood-enhanced fire using hardwood chunks or chips, your hands-on time will be minimal, especially if you use a gas or pellet grill; a charcoal grill will require periodic refueling, of course.

We like the technique so much, we call it “smoke-braising.”

 

What is Smoke-Braising?
Chances are good you may have already tried smoke-braising without being aware of it. The “Texas crutch”—enclosing smoked meat tightly in foil or a covered container to finish cooking—is one example. It is often used to barbecue ribs (see 3-2-1 Ribs) or take brisket from its exasperating mid-cook “stall” to the finish line. Or maybe you’ve transferred pork shoulder to an aluminum foil-covered drip pan to let it simmer until finished in its own juices.

 

How to Smoke-Braise on Your Grill
To begin, you have two options: You can sear the meat (or vegetables) over a hot fire, or you can expose the food to wood smoke, the length of time depending on the food.

Next, reduce the heat on your grill or smoker to medium-low, 225 to 300 degrees. Enclose the food in aluminum foil and add a small amount of liquid (about 1/2 cup for a rack of spare ribs, for example) before tightly crimping the edges. Alternatively, place the food in a Dutch oven or disposable aluminum foil pan, add liquid and aromatics, and cover with the lid or foil. Replenish the liquid as needed. (Be very careful when opening the foil pouch or covered container as the escaping steam will be extremely hot.) Continue to cook until the food is done to your liking.

If desired, you can lift the now-cooked food out of the liquid, paint it with a sauce or glaze, and sizzle it directly over the fire. Or the flavorful braising liquid can be turned into an accompanying gravy or sauce. Your choice.

Below are links to a few of our favorite smoke-braised dishes, including one for Whiskey-Brined Pork Shoulder from my newly-released book, Healthy Wood Pellet Grill and Smoker Cookbook. But feel free to come up with your own. 

 

Best Cuts of Meat for Smoke-Braising
In the meantime, here are some good candidates for this cooking technique:

Pork shoulder, loin roast, belly, shanks/hocks, or ribs (spare ribs, baby backs, or country-style ribs)
Beef short ribs
Lamb shanks, shoulder, or ribs
Beef chuck or top round roast
Chicken thighs, legs, or bone-in breasts
Turkey thighs or legs
Globe artichokes
Root vegetables
Beef or veal brisket
Oxtails
Beef tongue or cheeks

 

Asian-style beef oxtails braised with mushrooms, ginger, scallions, garlic, and beef broth.

 

Smoke-Braising Recipes:
1. Whiskey-Brined Pork Shoulder

Get the Recipe »

 

2. Smoke-Braised Lamb Shanks

Get the Recipe »

 

3. Chorizo-Spiced Smoked Beef Tacos

Get the Recipe »

 

4. Project Smoke Brisket

Get the Recipe »

 

Have you tried the smoke-braising technique? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, or Instagram!

The post Add This Technique to Your Repertoire: Smoke-Braising appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

Grilling Techniques,Homepage Feature,Recipes & Techniques,Techniques,smoke-braising

By: Cialina TH
Title: Add This Technique to Your Repertoire: Smoke-Braising
Sourced From: barbecuebible.com/2020/07/24/smoke-braising-technique/
Published Date: 07/24/20

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Grilling Recipes

Introducing Picanha (Fat Cap Sirloin Roast)

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The French call it culotte, which means something like “britches.” Here in America, we know it as fat cap top sirloin. (Other names for this singular cut include rump cover, rump cap, and sirloin cap.)

But the cut reaches its apotheosis in Brazil, where it goes by the name of picanha (pronounced pee-CAHN-ya). Generations of gauchos and grill masters have raised the preparation, grilling, and degustation of this extraordinarily flavorful meat to the level of art.

Picanha, named after a pole used by Spanish and Portuguese farmers to herd cattle, comes from top of the rump—a triangular steak-like roast with a big beefy flavor that’s inversely proportional to its affordable price tag. What makes it so extraordinary is the thick cap of fat butchers leave on the top of the roast. Said fat melts and crisps during the cooking, basting the rich lean meat with fatty goodness. Picanha (NAMP number 1184D) can be difficult to find. Which was why I was amenable to trying a sample from Holy Grail, an artisanal company that sources upper Prime meats –meats that are typically available only to restaurants.

Brazilians have devised an ingenious way to cut and grill picanha. They slice it crosswise (with the grain) into 2-inch strips, which they curl into C-shapes and thread onto rotisserie spits. The seasonings are kept simple: salt and only salt prior to cooking; farofa (toasted cassava flour) and molho de companha (fiery country salsa) by way of optional accompaniments.

The skewers spin over a hot charcoal fire, the fat from the top skewer dripping onto the picanha below it. Once browned on the outside, the meat is paraded through the dining room on a spit to be carved directly onto patrons’ plates. The uncooked meat in the center is returned to the rotisserie for more grilling. The beauty of this system? Everyone gets an end cut.

When I cook picanha, I like to roast it on the rotisserie, but instead of slicing it into strips, I grill it whole. This is quicker and easier than the Brazilian method and it keeps the meat nice and juicy.

I also like to “hedgehog” the fat cap—score the surface in a deep crosshatch pattern. This helps render some of the fat and crisp what remains.

For seasoning (and for extra flavor), I use a brisket rub in the style of Texas Hill Country brisket: equal parts sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper, with garlic and onion powder for pungency and oregano and hot pepper flakes for oomph.

Meat prices are rising this holiday season—along with everything else. Want to serve an impressive, richly flavorful roast—without busting your budget? Picanha is your ticket.

Picanha Spice-Rubbed and Spit-Roasted on a Wood Fire Rotisserie

Get The Recipe »

BBQBible Exclusive – Picanha Roast – 20% Off Sitewide with code BARBECUEBIBLE at HolyGrailSteak.com through 12/20/21.

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The post Introducing Picanha (Fat Cap Sirloin Roast) appeared first on Barbecuebible.com.

By: Daniel Hale
Title: Introducing Picanha (Fat Cap Sirloin Roast)
Sourced From: barbecuebible.com/2021/12/13/introducing-picanha-fat-cap-sirloin-roast/
Published Date: 12/13/21

Did you miss our previous article…
https://amazinghamburger.com/outdoor-cooking/oven-baked-bbq-pork-chops/

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Grilling Recipes

Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Skewers

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When I'm devising a marinade, I always taste it to ensure the flavor and seasoning are all in line with expectations. It's not uncommon for a marinade to get pushed in a directions that makes it taste a bit overboard on its own, but that's often needed because flavors will get diminished when the marinade is adorning its subject and has been cooked. There have been some marinades though that I try and think, “I'd eat that with a spoon.” I don't think I've actually developed a recipe though where the marinade purposefully did double duty as a meat seasoning and dip, so I figured I might as well give that shot and see how it works out. In the case of these jalapeño-lime chicken skewers, the answer was, surprisingly well.

The trickiest part of this recipe was finding the right balance to the sauce so it would taste good as a dip, but also have enough flavor to work as a marinade. To achieve that, I started with tangy Greek yogurt as a base since that seemed like a good direction for a dual purpose sauce. I pureed the yogurt in a blender with cilantro, cumin, jalapeño, garlic, and lime juice and zest. The result was a sauce that had a good hit of heat, hefty tang, and appealing green hue. The cumin and garlic also gave it some extra depth and nuance that I may have dialed up if this would have been used a marinade alone, but I knew would come out in the final dish after the chicken was dipped in the sauce.

Jalapeño-lime Chicken Skewers

Once I had the sauce settled, I took to the task of cubing up chicken for the skewers. I advocate for chicken thighs for this use in most instance because the added flavor and fat in the dark meat adds insurance to ending with juicy results. The only place breasts actually do better than thighs in this application is they cube up more nicely—for the thighs, I sometimes have to cut longer strips that I then fold over on the skewer to arrive at a more cube-like shape.

Jalapeño-lime Chicken Skewers

After the chicken was prepped, I moved it into a medium bowl and poured in roughly half the sauce. I tossed that to ensure the chicken was all well coated, then covered, and set it in the fridge. While the marinade had a fair amount of lime juice, the citric acid doesn't have such a drastic effect on the texture of the meat that it can't be left to marinate overnight. The marinade doesn't need that long though to do its work and I only let mine rest in the fridge for about six hours—prepping it in the morning and then cooking it in the mid-afternoon.

Jalapeño-lime Chicken Skewers

When the time came to grill, I skewered up the chicken and then lit a full chimney of coals. After letting the grill preheat, I placed the skewers over direct, high heat and let them cook. At the start, they stuck to the grates with might, but as they seared, the meat began to release and I was able to begin flipping.

Jalapeño-lime Chicken Skewers

I had to deal with some sticking still here and there, but nothing that a little extra scrape with the tongs couldn't handle. As each side was more evenly seared, I was able to move the chicken around easier, at which point I flipped and turned them more regularly so they would be well browned and cooked through all over. You can always test doneness with an instant-read thermometer—you're looking for between 160 to 165°F—but I found for this recipe, once everything was well browned, the chicken was definitely done, which took about ten minutes of grilling time total.

Jalapeño-lime Chicken Skewers

Following the glamour shots, I verified chicken itself had a very nice flavor. The marinade definitely was on the lighter side, but the brightness of the lime and cilantro came through along with a bit of earthiness from the cumin and fruitiness from the jalapeño, but with very little heat. That mellow, yet effective, flavor got a big boost after a dip in the reserved sauce, which brought in a lot of what was already happening, but in a more pronounced way that also delivered a nice spiciness which was balanced by the cooling yogurt. It definitely made a good case that a sauce can do dual work as a marinade and dip given the right attention to detail.

Published on Thu Sep 9, 2021 by Joshua Bousel

Print Recipe

  • Yield 4 servings
  • Prep 15 Minutes
  • Inactive 4 Hours
  • Cook 10 Minutes
  • Total 4 Hours 25 Minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Sauce
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup packed roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 medium jalapeño, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  •  
  • 2lbs chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • Metal or bamboo skewers
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Procedure

  1. To make the marinade: Place yogurt, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, jalapeño, garlic, lime zest, soy sauce, cumin, and brown sugar in the jar of a blender. Puree until all ingredients are very finely chopped and sauce is green and smooth. Transfer 1/2 of sauce to a medium bowl, add in cubed chicken, and to evenly coat. Cover bowl and place in refrigerator and marinate for 4 hours to overnight. Transfer remaining sauce to an airtight container and place in refrigerator.
  2. Thread chicken onto skewers so each piece is touching the next.
  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over entire surface of coal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, until well browned on all sides and center of meat registers between 160-165°F on an instant read thermometer, about 10 minutes total. Transfer skewers to platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately with reserved sauce for dipping.

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By: meatmaster@meatwave.com (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Jalapeño-Lime Chicken Skewers
Sourced From: meatwave.com/recipes/grilled-jalapeno-lime-chicken-skewers-recipe
Published Date: 09/09/21

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Grilling Recipes

Hot Link Stuffed Tri-tip

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I used a long slender knife to make a cut all the way from the wide end of the tri-tip to the narrow end. I stopped just short of cutting through the narrow end.

The best way to do this is to make a cut all the way through then turn your knife about 45°F and make another cut all the way through.

Insert about a teaspoon of butter in the entryway..

Push the kielbasa, hotlink, etc. all the way in. If it's having too much trouble, try making the cavity just a little wider with your knife.

I used a link of all beef kielbasa with jalapeños in my stuffed tri-tip.

Sprinkle about 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of course kosher salt on the top side of the tri-tip. I use Morton's in the blue box since it is flaked and dissolves much faster and easier than most other kosher salt. Feel free to use another brand/kind but the amount may need to be modified slightly depending on its granule shape and size.

Please see my article on wet brining vs. dry brining for an in-depth look at this subject.

I also sprinkled it real good with my Texas style rub (Purchase formula here | Purchase bottled rub)

Place the tri-tip in the fridge overnight if possible or at least 4 hours to give the salt plenty of time to react with the meat.

Here it is after 10 hours.. ready to go in the smoker.

Setup your smoker for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat. If your smoker uses a water pan, fill it up.

Once your smoker is heated up and producing smoke, place the tri-tip directly on the grate or you can use a pan/rack to ensure the smoke is able to get to all sides.

I used the Hasty Bake Legacy for this cook.. you can use any smoker or even the grill for this as long as you maintain the correct temperature and remove it when it reaches it's perfect finish temperature.

Let the tri-tip cook for 2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F. If you run at 275°F, it will get done in about an hour or less.

If you want to finish the tri-tip with a sear (recommended), remove it from the smoker when it reaches 110°F and place it on a very hot grill, griddle or iron pan. Sear all sides of the tri-tip and don't forget the sides/edges.

On the Hasty Bake you simply need to remove the deflector over the charcoal pan and raise the pan so that it sits right below the grates in the “sear” position.

Watch the meat carefully and turn as required to sear evenly.

Once the tri-tip is finished cooking, set it on a cutting board and slice it according to the diagram on THIS PAGE.

Just beautiful!!

All sliced up!

Great recipe, Rob! It was really cool having a piece of sausage/hot link nestled into each slice and the flavor was out of this world!

Beef,Newsletter Archive,2021,Sausage,Tri-tip

By: Jeff Phillips
Title: Hot Link Stuffed Tri-tip
Sourced From: www.smoking-meat.com/april-29-2021-hot-link-stuffed-tri-tip
Published Date: 04/29/21

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