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St. Patty’s Day means Irish Coffee and Corned Beef and Cabbage

By Paul Kirk CWC, Ph.B., B.S.A.S.
Kansas City Baron of BBQ
Barbecue Guru
Order of the Magic Mop
Ambassador of BBQ
Certified Master BBQ Judge

It time for us to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, so that means Irish coffee and Corned Beef and Cabbage.

There are a lot of different recipes for Irish coffee, but this is supposed to be the original — at least that’s what my priest tells me!  Thank you, Fr. Cullen.  Four or five of these and you will be able to BBQ anything.  I know several Irish friends who tried to do it!

Original Irish Coffee
1 c. freshly brewed hot coffee
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 jigger Jameson Irish whiskey (1-1/2 oz. or 3 Tbsp.)
Heavy cream, slightly whipped

Fill a mug with hot water to preheat it, then empty. Pour piping hot coffee into warmed glass until it is about 3/4 full. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey. Top with a collar of the whipped heavy cream by pouring gently over back of spoon. Serve hot and enjoy.

Instead of boiling corned beef, I prefer to make pastrami and cook it in my smoker.

Corned Beef (Pastrami) and Cabbage
1-10 lb. corned beef
1/3 c. coarse ground coriander seeds
1/4 c. coarse ground black peppercorns
2 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp. granulated garlic
1 large head green cabbage, cut into wedges

Soak the corned beef in water overnight in the refrigerator.   Remove the beef from the water and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the seasonings and blend well.  Season the brisket all over and cook on your smoker to an internal temperature of 195ºF.

Boil cabbage and serve with the pastrami.

Another dish to go with your corned beef or lamb is Colcannon.   Every Irish family has its own version or this classic dish.  It’s part of my St. Pat’s menu, and soda bread.

Colcannon Potatoes
1 lb. cabbage, shredded
2 c. water
4 lbs. potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 c. milk
1 c. chopped green onions
Salt & coarsely ground pepper, to taste
1/4 c. butter, melted
Bacon, cooked & crumbled
Fresh parsley, minced

In a large saucepan, bring cabbage and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Keep cabbage warm.

Place cooking liquid and potatoes in a large saucepan; add enough additional water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 15-17 minutes or until tender. Drain and keep warm.

In a small saucepan, bring milk and onions to a boil; remove from the heat. In a large bowl, mash potatoes. Add milk mixture; beat until blended. Beat in the cabbage, salt and pepper. Drizzle with the melted butter, bacon and parsley.

Yield: 12-16 servings

Another great meal on St. Patrick’s Day is a good lamb chops or leg of Lamb, both are great on a grill or smoker.

Barbecued Leg of Lamb
7-9 lb. leg of lamb, boned
1/4 c. olive oil
2 Tbsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary leaves

Bone the leg of lamb, removing any excess fat.  To bone the leg you need a thin bladed, sharp boning knife.  Follow the hipbone around the edges, to the joint and remove.  Then cut around the leg bone joint and down the leg bone to the shank.  Remove the shank and the leg bone.  You can now turn the leg inside out, this will enable you to get to the fat pockets that have glands in some of them, remove these and that will help get rid of any strong lamb taste that some people object too.  Remember you can do it, it’s not as hard as you think.

Rub the leg all over with the olive oil, season with the garlic salt, pepper and rosemary.

Place on a medium hot grill and cook indirectly with a water pan, covered, for 4 to 5 hours.  Turning at 2 or 2 1/2 hours and again at 4 hours.  Lamb like beef can be served and enjoyed rare to well done; it’s your choice.  Medium rare would be 140º F on a meat thermometer.  Serve with mint jelly, a mint sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce. Serves 8 to 10 people.  

Have a great and safe time!

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Stuffed Chicken Thighs with Sweet Red Chile

By Steve Collins
The Home Chef

These spicy stuffed chicken thighs are great with the bite of red chile tempered by the sweetness of the honey. Cook them on an apple wood plank if you can find one or in a Sam’s Smoker Pro, my favorite backyard cooking gadget, with apple wood chips. The smoke adds a subtle complexity to the flavor. Once you’ve made the stuffing and put thighs up to cook most of the work is already done. Just make the sauce and you’re ready to go. Here’s to spring, great flavors, and good times with friends!

8 boneless chicken thighs
3 slices of bacon, diced to 1/4-inch
1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
1/2 c. onion, finely chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 c. dried bread crumbs
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 c. apple wood chips (unsoaked) if using the Smoker Pro or an apple wood plank soaked for at least an hour (If you can’t find an apple wood plank use cedar or other wood.)

Prepare a hot fire in the grill.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain it. Pour off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat and reserve it. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat. Add the celery, onion and peppers and cook until soft (about five minutes). Remove the pan from the heat. Add the bacon and enough breadcrumbs to hold the mixture together. Arrange the thighs on a baking sheet Spoon the stuffing onto each thigh. Brush the thighs with the reserved bacon fat, season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  

If using Sam’s SmokerPro, put two cups of apple wood chips in the bottom and put the Smoker Pro lid on. When the fire is hot put the Smoker Pro directly over the heat. Put the cooking grate on the grill and place the prepared chicken thighs, stuffed side up on the grill grate directly over the Smoker Pro and close the grill lid. If you’re using a plank, put the chicken on the grill stuffing side up and close the lid. Cook for 40 minutes; a quick read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat should read 160°.

If you are using a plank, put the prepared chicken thighs on the plank. Put the plank on the cooking grate directly over the heat, close the lid and cook for 40 minutes. A quick read thermometer should read 160°. Serves 4.

While the chicken is cooking make the sweet red chile (recipe below). Serve the cooked chicken with the sweet red chile.

Sweet Red Chile
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
3/4 c. onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 c. ground red chile
4 c. water
2 Tbsp. honey

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion softens (about five minutes). Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the chile, stirring well, and then the water. Mix well to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the honey. Raise the heat to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes stirring frequently. The sauce should be reduced by a third. Remove from heat and set aside.

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New Book Serves up Flavor Packed Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and More!

By Kent Whitaker
The Deck Chef

I know I’m a culinary writer and cookbook author myself but as many of you know I’m also a cookbook junkie. So, once again I happily step away from a recipe from one of my own books to proudly shine the barbecue and grilling spotlight on a brand new book due out in April. Get ready to get your taste buds revved up with The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces by Cheryl and Bill Jamison.

You may know these two tasty food writers as they’ve penned several smoke and grill inspired titles including: Smoke & Spice, 100 Grilling Recipes You Can’t Live Without, Tasting New Mexico, Sublime Smoke, as well as many more. The underlying theme of all of their books is providing recipes that they seem to really enjoy in a clean writing style with bold flavors. Their newest work contains over 200 recipes to choose from and is loaded with mouthwatering photography by Gabriella Marks.

My advance copy of the book was a joy to search through as Cheryl and Bill packed it full of some recipes that were similar to some of my own as well as some that I’m dying to try. I think the combination of familiar ingredients with new ideas is a great plus for any cookbook. A person stepping up to the smoker or grill for the first time in search of flavor will not be intimidated by The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces!

A couple of my favorite recipes were Bill’s Brisket and Beef Blend, The Wasabi-Yaki Marinade, Brown Sugar-Anise Barbecue Sauce, and more. By “more” I mean the addition of recipes for other items such as salsa and amazing spice and sauce ideas for fruit and sides.

Cheryl and Bill Jamison took the time to offer readers, and grillers, a flavor packed book with plenty of great pictures and wonderful recipes for more than just pork, beef, and chicken on the grill. The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces from The Harvard Common Press hits the spot and would be well worth looking for when it is officially released nationwide in April of 2015.

Brown Sugar – Anise Barbecue Sauce
Cheryl and Bill suggest using this recipe from The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces for everything from what we would consider as being traditional barbecue to just about and smoked food, and grilled items.

Mildly sweet and redolent of licorice-like ground anise, this sauce seems both familiar and mysterious at the same time. It’s terrific on barbecued beef short ribs or even a grilled burger — beef or bison. MAKES ABOUT 2 CUPS

1-1⁄2 c. ketchup
1 c. water
3⁄4 c. cider vinegar
1⁄4 c. minced fresh cilantro
1⁄4 c. packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. ground anise
1-1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1 tsp. Tabasco sauce or other hot pepper sauce
1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin

1. MIX all of the ingredients in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, until it thickens and reduces by about one-third, 35 to 40 minutes.

2. SERVE the sauce warm on or alongside the meat. It will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks, but reheat it before serving.
Recipe by Cheryl and Bill Jamison

Kent Whitaker is the author of eight cookbooks, ranging from hometown cooking with a culinary history twist to titles for NASCAR tailgating and barbecue. He has also written and illustrated two books for children, is a trained USCG AUXCHEF, and is the winner of the Emeril Live / Food Network Barbecue Contest. His latest book, Bullets and Bread,  is in bookstores nationally and is also available online at, as well as at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

Photo by Gabriella Marks
Brown Sugar-Anise Barbecue Sauce

Photo by Gabriella Marks
Bills Brisket and Beef Blend

Photo by Gabriella Marks
Baharat Rub

The Barbecue Lover’s Big Book of BBQ Sauces


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Southern Girls BBQ Roadshow
Recipes from the Road

By Vernee Green-Myers
Southern Girls BBQ Roadshow

We had these meatball subs at Cook School.  Of course, anything with Compart Duroc pork is amazing!  You'll thank me after you try the recipe.  Enjoy!

Compart Italian Meatballs
Recipe courtesy of Malcom and Rachelle Reed from Killer Hogs

1 lb. Compart Duroc Ground Italian Sausage
1 lb. 80/20 Ground Chuck
2 eggs
1 c. bread crumbs
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl with wet hands (or gloves). Once all ingredients are well combined, roll into balls that are about the size of a golf ball.

Preheat oven to 400. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Place meatballs onto pan and cook in oven for 20 – 25 minutes (or until the internal temp of the meatball reaches 160 degrees).

Crockpot Marinara Sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. Frank’s hot sauce
1/3 c. grated parmesan
1 c. chicken broth
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (with juice)
28 oz. can tomato puree

Heat oil in a large pot and cook onions until softened. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat for about an hour or until sauce thickens.

To serve your Compart Italian Meatball Subs:
Place meatballs in slow-cooker and cover with marinara sauce. Allow to cook on med-high for 2 – 4 hours (until meatballs are warm and sauce is bubbly).
Using Italian Hoagie Rolls and thin sliced provolone cheese, allow guests to build their own Compart Italian Meatball Sub.


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