Last day to order and guarantee delivery in time for 4th of July
As Alton Brown says, “I never send breast to do what thighs could do better (and cheaper).” Grilled chicken gyros are no exception. You get a juicier piece of meat that works much better as a leftover (chicken breasts tend to get dry and I find they don’t taste as good on day 2) with the added benefit of being kissed by fire, imparting that flavor into the dish. I also find that cooking with the skin on and the bone in helps with keeping the chicken moist.
PRO TIP: don’t bother trying to cut the bone out. Let the chicken cool, and then bone it caveman style. Just slide your finger along the bone and pull the meat off. It’s much easier to do than attempting to cut it out, and it saves your blade from dulling on the bone. You also look much cooler doing it that way.
PRO TIP #2: If you really want to kick this up a notch, fire roast the tomato as well. Cook it whole over direct heat turning a few times to just get a char on all sides. If you char it too much, the skin will just slide off (which may be fine for some recipes, but we want to bring that flavor into the gyro sauce). Make sure to let it cool, as the liquid inside will be boiling hot when you cut into it if you do so right away.
Beer battered onion rings, when done properly, should be crunchy on the outside, tender in the middle, and slightly sweet, as the acid has been cooked out of the vegetable. The onion itself should be hidden inside the fried batter, and the batter should neither slip off the onion at first bite, nor should it be overly thick. And when they are done correctly, onion rings can be a divine side.
The secret is in the batter. While any beer may do, I would recommend finding a microbrew that you like, preferably something local. Around here, that could be Victory Brewing, Sly Fox, Yards, Evil Genius (who, by the way, have some of the best names for their beer)…there’s just too many to list.
The other secret is making sure that the oil is hot enough, between 370-375 degrees F. If it’s too cool, it won’t cook the rings fast enough and you’ll end up with mushy rings. No es bueno.
Coleslaw is almost a requirement at any barbecue. It’s a delightful blend of creaminess and crunch, of sweet and acidity. You can chop the cabbage and carrots from scratch or from a pre-made bag, and as long as you get the dressing right, it will be a hit that compliments just about any main dish you pull off of the fire.
The Saint Brian’s Burger was what started it all. In 2014, I was feeling like Saint Brian’s BBQ wasn’t going to get off of the ground in the face of all of the hurdles that exist in starting a food-based business. My wife’s uncle, Ira Gutman, owned a hot dog joint in Cherry Hill called Coll Dog Cafe where they served up deep fried gourmet, all-beef hot dogs with all sorts of toppings. He graciously offered up his kitchen for making the sauce, and made a “Saint Brian’s Burger” special that featured the rub and the sauce.
The Cool Dog isn’t there any more (Ira has since opened the Moondog Grille in the Moorestown Mall), and I’ve moved on to a professional kitchen, but the Saint Brian’s Burger is a classic that will never go away.
The Saint Brian’s Breakfast Barbecue Burger is an amazing way to start a weekend of fiery cooking revelry.
Set the scene: you’ve organized a weekend campout/cookout for your friends. The sun has peaked over the horizon, night’s cool still hangs in the air, the morning mists cling to the ground. As your guests awake and emerge, the grill is already fired up and you’ve started breakfast, it’s alluring aroma mixing with coffee brewing on the fire. Beef, sausage, avocado, egg…it’s everything you need and nothing you don’t.
The key to this dish is preparing all of the ingredients (mise en place) prior to firing up the grill. As a secondary point, being gentle with the eggs will allow for the yolks to run out all over the burger at the first bite and will really tie all of the ingredients together.
While you can use white cheddar in this recipe, it will be well-worth it to use raclette.
Caveman steaks are deceptively easy to make, and have the bonus of making you look like a rock star at the fire pit.
Pulled pork is a staple of smoking, and something you definitely need to have in your tool box. You can either serve the finished product straight up, in a sandwich, a taco, mix it in a salad…the options are nearly endless.
While you can use a picnic shoulder for this, I prefer Boston butt. It has a better fat-to-meat ratio, which yields pork that’s easier to pull and just melts in your mouth.
The key to this is maintaining a relatively steady temperature in your smoker. It’s also important that you leave the pork in the smoker long enough. This will be about 12 hours out of your day if you’re going low and slow, which is the best way to smoke it.
Pro Tip: At a certain point, around the 160 degree range, you will hit the “stall”. The internal temperature will continually rise until it hits this point, at which time it will slow to a crawl, and may even stop for a while. Leave it alone. I repeat: don’t touch it. Leave it alone. Don’t jack up the heat. Don’t reposition the pork. Don’t call your guests and cancel the barbecue. Just relax, be patient, and once the evaporative cooling has finished, the temperature will begin to climb to 195 again. Here is a good explanation for what is happening.
Shortcut: if you can’t dedicate 12 hours to maintaining your fire, you can cheat a little bit. After the first few hours, you won’t be able to get any more smoke on the meat (the smoke will have penetrated the meat as much as it will), so it’s just about maintaining a cooking temperature until the internal temperature hits 195 degrees. After the first few hours, you can transfer the pork to a oven preheated to 250 degrees and finish it in there.