BBQ-Heroes

Author: Erik Smilda

The better quarter-pounder

The quarter pounder is an underrated burger. Everyone’s talking about the Big Mac, but you and I know the quarter-pounder is the better burger at McDonalds. And yet we think we can improve this iconic burger.

We use ground beef with a fat percentage of 20 to 25%. You could even use half and half if you like. In any case, do not use lean minced meat because the fat ensures that a hamburger gets its taste.

McDonald’s does not flavour their minced meat; you can taste it if you eat the burger separately. That is a missed opportunity. Of course, we want to keep tasting the minced meat, but with this spice mix, we get the hamburger taste we are looking for.

There is no salt in a spice mix for hamburgers. Salt would dissolve the proteins in the meat, allowing them to stick together and make for a tougher burger.

The quarter-pounder is originally a half American pound, and that is 113 grams. McDonald’s quarter-pounder is 120 grams, and we want a burger that is also a quarter pound in Europe. That’s why we make these burgers from 150 grams of minced meat. After cooking, they will be approximately 125 grams

We shape the quarter-pounders in a hamburger press to give them the perfect shape. Then we put them individually on a baking paper sheet so they do not stick together.

After we have formed the burgers, they go into the fridge. Due to the relatively high-fat content in the minced meat, the hamburger has a high chance of falling apart on the barbecue because that soft fat melts quickly. Allowing the fat to firm up in the fridge gives the burger time to form a crust and not break into pieces.

Hamburgers can be grilled on the grates, but the quarter-pounder must be on the griddle. Our Kamado Joe has a half cast iron grill plate that fits into the divide-and-conquer system. Get the griddle hot before the burgers go on it. Now is the time to sprinkle the burgers with some salt. We use smoked sea salt to give the burgers an extra barbecue flavour.

How do you get a nice toasted hamburger bun

The trick is to spread your sandwich with a bit of mayonnaise. The oil in the mayonnaise provides the golden brown crust. You can also brush the bread with sunflower or olive oil, but that would soak into the bread much too quickly. Mayonnaise is thick enough to stay on the bread without running off.

Do not spread too much mayonnaise on the bread. A thin layer is really enough. That thick layer only ensures that the bread gets wet, and then it takes too long before you have a nice toasted side.

Now you put the bread on the grates for a short while to put some excellent grill marks on it. If you want to provide the entire bun with a golden-yellow layer, place them next to the burgers on the grill plate.

When do we flip the burgers

On the side of the burgers, you can clearly see when a crust has formed on the bottom. You can also see the brown colour slowly creeping up. You can flip the burger when the meat stops sticking to the griddle. Then you wait again until a crust has formed. When the core temperature of the burger is 60ºC (140F), the slice of cheese is added. Only if you want a cheeseburger, of course.

We prefer to use a nice slice of aged Gouda cheese. It may take a little longer to melt, but the result is much tastier than the American cheddar.

This is our better quarter pounder that we dress up with some pickle relish. If you like tomato and onion, you should do that too. If you will make this quarter pounder too, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden and @kamadojoe so we can see what you made.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of ground beef for 4 large quarter pounders
  • Smoked sea salt
  • 4 slices of mature Gouda cheese
  • pickle relish

For the hamburger spice mix

  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp granulated onion
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp ground celery seed

Instructions

  1. Mix the spice mix and add a heaping tablespoon to a pound of ground beef. Mix this well and then form 4 large burgers slightly larger than the balls you bought.
  2. Let the burgers set in the fridge for an hour while you prepare the barbecue.
  3. Heat a cast iron griddle or skillet until it is nice and hot. Pour some oil on the plate and place the burgers on the plate.
  4. Cut the hamburger balls in half and brush them with a thin layer of mayonnaise. Then roast them next to the burgers until they are golden brown.
  5. Turn the burgers when a crust has formed and do that again when the other side has a crust as well.
  6. When the burger has a core temperature of 60ºC (140F), place a slice of cheese on the burger and close the lid to let the cheese melt.
  7. Top the burger with a generous scoop of the pickle relish and enjoy.

Sweet pickle relish

A relish is a chutney-like sauce widely used in America to spice up hot dogs. We love it on a thick hamburger or with a beef stew.

These are our ingredients for the pickle relish. You can adjust the proportions to make the relish spicier, more acidic or less sour. We like the thick sauce to have a bit of kick, so we put a red jalapeño in this sauce.

Try to cut the pickles, onion and pepper to about the same size. That is nicer and gives a better mouthfeel. We sauté the onion until it is translucent and then toss in the rest. Just cook it briefly, or everything will become too soft, and you will make a chutney.

This is our pickle relish. We have made a few thick burgers even tastier with it. If you will make this relish too, let us know in a comment below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what it looks like.

Ingredients

  • 4 large or 6 small pickles
  • Half a white onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed whole
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • Handful of fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Cut the onion, jalapeno pepper and pickles into small cubes of the same size
  2. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the onions until translucent.
  3. Add the mustard seeds and capers. Mix the water and cornflour separately in a bowl and add this too.
  4. Stir in the sugar and vinegar until the sugar has melted.
  5. Add the pickles and jalapeño, then remove the pan from the heat.
  6. Finely chop the parsley, mix it with the relish, and let it cool.

Korean tortilla with ginger aioli

We grilled delicious Korean tortillas on a fireplate. You grill some marinated skirt steak and serve it with Korean sauerkraut and garlic sauce. This is a simple recipe for your next barbecue lunch.

What is skirt steak

We are going to fill these tortillas with skirt steak. Skirt steak is the midriff of the cow. This is real work meat and has a great beef flavour. The skirt steak is thin enough to marinate and then grill quickly over high heat.

The marinade will break down some of the connective tissue, making it more tender. But you can also make the meat more tender after grilling it. You cut it perpendicular to the muscles. You can see the muscles running in the part above the apple.

You should see these muscles as a bundle of rubber bands. If you would bite through it, it won’t be easy. If you cut the bundle sideways, you will be left with smaller pieces that are far easier to chew.

The marinade is our interpretation of a Korean marinade with ingredients you can find in any supermarket. It probably won’t be Korean, but it sure tastes that way. We throw two teaspoons of chilli oil through the marinade for a little kick. Chilli oil is quite spicy, but that will level out when heated.

With the Korean tortilla, we serve a ginger aioli made with fresh ginger, garlic, and Japanese mayonnaise. This mayonnaise is a lot thinner than our Dutch mayonnaise and more acidic. It gets its yellow colour because only the egg yolk is used.

We cut the marinated skirt steak into six parts so that it is easier to grill. We created different heat zones by sliding the burning logs under the fireplate to one side. This way, you can ensure that the plate is piping hot on one side and less hot on the other. This way, you can grill vegetables and the steak on the same plate.

We grill the skirt steak pieces in two parts and move them to a cooler part of the plate when ready. With a bit of planning, you can have everything ready for dinner at the same time. When everything is prepared, we warm up some tortillas and assemble everyone for dinner.

Cut the skirt steak perpendicular to the muscles into thin strips and use them to cover the warm tortillas. We throw in some Korean sauerkraut and a good spoonful of ginger ai oil.

This is our Korean tortilla. If you will make these, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you’ve made.

Ingredients

  • skirt steak
  • 10 small tortillas

For the marinade

  • 3 stalks of spring onion finely chopped
  • 1 white onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 1 sour apple
  • 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Chili oil

For the Korean sauerkraut

  • 100 grams white cabbage thinly sliced
  • 100 grams grated carrot
  • 2 tsp Fish sauce
  • chilli flakes
  • 1 sour apple
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Salt to taste

For the ginger aioli

  • 100 ml Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Chili oil
  • 1 inch grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves grated

Instructions

  1. Remove the harder pieces of fat and the silver skin from the surface of the skirt steak. Divide the entire skirt steak into pieces about 20 cm long and put them in a ziplock bag.
  2. Finely chop all ingredients for the marinade or put them in a food processor. Pour the marinade into the bag with the meat and close it. Let the meat marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Meanwhile, make Korean sauerkraut by mixing everything in a large bowl. Season with some salt and let it stand for at least 2 hours so that all the flavours can blend and the cabbage becomes softer due to the salt.
  4. Then you mix the ingredients for the aioli and put it in the fridge until you need it.
  5. Provide a hot grill plate and grill the skirt steak on both sides until a nice crust is formed. The desired core temperature is somewhere around 55ºC (131F).
  6. Warm up some tortillas and cut the skirt steak into thin strips. Put everything on the table and let everyone build their own tortillas.

Buffalo Hot Wings from the grill

A buffalo hot wing is a deep-fried chicken wing dipped in Louisiana hot sauce. We prepare the chicken wings on the grill as it should be because you are not a BBQ hero if you do otherwise.

We also make our own Louisiana hot sauce. It is one of the easiest hot sauces to make, making your hot buffalo wings unique.

Chicken wings are the perfect snack for your barbecue party

Cooking chicken wings on the grill is also one of the easiest jobs. Sprinkle the chicken wings with salt and pepper and leave them in the fridge for an hour or overnight if you have the time. The salt will draw moisture from the skin, making it dry and giving it a chance to get crispy on the grill.

After that, you throw them on the grill with an indirect temperature of 150ºC (302F) and close the lid. Halfway through, you turn them over, and after about an hour, you have wonderfully tender chicken wings with crispy skin. The grill does its job while you enjoy a beer with your guests. That’s why chicken wings are the perfect snack for your barbecue party.

When you turn the chicken wings, place a pan on the grates. Melt the butter in it and add the hot sauce. We made our our own Louisiana hot sauce, and of course, we wanted to try it.

Louisiana hot sauce is naturally sour, and we like these hot buffalo wings a little sweeter. That’s why we also add some agave syrup to the sauce. A little Worcestershire sauce is added to give the sauce a little barbecue flavour.

Now all you have to do is dunk the chicken wings in the sauce and serve them. Throwing another batch of chicken wings on the barbecue might be helpful. Your guests will be ready for more wings before you know it.

These are our buffalo hot wings. If you will make them, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo chicken wings.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 200 ml Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup

Instructions

  1. Season the chicken wings with salt and pepper and leave them in the fridge for an hour while you prepare the barbecue.
  2. Make sure you have an indirect temperature of about 150ºC 302F). Place the chicken wings on the grates and close the lid.
  3. After half an hour, turn the chicken wings and place a pan on the grates next to the wings. Add the butter, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and agave syrup and close the lid again.
  4. After about an hour, the chicken wings will have a core temperature of 85ºC (185F) and are wonderfully tender. Remove them from the grates and put them in a bowl.
  5. Stir the sauce well and pour a generous amount over the wings. Coat all the wings with the sauce and serve immediately.

How to make fermented Louisiana hot sauce

We love Tabasco. Tabasco is a Louisiana hot sauce made with fermented peppers. In the supermarket, you will also find Frank’s Red Hot. In Indonesian shops, you will often find even more varieties. All sauces are made from chilli peppers that, in the case of Tabasco, ferment for three years in oak barrels.

We wanted to try that too. Not three years and not in oak barrels. But three weeks in glass jars. The goal was to find out if there is ultimately a difference between a Louisiana hot sauce with fresh peppers and fermented peppers.

What is Louisiana hot sauce

Louisiana hot sauce is a sour hot sauce made from chilli peppers, vinegar, and salt. That’s all, and yet you can make many different choices with these three ingredients to make the sauce your own.

Which peppers should you use for Louisiana hot sauce

In general, the cayenne pepper is the most commonly used pepper for Louisiana hot sauce. But Tabasco uses the Tabasco pepper from the Mexican Tabasco region. Of course they do. We will make the sauce a bit milder by using red jalapeño peppers. This way, we will soon be able to clearly taste the difference between fresh and fermented sauce.

In the supermarket, you will generally find the milder green jalapeño. The red jalapeño is a bit bigger, sweeter, and, as said, just a bit hotter. We love the taste of the jalapeño pepper, so we ordered one kilo of red jalapeño peppers online.

We will immediately convert one-half of the peppers into a fresh Louisiana hot sauce, and the other half will ferment for three weeks for a more authentic Tabasco-like Louisiana hot sauce.

Why would you want to ferment peppers

Fermenting was invented to preserve vegetables. This was convenient if sailors wanted to eat healthy while en route. Personnel on ships where they ate sauerkraut and pickles had much less scurvy.

That’s because the microorganisms created during fermentation helped digest their food and break down toxins. The taste also improved, so the sailors started fermenting vegetables at home and experimented with other vegetables, including peppers.

How do you ferment peppers

First, we cut the stems off the peppers and cut the rest a bit smaller. We’ll leave the seeds and glands on because we’re not worried that this sauce will get too hot. If you are afraid of the sauce getting too hot, remove them before cutting the peppers smaller.

Then you stuff the sliced ​​peppers into jars that you can close tightly. Here we use ordinary jars that we had lying around. You could also use large preserving jars. In any case, keep in mind that the peppers must be wholly submerged in water to prevent mould from forming.

We first take 100 ml of boiling water in a pan and add 40 grams of salt. When the salt has been completely absorbed, the pan is removed from the heat, and we top it up with cold water until we have a litre of salt water.

Pour this water over the peppers until about two cm below the rim and the peppers are completely submerged. That two cm of oxygen is essential because no fermentation process will start without oxygen. We got the tip to fill a plastic bag with salt and use it to keep the peppers under water because the loose pieces can float due to gas formation.

We leave the pots at room temperature for three weeks at a spot in our kitchen where there is no direct sunlight. The perfect temperature is around 20ºC (68F). Lower than 15 degrees (59F), the fermentation will occur very late in the process and when the temperature is too high, and we are stewing the vegetables, which is, of course, not our intention.

Not much happens to the peppers in the first week, but after 4 or 5 days, you see that the water becomes cloudy. Then the PH value of the water will also decrease and become acidic. What happens is that the sugars in the pepper are converted into alcohol. The alcohol is then converted into a vinegar-like acid by the oxygen in the pot. This is when the fermentation begins.

Now it is also essential to open the jars every day, or every other day, to let the peppers burp. The gas formation in the pots is then so great that this gas comes out anyway. Or by deforming the lid or breaking the glass. In both cases, it will be a mess.

If you are afraid you will forget to open the lids, we recommend buying a fermentation jar. You have these in different sizes if you expect to ferment larger quantities. As far as we’re concerned, you can leave the peppers for a few years like this, but after about three weeks, we are quite curious and want to taste the result.

We throw the peppers in a sieve and rinse the brine from the peppers. The peppers are then placed in a pan with 250 ml of vinegar. We bring this to a boil and let it simmer for fifteen minutes so that the peppers become soft and any bacteria that may have arisen die.

Which vinegar for the hot sauce

The cheapest vinegar you can use is white vinegar. We find this vinegar too strong for the jalapeno peppers we use. That is why we choose the softer and sweeter apple cider vinegar. You can also use white wine vinegar, which is much milder. Or a red wine vinegar made from fermented red wine. In the future, we also want to make a hot sauce with balsamic vinegar to give the hot sauce a more raisin-like flavour.

After cooking, let the peppers cool slightly before pureeing them in a blender into a thick sauce. Because we want a Tabasco-like sauce, we sieve the sauce again so that all the seeds and glands remain in the sieve. Now you can season the sauce in the bowl with extra salt, but we don’t think that is necessary after we have tasted it.

The difference between fresh and fermented Louisiana hot sauce

The first difference is the colour. The fermented sauce is a lot darker in colour. When we taste it, the fermented sauce is much softer but fuller. Despite the same three ingredients we used, the difference in taste is unmistakable. The fresh sauce is sharp and fresh, while the fermented sauce has a warmer taste that is somewhat reminiscent of Tabasco.

Now that this experiment has been successful, we will ferment more peppers and use other types of vinegar to see if we can create different flavours.

Louisiana Hot Sauce

Of course, you can buy great Louisiana hot sauces in the store, just like almost any other sauce. But it is the easiest hot sauce to make yourself.

The sauce ultimately only has three ingredients. However, you can experiment with it to give your sauce its own taste.

Louisiana hot sauce is so easy to make. In the end, it is nothing more than cutting the hot peppers and cooking them in a mixture of vinegar and salt. For this variant of Louisiana hot sauce, we use red jalapeño peppers and apple cider vinegar. This makes for a mild, slightly sweet hot sauce. You can use chilli peppers if you want the sauce a bit spicier. If it can’t get hot enough for you, take Habanero peppers.

You can also use different types of vinegar to give this sauce its own taste. Keep in mind that while the peppers are cooking, the entire kitchen is filled with a sharp vinegar smell. So open a window and warn the family.

After boiling the peppers, all you have to do is puree the entire contents of the pan in the food processor. If you want the sauce finer, you could sieve it, so you get rid of all the seeds and thicker glands. Removing the seeds will also make this Louisiana hot sauce a lot milder.

If you want to experiment more, you could use different types of peppers or vinegar. You can also make fermented Louisiana hot sauce to make a more Tabasco-like sauce.

This is our Louisiana hot sauce. You can use the sauce for anything, but first, you must grill some wings, as it is the basis for hot buffalo wings. If you’re going to make this hot sauce, let us know in a comment below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you’ve made.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams of chilli peppers
  • 250 ml vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon or 5 grams of salt

Instructions

  1. Remove the stem and cut the peppers into smaller pieces
  2. Put the vinegar, salt and peppers in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Let everything cool down, and then puree everything into a smooth sauce.

Asian marinated tri-tip

The star of this recipe is not the tri-tip but the marinade. It gives the meat a delicious sweet and savoury taste, making such a beautiful piece of meat even more delicious. The marinade works on any steak, but you can also use it for pork chops or a whole chicken.

This is a tri-tip. Show your butcher this photo if he doesn’t know what you need. The tri-tip is a unique cut of meat that can be prepared in many ways, and the result is always good. You can grill it low and slow for it to be pulled. Or grill it in smaller parts as steaks and as a whole as a roast.

We are going to marinate this tri-tip in a nice spicy Asian marinade. In general, we prefer only to marinate cuts of meat that are thin enough, but it works well in this recipe. Also because we keep part of the marinade aside to make a sauce. Before we marinate the tri-tip, we cut away thicker pieces of fat and silverskin. This can be done very quickly with a sharp and flexible filleting knife. The fat and silverskin would only hold back the marinade.

Let the marinade rest for about 4 hours. Longer is also allowed, but that has no added value for the taste. A marinade does not penetrate more than a few millimetres into the meat, and the rest remains on the surface. That is fine in the case of this marinade.

After a few hours in the fridge, we cook the tri-tip indirectly at 150ºC (302F) on our kamado. We insert a probe into the meat and close the lid. We have specifically chosen 150ºC (302F) because the sugars in the marinade burn at a higher temperature, making the meat bitter.

Of course, you can cook the meat at a lower temperature, but that is unnecessary. The meat is relatively lean and does not have much connective tissue that needs to be broken down. It generally takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the desired core temperature of 48ºC (120F).

After the tri-tip has come up to temperature, we pull the platesetters out of the kamado and open the lower slides. The charcoal will glow harder to grill the steak with a lot of direct heat.

We do this with tongs in hand. As we mentioned, the sugars on the surface of the meat can quickly burn. That’s why we keep flipping and turning the tri-tip every 10 to 20 seconds until a nice crust has formed. A few dark pieces are allowed but don’t overdo it.

The trick to a tender tri-tip, or any steak, is the cut. You are assured of the most tender meat if you cut the tri-tip across the muscle. You will see that an entire tri-tip consists of two groups of muscles that are at perpendicular angles to each other. From above, you can see how the muscles run through the meat by the lines on the surface. After cutting, you will see a block pattern.
Now you also see that the meat is perfectly medium rare. That is only possible if you use a good thermometer. Of course, you can gamble and feel it, but meat is too expensive for that.

This is our Asian marinated tri-tip. We kept half of the marinade aside and mixed it with a little extra honey. If you will make this tri-tip too, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo tri-tip

For the marinade

  • 200 ml soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 spring onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp sambal manis
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger grated

For the sauce

  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 4 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Remove large pieces of fat and silverskin from the surface of the tri-tip and place the meat in a large ziplock bag.
  2. Mix everything for the marinade and pour half of the marinade into the bag with the tri-tip. Keep the rest aside to make the sauce later. Let the tri-tip marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.
  3. Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of 150ºC (302F) and place the marinated tri-tip on the grates. Place a thermometer in the thickest part of the meat and close the lid.
  4. Meanwhile, make the sauce by heating the remaining marinade in a pan with the extra honey. Mix the cornstarch with the water and stir it into the sauce to thicken it.
  5. When the meat has reached a core temperature of 48ºC (120F), remove it from the grates and rebuild your barbecue for direct heat.
  6. When the tri-tip has a nice crust all around, let it rest for 10 minutes. Then you cut it against the thread in nice slices.

Beef Tenderloin wrapped in bacon with balsamic raisins

This beef tenderloin wrapped in bacon is a straightforward recipe that will impress your guests. Because what could be better than an excellent cut of beef. Beef that is wrapped in bacon.

Tenderloin is very lean, so you want to protect it from drying out. The bacon helps with that. The fat from the bacon insulates and keeps the direct heat away from the tenderloin to have time to cook slowly without overheating. The bacon also provides some extra flavour.

During a tasting session with Tabasco, we got these balsamic raisins. We had to make them ourselves and share them with you. This is such an excellent combination that makes you wonder why you have never eaten it before.

If you don’t want to prepare a whole tenderloin, you can, of course, start with a smaller piece. It tastes just as good.

If you buy a whole tenderloin, chances are that there is still some silverskin covering the meat. You have to cut this away by inserting a flexible knife under the membrane and then cutting it away. Be careful not to cut too much meat. That would be a shame.

As you can see, a whole tenderloin is somewhat tapered. Fold the thin part back to get the same thickness from back to front. This ensures that you will cook it more evenly without the thin part being ready sooner.

Place some pieces of butcher’s twine parallel to each other with the bacon slices on top so that the bacon overlaps slightly. The entire width of all the bacon must be enough to cover the whole tenderloin. If you can’t find these long strips of bacon, take two shorter slices and overlap them.

Now wrap the bacon around the tenderloin. Make sure you fold the thin part of the tenderloin back slightly. Then tie the bacon around the meat. Not too tight. The meat contracts a bit during cooking, so it thickens a bit. It will get a weird shape if you knot the wire too tight.

Now sprinkle the entire wrapped tenderloin with the dry rub and let it sit for a while while you check whether the barbecue is at the right temperature. You want this somewhere around 150°C (302F). Not much hotter, otherwise the sugar in the dry rub will burn.

If you want to be sure that you remove the tenderloin from the grates in time, place a digital core thermometer. You want the tenderloin perfectly medium-rare at a temperature of 55°C (131F). You do this by removing the meat from the barbecue at 52-53°C (126-127F). The meat will continue to cook a little while resting, and then IT will come out just right.

While the tenderloin is cooking, you can make the balsamic raisins by gently simmering the raisins together with the balsamic vinegar. If the balsamic thickens slightly, add a few shots of Tabasco. We opt for the Chipotle variant here. It is not as spicy as the original, but it provides a light smoke flavour next to the heat.

If you pull the tenderloin off the grates in time, this is your reward. Perfectly medium-rare meat. After resting for about 10 minutes, cut the tenderloin into thick slices precisely in the middle of each piece of butcher’s twine. Don’t worry that you haven’t let the meat rest long enough. If there is moisture released on the cutting board, you can dab it with a piece of bread.

Serve the tenderloin with a generous scoop of the raisins and perhaps a nice grilled potato. If you make this tenderloin, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbq.heroes so we can see what you made.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of beef tenderloin
  • 11 long slices of bacon

For the dry rub

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the raisins

  • 500 grams of raisins
  • 50 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco

Instructions

  1. Prepare a 2-zone barbecue with a boiler temperature of approximately 150°C
  2. Pat the tenderloin dry and remove the membranes if necessary
  3. Cut about 10-12 pieces of butchers twine with a length of about 50 cm. Lay them out at a distance of the width of the bacon and place a piece of bacon on each piece of string.
  4. Place the tenderloin on top and wrap the bacon around the meat
  5. Now tie the bacon with the butcher’s twine and grease the whole thing with olive oil
  6. Mix the ingredients for the dry rub and sprinkle it over the bacon
  7. Now place the wrapped tenderloin on the barbecue. Insert a thermometer into the meat and close the lid
  8. The meat can be grilled to a core temperature of 52°C (126F). Meanwhile, you can make the balsamic raisins.
  9. Take a pan and throw in the raisins. Pour in the balsamic vinegar and stir well over medium heat until the balsamic vinegar gets syrupy. Then stir in the Tabasco.
  10. When the tenderloin is at the desired temperature, let it rest for 10 minutes. Then cut the tenderloin in the middle of the butcher’s twine and serve with the balsamic raisins.

Blueberry bbq sauce

Homemade bbq sauce is already much tastier than most ready-made sauces, but this bbq sauce with blueberries is fantastic. This sauce tastes perfect with pork such as ham, spare ribs, and grilled chicken.

This blueberry bbq sauce is super easy to make. Place all ingredients in a saucepan and let it heat gently. The hardest part is waiting for the blueberries to burst open and the sauce to thicken. Then all you have to do is put it in a blender. We use smoked sea salt and smoked paprika to give the sauce a little smoky flavour that it could use.

If you can’t find fresh blueberries, you can use frozen ones. This works just as well. You must thaw and drain them before throwing them in the pan. Otherwise, the liquids will take much longer to boil down enough to resemble a sauce.

This is our blueberry bbq sauce. Spread it on a few thick spare ribs or a ham sandwich. If you will make the sauce, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 400 grams blueberries
  • 4 tbsp syrup
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop the onion and garlic cloves very finely.
  2. Put the olive oil in a pan and heat it gently with the onion and garlic.
  3. When the onion has become soft, the rest of the ingredients can be added and let everything cook gently.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat when the sauce has thickened enough, so it sticks to the back of a spoon.
  5. Let it cool, and run it through the blender to make an even sauce.

Romesco sauce

If you like pesto, then you will also appreciate this romesco sauce. The base for both is garlic and nuts. While pesto has a good amount of cheese and fresh herbs, roasted peppers and sun-dried tomatoes are the main seasonings in romesco sauce.

Romesco sauce is often served in Spain alongside grilled fish and shrimp. We serve this sauce with tapas or stir it through the pasta.

Of course, you can roast, peel and clean a few peppers yourself, but we are just as happy to use a jar. That’s partially true. This jar came from a Christmas gift, and we already had the idea for the recipe, so one plus one makes a great sauce.

If we’re honest, we didn’t sun-dried the tomatoes ourselves either.

We did put everything in the food processor ourselves. And in a specific order. We start with the hard nuts and garlic cloves. If they are a bit smaller, add the bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, chilli flakes, paprika powder and olive oil.

Finally, we add lemon juice and salt by taste. We do this because these ingredients flavour the sauce. And taste is very personal.

This is our romesco sauce. As said, delicious with grilled fish and with these Spanish pork ribs or other tapas-like dishes. Are you also going to make this romesco sauce? Let us know in the comments below. Or better! Please take a photo and post it on Instagram. Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what it looks like.

Ingredients

  • 350 grams of drained roasted bell pepper
  • 50 grams sun-dried tomatoes
  • 100 grams of unsalted almonds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika powder
  • 15 grams of fresh flat parsley
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Juice of a whole lemon
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Toss the almonds and garlic cloves in the food processor first.
  2. Then add the bell pepper, tomatoes, parsley, chilli flakes, paprika powder, and olive oil.
  3. Finally, add the lemon juice and salt to season it all. Pulse everything into a coarse sauce.

Spanish country-style pork ribs from the rotisserie

These Spanish country-style pork ribs have been regularly made in our backyard. After adjusting the recipe a bit here and there in recent years, we decided to share the recipe.

Because these ribs are prepared on the rotisserie, they get a grilled taste that you love so much when barbecuing.

Country-style pork ribs are the ribs that are closer to the sternum. The ribs have tough and often fatty meat that tastes very good. You used to find them all over the place, but now you have to ask your butcher to get them for you.

We will first prepare the ribs by cutting them per rib and providing them with a nice layer of rub. If you can’t find country-style ribs, you can also take thick-cut spareribs.

Try to distribute the ribs on the spit. You should be able to prick eight pieces on the skewers. It should eventually look like a spareribs mobile. Also, ensure that the weight of the ribs hangs nicely in the middle of the spit so that the heat of the charcoal can reach all the parts.

Then all you have to do is let it spin and wait. Really make sure the spit is rotating before you walk away. It is a shame if you find out after 2 hours that the meat has been hanging stationary. You’ll probably smell it before you open the lid.

After two hours, you can check how far the meat is for the first time. We like them best at 90ºC (194F). Sometimes they are almost there, but it can take an hour longer. If you want them more tender, you can cook them to 95 or 97ºC (203 or 207F). Just be careful that they don’t fall off. It will be a shame if the meat is so tender that you must get the meat from between the coals.

These are our Spanish country-style pork ribs. If you will make them too, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden so we can see what you made.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of country-style pork ribs
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika powder
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dark caster sugar

Instructions

  1. Slice the ribs per rib. Mix all ingredients for the dry rub and spread an even layer over the meat.
  2. Thread the ribs onto the skewers in the centre of the spit.
  3. Place the spit in a barbecue with a kettle temperature of about 200ºC (392F). Close the lid and wait 2 hours before checking on them for the first time.
  4. When the meat has a core temperature of about 90ºC (194F), the country-style ribs are ready as far as we’re concerned.
  5. Let them rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Dutch Christmas stollen from the barbecue

In the Netherlands, there has to be stollen on the table at Christmas and Easter. Then we call it a Christmas stollen or Easter stollen. And how nice is it that you have made it yourself in the barbecue? It’s relatively easy; it just takes some time, especially if you make the almond paste yourself.

But if you spread a slice of your homemade stollen with a thick layer of good butter, you’ll know why you made it. You better make two immediately because your neighbours who have smelled fresh bread from your garden also want a piece.

If you bought cleaned almonds, you could skip the next paragraph. If you’ve bought almonds with the skin on, you must remove them before making the paste. To remove the skins, bring a pan of water to a boil and add the almonds. After two minutes, we scoop the almonds with a slotted spoon. When you put the almonds into a bowl of ice-cold water, it is pretty easy to rub the skins off.

We now move on to the dough. Mix the flour, butter (cut into cubes), beaten egg, white caster sugar, water, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make sure the salt and yeast are put in separately. If they come into contact with each other too soon, the salt will destroy the yeast cells, limiting the fermentation.

When kneading the dough, you use the palms of your hands, continuously pushing the dough away from you. The kneading will take at least 10 to 15 minutes. This is important to ensure that the flour has absorbed all the moisture and that the gluten can do its job.

Soak the raisins in warm water and chop the nuts to the desired size. We divide the dough into two equal parts and roll them both slightly flat. On one half, we put all the raisins and nuts, and then put the other half of the dough on top.

Now fold the dough in half, push it away from you with your palm, then push it away from you and so on. Do this until all the raisins and nuts are nicely distributed in the dough. Do this no longer than necessary, and then divide the dough again into two equal balls. Each ball goes in a lightly floured dish (to prevent sticking) with cling film over it. The dough can now rise briefly at room temperature for 15 minutes.

After this first rising, roll the dough flat into an oval. Fold the two short sides inwards to create a trapezoid. We will also tension the dough by folding the corners of the trapezoid inwards. If all goes well, it has already turned into a dough ball you can take in two hands. Make sure the seams are at the bottom, and slightly puff up the dough as if you were folding two socks into a ball! Do this with both balls of dough and put them back in their bowl, cover and let them rise again for 15 minutes.

After the second rise, we roll each dough into a circle. We divide the prepared almond paste in half and roll it into two bars that stay well within the circles of dough. Fold the dough with the stick of almond paste in half and press the edges to close it. Brush the tops of both stollen with beaten egg and let them rise again for an hour. You can light the barbecue about fifteen minutes before the end of rising.

When the barbecue has a stable temperature of 200ºC (392F), the stollen can be placed on the pizza stone. Close the lid and wait 25 minutes before checking how it looks. If the stollen looks like the photo above, you check the doneness by inserting a skewer into the bread. If it comes out clean, the clot is ready.

In the meantime, we can melt two lumps of butter in a pan. We use this melted butter to brush the stollen so that the powdered sugar sticks nicely on the bread.

This is the time to ask the neighbours or friends to come over and have a cup of coffee because you want to share this stollen (especially at Christmas).

If you will make this party stollen, let us know in the comments below. Or better! Could you take a photo and post it on Instagram? Tag @bbqhelden and @thijsbbq so we can see what you’ve made.

Ingredients

For the almond paste

  • 150 grams of almonds
  • 150 grams of granulated sugar
  • Half a grated lemon
  • 1 egg

For the dough

  • 350 grams of flour
  • 25 grams of fresh yeast or 7 grams of instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 35 white caster sugar
  • 7 grams of salt
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 180 ml lukewarm water
  • 210 grams of soaked raisins
  • 40 grams of finely chopped almonds
  • 40 grams of finely chopped walnuts
  • Powdered sugar
  • Melted butter

Instructions

Preparation almond paste

  1. Grind the white almonds in a food processor, blender or coffee grinder. Then pour in the granulated sugar and add the lemon zest.
  2. Add a beaten egg and knead to a paste.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film. Then let it sit in the fridge.

Preparation of the dough

  1. Soak the raisins in warm water and chop the nuts finely.
  2. Mix the flour, butter, beaten egg, white caster sugar, water, yeast and salt in a bowl and knead for about fifteen minutes until the dough is no longer sticky. Then divide the dough in half and roll it into two oval slices.
  3. Place the raisins and nuts on one of the halves. Place the other dough half on top of this. Then mix it as we explained above.
  4. Shape the mixed dough into two balls and place in a covered dish for 15 minutes.
  5. Roll a dough ball into an oval form and fold the short sides inwards to form a trapezoid. Then fold in the corners.
  6. Apply tension to the resulting ball of dough by balling it in with both hands (like folding two socks). Let the ball rise again for 15 minutes in covered dishes.
  7. Roll each dough ball into a disc. Divide the almond paste in half, roll a stick of each, and place it on the disk of dough.
  8. Fold the dough over the food to form the Christmas stollen and close the edges.
  9. Brush each loaf with a beaten egg and let them rise covered for an hour.
  10. Prepare a barbecue with an indirect temperature of 200ºC (392F) and a pizza stone. Place the dough on the stone and close the lid.
  11. After half an hour, the stollen is golden brown, and you can remove it from the barbecue.
  12. Brush the stollen with melted butter and dust with powdered sugar.