American Beer Month
Beer for BBQ or grilling?
Beer works best as a mop sauce, marinade or basting sauce for barbecue of all
kinds. Sure you've heard the dictum that BBQ is cooked slow and slow, and
grilling is fast and hot.
Not necessarily so, says Robb Walsh, author of LEGENDS OF TEXAS BARBECUE
(Chronicle Books, $18.95).
If you believe that BBQ is only cooked "slow and low," then visit the Kreuz
Market in Central Texas, where the brick oven's temperature can reach 600F.
The meat is dressed with just salt and pepper and smoke - not even a drop of
red sauce. Is it barbecue? Sure it is, and so is the BBQ made of pork
shoulder slowly smoked over embers of pecan wood in South Texas.
Walsh believes the secret to real BBQ is smoke, specifically wood smoke
rather than charcoal. True enough - I even collect twigs and deadwood from
neighboring apple and cherry trees to add perfume to my BBQ fire.
Besides smoke, what makes any barbecue taste better? A brush with beer! Try
this mop sauce:
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup cider vinegar
12 oz. lager
3 tablespoons soy sauce
½ cup catsup
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or more to taste)
© Lucy Saunders 2002
Veggies on the grill
Everyone needs to eat more veggies. Grilled veggies taste even better with a
drench in dark beer. Try this stout glaze for large wedges of bell pepper,
zucchini and onion slices.
12 oz. stout
2 oz. balsamic vinegar
2 oz. apricot nectar
4 oz. fruity olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes,
uncovered. Let cool, and brush on vegetable slices while grilling.
© Lucy Saunders 2002
Love mushrooms? Chef Derek Wilson at the Great Lakes Brewing Co. does. Here's
his recipe for a quart of marinade or mop sauce that works wonders on giant
portabello mushroom caps, or even a whole pork or beef tenderloin.
CHEF WILSON'S PORTER SCALLION MARINADE
6.5 oz. bottle dark sesame oil
2 cups vegetable oil (such as canola)
1 cup rice wine vinegar
12 oz. Edmund Fitzgerald Porter
1/3 cup soy sauce
4 oz. Chinese bead molasses or sugar to taste
6 cloves minced garlic
12 scallions, sliced thin (about 1 1/4 cups, minced)
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco or more to taste
Blend all ingredients, and place in a deep nonreactive dish for a marinade.
Yield just over one quart. May also be used as a salad dressing.
© Derek Wilson
Next: What the home grill cook needs to know