Mother's Day BBQ -- Help!
Hosting Mother's Day this year. I'm looking for some interesting things for my husband to bbq and some good side dishes to accompany the bbq. Any ideas?
Tarrytown Hound? NY? This is Kirschner in Tarrytown...
There's LOTS of good things to BBQ. What kind of smoker is he using? How about a nice whole rib roast, with a S&P and rosemary rub? Maybe those baby racks of lamb (that's really grilling...)? Of course, you could go with a lovely pork shoulder, if he wants to tend the pit for 12 hours or so. Ribs? Brisket?
re: tarrytown hound
So I take it my name is not familiar... okie dokie!
I have 4 Weber kettles, so lots of possibilities. The beef rib roast is outstanding. Will feed a small army of 15+, depending on who's eating. The whole rib roast, at Sam's club, bone in or out... usually they have out. About 15 lbs total. It fits perfectly on the Weber, in the middle, drip pan below, with two fires on either side -- throw some hickory or mesquite chunks in for fun. Just rub with S&P and rosemary, and put a remote probe in the middle or check with an instant read. It will take about 3 - 3.5 hours with a medium fire, lid on, vents open, to hit 130 internal, which will give you a nice medium rare. Let it rest for about 20 min. minimum when it comes off. Slice thick or thin.
Sam's also has the small sides of salmon, about 2.5 - 3 lbs each. Very nice on the cedar plank, again placed in the center of the grill, medium fires on either side, lid closed and vents open. Marinate first with a mix of olive oil, lemon juice, fresh crushed/minced garlic and S&P. On the plank or on a pan. cook about 30 min., to 120 internal or so. This won't feed that many people, but you could do a couple of these in advance, chill, then remove from the fridge and serve room temp with a nice dill sauce. Then do the rib roast so it is hot for the meal.
And how about those baby racks of lamb at Sam's?? You could do a dijon-parmesan crusted rack of lamb. Get about 4 packs, with 8 racks of 6 chops per rack. Slather with dijon mustard, roll in bread crumbs and parmesan, build a fire over half the grill, go direct for a couple of minutes til the racks char a little, then place them off the fire )indirect heat) and cover til done. About 130 internal on these will be perfect (temps rise a bit after they come off).
All GREAT suggestions, but the easiest and most "holiday friendly" is the rack of lamb. Unless the moms around Tarrytown are more like NFL linebackers, the thought of a big slab of beef is little too overwhelming for my idea of an early season holiday. There is fair amount of skill involved in the indirect fire cooking method you need for a big roast -- too much heat and that expensive hunk of beef is going to be shoeleather.
I like salmon and have done the planking thing, but it too is a strong taste that is not for novices... I have seen a lot of folks not understand the soaking the planks overnight is a requirement NOT a suggestion. The planks stop steaming and start burning and nothing says "forst fire" like a burning plank of cedar.
The rack of lamb is flavorful to be sure, but the dainty chops have enormous eye appeal and the technique you outline above is just about fool proof, though I prefer a bit higher temp before I take 'em from the grill -- the older folks are a bit squeamish if their lamb is running more than the slightest hint of pink. I think 140 or higher will have the juices running much less "bloody"...
Using some similar type char & roast methods on the half-fire grill I think you cannot beat the ease of prep of a turkey breast. The poultry store has both a boneless skinless deal and a skin wrapped portion that is very accepting of any seasoning from the most basic salt, pepper, onion powder to a "tandoori turkey" paste of Indian spices. SIde dishes can range from a "Thanksgiving in May" with fire roasted sweet pototates ( a nice blob of brown sugar & butter gets shoved inside as they go onto a platter), simple steamed beans and a bread dressing of traditional compostion (that will roast up fine in a foil pan on the same half fire grill) to all manner of Indian curried lentils and raita salads.
I love a veggie mix of cauliflower, broccoli, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, zucchini, radicchio, and butternut squash, all but the butternut liberally coated in garlic salt.
We did a barbecue for a large group (50+) a couple of summers ago. With a group so large, we had to accommodate different diets. The host wanted something a step or two up from burgers and dogs, but still casual. So we went with three dfferent kabobs...chicken, beef, and scallops. Chicken and beef were purchased the week before, cut to the size we wanted, and frozen. Thawed in the refrigerator the day before. Any parboiling or precooking of other ingredients--cippoline onions, tiny potatoes--were done the day before. All we had to do party day was thread the skewers and grill.
Side dishes were vegetarian, a mix of light and heartier, plus a salad bar. A big criterion in choosing sides was that they be dishes that tasted better if made a day or two ahead.
Time consuming, but addictive:
Take some fresh jalapenos, cut them in half and seed them. Take some cream cheese and season it, however you like it(I like to season with bbq rub) and fill both halves flush with the cheese. Some folks like to fill one half with cream cheese and the other with a small piece of bbq'd meat, or a shrimp. (The variations on this item are endless.)
Put the 2 halves back to gether and wrap it with 1/2-1/3 stip of bacon- Fasten with toothpick. Repeat, as many as you want.
Sprinkle with bbq rub.
Grill or smoke until bacon is done and crispy. Then hit it with a little bbq sauce.
It's usually the first item to go at gatherings, depending on how hot the peppers are.
Good luck and have fun.
Ahh... classic atomic buffalo turds, as they are frequently referred to in q circles. They are, indeed, incredibly addictive.
To the OP, since you are feeding a large crowd, for the main dish, I'd recommend a large piece of meat, since doing lots of little ones (like shrimp or burgers or fish or steaks, etc.,) can be more work. With one big piece of meat, it's all done together.
The recommendation for doing rib roast is excellent. It's an intimidating piece of meat, but only because it can be pricey and large. But there aren't many things easier to grill than that. You just need a thermometer. At it's simplest, rub it generously with salt and tons of pepper. Sear it on all sides, then move it to the cooler side of the grill until it reaches 125. Take it off, rest it for 15 minutes, then slice it up in the best rib roast you've ever had. It truly is super easy. Frankly, I find it easier to cook rib roast perfectly than to cook hamburgers perfectly.
another good option for a large cut of meat that is easy to do on the grill is leg of lamb. Cook similarly to the rib roast above. A paste made with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper would be perfect. Cook to medium rare, rest, then slice to your hearts content.
Another option, if you can get to a Trader Joe's, since that's the only place you find it out in our parts in the Metro NY area, is tri tip. Depending on how many people you have, you can roast two of them (they run, on average 2.5 pounds each). The concept is the same as both cuts above. Sear hot, then move to cool side until medium rare. A good paste with garlic, tons of pepper, salt and olive oil is all you need. Slice it across the grain and you'll have one of the tastiest cuts of meat available. Cook more than you need, since roast beef sandwiches made from the leftovers are amazing.
Hope those options help.