Brick Oven Recipes

A growing trend in outdoor kitchen design is to incorporate multiple cooking surfaces, which adds to a kitchen’s functionality. Wood-burning brick ovens make a stunning addition to an outdoor kitchen, yet some shy away under the mistaken assumption that brick ovens can only be used for cooking pizza. Although, wood-fired pizza definitely has a far superior flavor to pizza cooked any other way, the truth is that brick ovens create even temperatures for balanced cooking and add an amazing layer of flavor to practically any dish that can be prepared in a standard indoor oven. Here are a collection of brick oven recipes to get you started.

BABY BACK RIBS

Baby Back Ribs Brick Oven RecipeBaby back ribs are typically a crowd favorite. The down side is that they normally take hours to cook, since the standard method for getting the right texture and moisture level is to cook them “low and slow.” However, the high consistent temperatures that can be created in a brick oven seals in the meat’s natural juices and cooks ribs in a fraction of the time.

Ingredients
  • 3 Racks of Baby Back Ribs
  • French’s Yellow Mustard
  • Dry Rub – your favorite recipe or store-bought
Preparation
  1. Fire up your brick oven to 450-500°F — use an infrared temperature gun to check temp when ready.
  2. Cut full rack of ribs in half (to fit a rib rack). Coat both sides of ribs with mustard.
  3. Rub in dry spices on either side. Place ribs in rack with drip pan underneath in middle of hearth.
  4. Roast ribs for 35-40 minutes. Spin the rack around (front to back) midway through the cooking process.

NOTE: Cooking times will vary with size and thickness of ribs.

FRENCH ONION SOUP

French Onion Soup Brick Oven RecipesFrench onion soup is one of those comfort foods that just warms the soul. Savory, cheesy, brothy goodness in a bowl. Just make sure the bowls you use are rated to withstand 500-degree temperatures. The directions call for the first few steps of this recipe to be prepped on a stove, but you could also use a gas grill. The soup will, of course, be finished in the brick oven.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 4 Onions – sliced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves – chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 Cup Sherry (or your favorite wine)
  • 3 Heaping Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Quarts Beef Broth
  • 1 Baguette – sliced
  • 1/4 Lb. Each: Grated Gruyere & Swiss Cheese
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
Preparation (serves 4)
  1. Fire up your brick oven to 500°F — use an infrared temperature gun to check temp when ready.
  2. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat on stove. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until onions are caramelized — about 20 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Make sure to reduce heat and simmer until wine has evaporated and the onions are dry — about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves and thyme sprigs.
  3. Dust the onions with flour and give them a stir. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add beef broth and bring back to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes more and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Arrange baguette slices on the very front of the oven hearth and cook for 3 minutes to toast.
  5. Pour soup into 4 oven-safe bowls with the ability to handle 500-degree heat. Add baguette slices on top of soup bowls and load each with cheese. Place soup bowls at the very front of the oven hearth and watch the cheese melt!

FIRE ROASTED VEGETABLES

Fire Roasted Brick Oven Veggie RecipesIf you like roasted veggies and typically cook them in the oven or on the grill, wait until you taste the difference! Using this brick oven recipe, you’ll never want them prepared any other way. The super-high temperature used for this recipe optimizes the flavor, sealing in moisture and adding a slight crispy texture to the exterior of each vegetable.

Ingredients
  • Red, Green, Orange and Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 1 Small Spanish Onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 8 Small Portabella Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil and Sea Salt
Preparation
  1. Fire up your oven to 700°F – use an infrared temperature gun to check temp when ready.
  2. Cut vegetables to desired size and thickness and place in vented grill pan with a drip pan underneath. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables and add sea salt to taste.
  3. Place in middle of hearth. Roast veggies for 5-10 minutes. Make sure to stir from time to time while cooking; watch closely to avoid burning. Cooking times will vary per desired crispiness.

NOTE: When cooking with oil, marinades and sauces, always use a griddle, skillet or drip pan.

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH

Pizza Dough Brick Oven RecipeYes, this blog post is about the fact that brick ovens are not just for cooking pizza, but since a wood-fired brick oven is the absolute best way to cook a pizza, we just had to give you a dough recipe. And although you can certainly make wonderful pizzas using prepared crusts or store-bought dough, if you want an authentic brick oven pizza experience, homemade dough is the way to go.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water (about 110°F to 115°F)
  • 1/4 Ounce Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 3 1/2 Cups All–Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Semolina Flour (or fine ground yellow corn meal)
  • 1/3 Cup Olive Oil (and extra for coating the bowl)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
PREPARATION (makes 2 pizza crusts)
  1. Combine yeast, water and sugar in a mixing bowl and stir. Let sit until foamy on top.
  2. Add 1/2 cup flour, the semolina, and 1/3 cup olive oil with the salt. Mix and continue working in the flour a 1/4 cup at a time until completed.
  3. Put the dough on a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth and tacky.
  4. Prepare a large mixing bowl coated in olive oil and place the dough in it. Cover the bowl with wax paper or wet towel. Place in a warm area and let double in size; usually takes over an hour.
  5. Knead the dough a little and separate into two equal portions. At this point, store in airtight bags; it’s ready to use as directed in recipes.

Note: You can freeze and store this dough up to four months. Make sure before using to thaw for several hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

FOR MORE RECIPE IDEAS: Visit the Recipes for Company section of the Outdoor Living by Belgard blog.

Brick oven recipes and photos courtesy Chicago Brick Oven®.

2018 Fireside Memories & S’mores Recipes

In August, we reached out to our audience and asked you share your personal fireside memories and unique s’mores recipes as part of our annual National S’mores Day Fire Pit Giveaway. We had an overwhelming response and received more than 3,000 stories and recipes from across the nation!

CONGRATULATIONS TO:

Elaine P. from Daytona Beach, FL

Winner of a beautiful Belgard Ashland Fire Pit Kit and a year’s supply of delectable artisan chocolate from Chuao Chocolatier®.

Belgard Ashland Fire Pit Kit

Thanks to Elaine for sharing her family recipe for Greek S’mores:

Being Greek, our family always make s’mores using Phyllo dough. Take 10 sheets of Phyllo and layer with melted butter. Cut into 3” squares and bake at 350º F for 7-10 min. When cool, place 4 squares of Hershey’s chocolate and one marshmallow on top of a square of baked Phyllo, and too with another layer of baked Phyllo. Allow to melt, and eat! Kali orexi! (Bon appetite in Greek!)

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We’d also like to thank the thousands of others who shared their special memories and recipes with us. Here are a few of our favorite submissions. For more stories and memories from our contest, be sure to visit the Outdoor Living by Belgard Facebook page, where we’ll be sharing more of these throughout the month.

FIRESIDE MEMORIES

Outdoor Living Blog

Although I’m pretty sure I had s’mores prior to going to 4-H camp, it was at 4-H camp around a campfire with s’mores that I got my first kiss.  –L. Cobb (Phoenix, AZ)

My late husband and I finally after 40 years of hard work were able to build a beautiful new home on our farm! My then 9-year-old grandson really wanted to build a fire pit, so he and his Papa made one — very primitive because it was my grandson’s “design”! His Papa passed away a few months later! 3 and 1/2 years later, it’s still there — a sweet memory, but not too functional!   –Anon (Tulelake, CA)

When we were little, my mom’s parents would often have family BBQ nights with our family and cousins. Our grandparents had bamboo growing wildly in their backyard and had an open fire pit. When we would arrive, we got to select a bamboo stalk, and my grandpa, dad or uncle would cut our choices down and sharpen one end with a large knife. All of us cousins would then huddle around the fire pit to roast hot dogs. Then we would move on to roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. Fun times!  –Anon (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

My favorite s’mores memory was traveling from the city in New York (Harlem) to the mountains with my family and grilling s’mores by the campsite. My Dad died when I was 9 years old, and this was one of the very few cherished memories of him I had left. My mom raised the 8 of us by herself and always tried to maintain this campsite visit and s’mores tradition throughout our childhood.  –G. Clarke, Atlanta GA

We used to go to a hayride every year, and at the end of the night, we would sit around a fire and sing songs and eat s’mores with the marshmallows toasted to a crisp so that they were super gooey.  –Anon (Rock Glen, PA)

On my birthday a few years ago, we were camping and didn’t have a cake. We did have candles, so we put one on a marshmallow and tried to light the candle in the campfire! We went through several candles before one was lit long enough to sing “Happy Birthday!”  –R. Drew (Reserve, KS)

My cherished memory was when my boys wanted to start making s’mores on their own. I was like, they don’t need mom anymore. They were like, we want to make them for you mom, so just let us treat you, but you can still buy the items :). I felt needed again, lol.  –K. Jefferson (Arlington, TX)

Every summer we rent a cottage and take the grandchildren up North for a week. We have a bonfire almost every night, we make s’mores, and then play campfire games. One of our newest recipes is a “walking s’more.” Take a small bag of teddy grahams, crush the bears, then slice open the bag. Drop in a Hershey’s bar that’s been broken into pieces, and finally, a hot toasted marshmallow. You need to eat this treat with a spoon or a fork, but you can take it down to the dock while you eat and listen to the loons. Wonderful summer fun and hopefully a lifetime of memories.   –K. Lewis (Sandwich, MA)

MORE S’MORES RECIPES

S'more Recipes Outdoor Living Blog

Graham crackers, strawberry marshmallows toasted golden brown and semi-sweet chocolate.  –Anon (Monroe, MI)

1 coconut shortbread cookie, 1/2 pineapple ring, 1 chocolate bar, 1 melted marshmallow, 1 coconut shortbread cookie. Layer as above and enjoy!  –Anon (Spanish Fort, UT)

Heat oven to 350°F. Place 9 graham squares in single layer on bottom of 8-inch square pan; top with 36 marshmallow halves. Sprinkle with chopped chocolate. Top with remaining marshmallow halves, cut sides down. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes and cut into squares.   –Anon (Nashville, TN)

Graham crackers, dark chocolate, marshmallows, 4 blackberries. Yum!  –D. Griffin (Farr West, UT)

Graham crackers drizzled with caramel, then chocolate, topped with a roasted cinnamon marshmallow.  –Anon (New Richmond, OH)

Chocolate graham cracker, Hershey’s mint chocolate bars, Smash Mallow mint chocolate chip marshmallows.  –S. Coleman (Cottonwood Heights, UT)

Regular s’mores, but put peanut butter on the graham cracker. It’s great! –T. Campbell (Northville, MI)

We used to roll our marshmallows in Jello powder before roasting them! Chocolate strawberry s’mores!  –B. Westfall (Rochester, MN)

Try using a peanut butter cup with a chocolate graham cracker. –R. Kinkaid (Ballston Lake, NY)

S’more Pie: Graham cracker pie crust, cold chocolate pudding filling with chocolate chunks — set in fridge to chill. Add Marshmallow Creme topping spread on top and return to fridge to chill. Ready to slice and serve after 1 to 1.5 hrs.  —H. Hansen (Desert Hot Springs, CA)

Hollow out the toasted marshmallow and drizzle in some Bailey’s liqueur.   –J. Cloward (Bar Nunn, WY)

RECIPES: A New Way to S’more

Guest blog from Chuao Chocolatier® artisan chocolates.

Hey Belgard fam, it’s your friends from Chuao Chocolatier again! Living in sunny San Diego has its perks, including having beautiful weather all year round. That means even in August, we’re breaking out our s’mores kits and gathering ‘round the fire pit. But, that means that the classic s’mores can get a little… boring. So, in true Chuao style, we made up some SUPER fun recipes for s’mores that are so good you’ll want to s’more all year long, too!

maple donut bar, bacon s'more recipeForget The Diet S’Mores

What could possibly elevate a s’more recipe to an unheard of level? How about a maple donut bar, bacon and our Baconluxious Chocolate bar?  Sweet sticky maple with salty smoky bacon come together in a s’more that is completely out of this world good. We say, forget the diet and indulge!

What you’ll need: maple donut bar, Chuao Chocolatier Baconluxious Chocolate mini bars, marshmallows, cooked bacon.

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Dark Chocolate S'Mores with French breadQueen Bee S’Mores

We couldn’t help ourselves – we had to take ooey gooey s’mores and add even MORE sticky sweetness. The deliciously sweet honey balances out deliciously with soft French bread slices and rich dark chocolate.

What you’ll need: French Bread loaf, Chuao Chocolatier Honeycomb mini bars, marshmallows, honey.

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Breakfast Waffle S'More Recipe With StrawberriesS’More Breakfast Please!

Eat these for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, because they’re delicious any time of day. Sweet cinnamon cereal and creamy milk chocolate are met with sweet, fresh strawberries and crunchy waffle to balance everything out. It’s a s’more worth getting out of bed for.

What you’ll need: Waffles, Chuao Chocolatier Cinnamon Cereal Smooch mini bars, marshmallows, fresh strawberries.

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Oh, SNAP! S'More RecipeOh, SNAP! S’Mores

We went to flavor town with our last s’more creation. Spicy ginger cookies meet caramel apples meet chocolate meet s’mores… meets total deliciousness. We chose to buy our ginger cookies, and we went with a soft cookie instead of a typical crispy ginger snap, but either version is delicious! If you want to make these s’mores even more delectable, add a drizzle of caramel sauce to them!

What you’ll need: ginger cookies, Chuao Chocolatier Caramel Apple Crush mini bars, marshmallows. Optional: caramel sauce.

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Have Your Own Idea for a New Kind of S’more?

Belgard is celebrating fireside s’mores throughout the month of August and would love to hear your fireside stories and original s’mores recipes. Submit your story or recipe at Belgard.com/smores and enter for a chance to win a free Ashland Fire Pit Kit and a $500 gift certificate for Chuao Chocolatier artisan chocolates!

RECIPE: Homemade S’mores
(From Scratch)

Guest blog from Chuao Chocolatier® artisan chocolates.

Oh My S’mores! Chuao ChocolatierWe’re Chuao Chocolatier, a San Diego-based chocolatier known for our innovatively delicious chocolate bars, and we’re excited to share our recipe for Homemade S’mores with the Belgard family. We know the name of this recipe sounds ridiculous – of course all s’mores are homemade. Is there really any other way to s’more? Actually there is! We have a fun portable version of s’mores that you can eat anytime, anywhere, with no flame required: it’s Oh My S’mores! chocolate bar, and yes it’s delicious.

BUT we’re here to tell you about a different kind of s’more – one where the graham crackers and marshmallows are all homemade from scratch.

Oh yeah, we’re going there.

It sounds difficult, especially if you aren’t one to enjoy baking on the regular. But we promise, it’s so delicious that you will never want to use store-bought ingredients again! Plus, it’s so easy. Yes, homemade marshmallows are easy. You barely have to do anything! And you get soft, sticky, sweet marshmallows as a result.

Graham Cracker Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup graham flour
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter cut into 1/4-inch cubes and chilled
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 tbs ounces whole milk
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Place both flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times to combine.
  2. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles cornmeal.
  3. Add the molasses, milk, honey, and vanilla extract and process until the dough forms a ball — approximately 1 minute.
  4. Press the ball into a 1/2-inch thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Unwrap the chilled dough and place it onto a large piece of parchment paper and top with a second sheet of parchment paper. Roll the dough out until it is 1/8-inch thick.
  7. Slide the rolled dough and parchment paper onto a half sheet pan. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough, using a rolling pizza cutter into 2-inch square pieces, by making vertical and then horizontal cuts all the way across the dough. Trim off any excess.
  8. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the dough.
  9. Leave the crackers on the pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25 minutes or until the edges just start to darken. Remove from the oven, set the sheet pan with the crackers on a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
  10. Once completely cool, break into individual crackers.

Marshmallow Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup cold water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • Special Equipment Needed: Candy Thermometer, Electric Mixer

Directions

  1. Combine all three packets of gelatin and ½ cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Allow to sit while you make the sugar syrup.
  2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and ½ cup water into a sauce pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise heat to high and cook until the sugar syrup reaches 240º F on a candy thermometer (about 7 minutes). Remove from heat.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin.
  4. When all the syrup has been added, put the mixer on high and whip until the mixture is very thick and shiny, about 15 minutes.
  5. While the mixture is whipping, generously (and we mean really generously) dust an 8×12 inch nonmetal baking dish with confectioners’ sugar.
  6. When the marshmallow fluff has reached the desired texture, add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  7. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the prepped baking dish. Smooth out the top, and add either more confectioners’ sugar, or desired decorative toppings. Let the marshmallows stand uncovered overnight until they’re dried out.
  8. Once the marshmallows have dried out, turn the marshmallows out onto a board that has also been dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Cut them into squares and dust with more confectioners’ sugar.

The Final Component: Chocolate

Ok, so now you have your base layer and your sticky, smoky layer. Next you need a rich, melty layer to make everything come together. We have a few pretty delicious options for you (though you really can’t go wrong with any of our chocolate stuffed into a s’more).

Oh My S’mores!Oh My S’mores!: It’s basically doubling down on your s’more game. The most fun part about this is the marshmallows, because they stay slightly soft and chewy, instead of ooey gooey like the blazed up marshmallows. The texture is killer and the creamy milk chocolate makes for the perfect combo.

Sprinkle Dreams: Imaging combining a trip to your favorite ice cream shop with an gooey and delectable s’more, all in one fabulous bite! The sprinkles in this chocolate bar keep things colorful and fun, while the bits of waffle cone and hazelnuts add a delicious crunch that brings the whole s’mores experience together!

FirecrackerFirecracker: Get ready for a totally unique s’mores experience! Rich dark chocolate makes this sumptuous and heavenly, but then a surprising kick of chipotle tickles your throat while popping candy explodes in your mouth. Trust us, you’re going to want to try this one! It’s like a party in your mouth.

Joy-Filled CaramelsJoy-Filled Caramels: This is NEXT LEVEL s’mores. If you want to make your s’mores totally and completely indulgent, throw a Joy-Filled Caramel in your s’more and let the rich, sweet caramel take your taste buds to flavor town.

There are countless other fun s’mores recipes to create with our chocolate – what would you try first? Or is there another chocolate bar you’re checking out? Well don’t be shy, tell us in the comments! And then go ahead and give it a try – you won’t ever regret eating this deliciousness.

-Team Chuao

If you enjoyed this recipe, head over to the Chuao recipe page and try your hand at all the fun and delicious treats we have there!

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COMING SOON:  National S’mores Day is coming up on August 10! Come back to the Belgard blog on that day to celebrate with us, and you’ll have a chance to enter to win a Belgard fire pit.

Holiday Toddies

If you’re planning an outdoor gathering during the cooler months, it’s always a good idea to have some hot toddy recipes on hand. With the holiday season ahead, we’ve pulled together some special toddy recipes that will not only help keep your guests warm, but will add to the festive atmosphere.

SPIKED PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE

Photo: Christopher Testani, Prop styling: Kaitlyn Duross, Food Styling: Chris Lanier

Think of this as more of a dessert than a beverage, but with a little peppermint schnapps to add some holiday cheer. Coconut milk adds an extra splurge of indulgence that pairs nicely with the chocolate and mint.

Ingredients
  • 2 (13.5 oz.) cans light coconut milk
  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • dash of kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup peppermint schnapps
  • Optional garnish: peppermint sticks and miniature marshmallows
Preparation
  1. Whisk together the first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan. Heat over medium until very warm.
  2. Remove from heat; stir in schnapps.
  3. Garnish with peppermint sticks and marshmallows, if desired.

APPLE-CRANBERRY WASSAIL

Photo: Jennifer Causey, Styling: Missie Neville Crawford, Claire Spollen

For those who like to go a-wassailing, this festive holiday beverage calls for dark rum but works equally well with bourbon. Or, omit the alcohol altogether for a kid-friendly version that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Ingredients
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 quart cranberry juice cocktail
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 18 whole allspice
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 4 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 3 (1-inch wide) strips orange rind
  • 3 (1-inch wide) strips lemon rind
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
PREPARATION
  1. Combine cider, cranberry juice and honey in a 6-quart electric slow cooker.
  2. Place allspice, cloves and cinnamon sticks on a double layer of cheesecloth. Gather edges of cheesecloth together, tie securely, and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Add vanilla bean and citrus rinds; cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours.
  4. Remove sachet, vanilla bean and citrus rinds from the slow cooker; discard. Pour in rum and reduce temperature to WARM. Cover and serve directly from the slow cooker.

LEMON-PEAR TODDY

Photo: Greg Dupree. Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling.

This hot toddy is on the lighter side and comes together in a flash, thanks to the microwave. A little fresh lemon juice adds a bright top note and balances the sweet pear flavor by adding a light tang.

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup pear vodka
  • 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional garnish: thinly sliced pear
Preparation
  1. Combine water, sugar and salt in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes or until boiling. Stir to dissolve sugar and water completely.
  2. Stir in vodka, brandy, juice and vanilla. Garnish glasses with pear slices, if desired. Serve warm.

SMUGGLER’S COFFEE

Photo: Fredrika Stjarne

Or, maybe it should be called Snuggler’s Coffee, since this double-rum beverage is perfect for snuggling by the fire pit. But the addition of cinnamon and orange zest also adds that holiday twist that makes it work equally well for holiday gatherings.

Ingredients (single serving)
  • 1/2 cup hot coffee, strong
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 once gold rum
  • 1 once dark rum
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 long strip of orange zest
  • Optional garnish: finely grated orange zest, canned sweetened whipped cream, grated Mexican chocolate
preparation
  1. In a heatproof glass, stir the coffee and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Stir in both rums, and add the cinnamon stick and strip of orange zest.
  3. If desired, garnish with whipped cream, grated Mexican chocolate and grated orange zest.

Images courtesy of Time, Inc.

How to Smoke Barbecue Brisket

(photo courtesy Southern Living magazine)

Brisket is a lean cut of beef that presents a way to inexpensively feed a crowd, making it an ideal choice for tailgating season. Because it is a tough cut of meat, it requires extended cooking (about 6 hours) — which is perfect for an all-day tailgating session. You can also do some precooking in an oven, if you need to reduce the amount of grill time. For perfect brisket every time, follow these steps.

Step 1: Trimming the meat

Buy a brisket between 10 and 12 pounds. If possible, have the butcher trim off any excess fat. If not, trim it yourself. Leave any marbling that is within the muscle itself. Marbling will add flavor and moisture to the meat. But there’s typically a patch of fat that runs the length of one side of the cut, and you’ll want to remove that.

Step 2: the marinade

Marinade your brisket overnight in your favorite marinade. If you don’t have a favorite, try a simple marinade of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and red wine, topped with a liberal coating of garlic powder and onion powder. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.

Step 3: The smoke

Select your favorite wood (this blogger prefers cherry), and soak the chunks in water prior to cooking. The key is to cook the brisket over indirect heat. Never put your meat directly over the coals. Keep the temperature of the pit around 225 degrees for about 6 hours. Aim for an internal meat temp of 195 degrees. Try to avoid unnecessarily opening the lid while it’s cooking, or you’ll cause the temperature to fluctuate too much.

Step 4: Enjoy!

Let the finished meat rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. For that typical sliced brisket look, slice on the bias in the direction of the muscle grain. Have some barbecue sauce ready, for those who like to dip. To make your brisket feed more people, serve with slider buns.

NEXT WEEK:  Now that you have part of the menu planned, come back to the blog next week for ideas on hosting the ultimate backyard tailgate party.