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Give them a grilling for the holidays

Submitted by on Saturday, 20 December 2008 2 Comments

It’s not exactly a seasonal favorite this time of year — except in parts of California and Florida where grills are rarely covered — but grilling recipes can be used indoors in the off season. And the gift also could be paired with some inexpensive grill tools and adapted as a Father’s Day present.

It can be as simple as mixing some dry rubs — I usually just throw mine together on the fly but here are some links to a number of recipes. Or you can make a simple or more complicated barbecue sauce and add it to the package as well.

At the risk of kicking off a holy war that pits Texas barbecue fans against Carolina barbecue aficionados — or even Western Carolina against Eastern Carolina — I’m including two recipes, both of which adapt easily to garlic-free. The second is more of an all-day project, though, so be warned.

A little bit of barbecue sauce

(Adapted from a family favorite of unknown origin)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tbl. butter
  • 2 tbl. vinegar
  • 4 tbl. lemon juice
  • 3 tbl. worchestshire sauce – do not use if you have a garlic allergy; some also contain fish
  • 1 tbl. brown sugar
  • 1 c. ketchup — the  only garlic-free brand I’ve found is Annie’s Organics.
  • 1 tbl. prepared mustard — many cheap store brands are garlic-free.
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 tbl. “liquid smoke” — this is an optional addition I’ve made over the years. I love the hickory taste
  • 1 tbl. horseradish — NOT the prepared sauce, which usually contains egg and/or garlic. This also is optional: Some folks just don’t like it.

Brown onion in butter in a deep skillet. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer 30 minutes. This also freezes well for later use. I like spicier sauce and usually double all the ingredients except for the ketchup and water.

A boat load of barbecue sauce

This is adapted from the Ball Blue Book of Preserving

  • 1 industrial can of tomato puree. If you’re garlic allergic, the cheap brands are more likely to be garlic-free
  • 4 c. chopped onion
  • 3 c. chopped green pepper — I used part bell peppers, part pablano in the last batch I made.
  • 4 jalapenos — I chop all the peppers and onion in a food processor. If you can call the semi-liquid substance that results chopping. What can I say? Big Guy is suspicious of chunks
  • 2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 tbl. dry mustard
  • 2. tbl. paprika
  • 2 tbl. salt
  • 2 tsp. hot sauce. Crystal is garlic-free
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice
  • 3 tbl. horseradish — optional
  • 1/4 c. liquid smoke — optional

Combine all and simmer until thickened, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving a quarter-inch head space. Adjust caps. Freeze or process 20 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

This recipe makes about nine pints, which lasts us about six months. Big Guy likes to dip his fries and nuggets in it, too.

Copyright 2008 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • MtnMom said:

    I cheated. Bought gourmet b’que sauce (50% off) and packaged with grilling and/or baking gismos. I am saving your recipes though! Yummmm!

  • Debra said:

    At 50 percent off, I’d be tempted to buy it, too, if we could. That’s a pretty good deal!

    The good thing about the big-batch cooking though (and I do it with a lot of other sauces too) is one all-day session gets it over with for months. :)