Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Barbecue "A" Team

    Summer, glorious summer!  I know, I know this has not been our typical summer weather.  The nights have been cold, the days unseasonably cooler, but still I'm loving it.  I don't like extreme weather, I don't like it in the winter when it's unbearably cold, and I don't like the summer when it is insufferably hot.  I like this weather, there I said it!  I also like cooking on the deck!

    In past years the barbecue has been Christopher's domain.  He has guarded that barbecue of his with pride.  Up until this year I have given him the impression that the barbecue was indeed his (it's always good to give them a false impression in case you change your mind and actually want what is theirs.  It gives them a false sense of security).  To be honest, for whatever reason, the barbecue has always scared me a little.  I don't like cooking and suddenly flames shoot up, I admit it I'm a coward.  I should qualify that, I "was" a coward.  That fear has left me.  I now deftly dodge the flames, getting an adrenaline rush every time I dodged probable third degree burns.
    Why the change?  I've made a discovery.  I have discovered rubs and the world's greatest barbecue sauce.  This all began rather innocently.  There was nothing on television one night when Christopher and I decided on watching a barbecue show on The Food Network.  We became inspired, and then obsessed with BBQ.  It was the next day that I began my quest for the perfect rub.  I have never used a rub before, did not understand why you would need such a thing, ignoramus that I was.  My quest was more one of intrigue than need.  I searched the internet, and found a simple one.  From that became the barbecue quest.
    I changed the recipe ever so slightly the more I made it, until it was perfect for us.   I am so generous that I will now share this winning rub (o.k. it hasn't won any awards ..... yet).  It's at this point in the blog that I need you to hum either in your head or out load if you feel so inclined the theme to the 1980's smash hit television show "The A Team".

The Lindsay's Super Rub (oh that sounds dirty)

                1/2 cup of white sugar                                  4 tbsp paprika
                 2 tbsp onion salt                                           1 tbsp garlic powder
                 1/2 tsp black pepper                                     1/2 tsp chili powder
    You can add more chili or another hot spice if that more suits you.  We are not a family with strong stomaches so we prefer a hint of heat.  I usually mix my rub in a large mason jar, and then just shake it up.  I make this in really large batches because we go through a lot of it.                            

Sweet Sassy Molasses Sauce
                    1/4 cup cider vinegar             1/2 cup  prepared yellow mustard
                              1 cup molasses                        salt and pepper

        Pour all of the ingredients into a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  
When it's come to a boil, take it off the heat.  
It will look soft brown in colour.

     For those of you who are like my former self you may think it's a waste to both rub and sauce your meat... it's not.  I use two techniques to put the rub on.  For chicken I put a half cup of rub in a large bag and shake the chicken in it, not unlike shake and bake.  It really even coats the meat.  The other technique that I use is I just shake it on.  This uses less rub.  I let the outside of the meat sear a little with the rub before I add the sauce.
    Originally I turned my nose up at the idea of using a sugar coating on meat.  It just seemed gross.  For once in my life however I decided to take a risk and try it even if it seemed odd.  That risk was a huge flavour success.  The sugar seems to melt and seal the meat, so that the juices stay in.  It also adds huge flavour.  

    Here is what I learned about using a rub and a sauce.  The rub seals in the natural flavours and moisture, plus it adds a different level of flavour.  The sauce gives an extra layer of protection to the juice/ moisture, plus it gives that initial taste when you're eating.  Together they combine and form a beautiful taste on every single meat I have tried them on.  Unlike so many sauces, this one goes great with chicken, beef and pork.  I even use this combo on my burgers.  

Watch Out Christopher, I'm moving in on your territory!

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