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!