Archive for Barbequing and Grilling

Joe’s Pork Ribs

My husband makes these sensational ribs and we can hardly wait to have them each summer! The barbecue sauce can be made up to a week ahead; the addition of coffee lends a rich level of flavor. I usually make the rub ahead and store in a jar with a tight lid. It makes a great Christmas stocking stuffer too! As they say, finger licking good! You can easily make half the amount of ribs and freeze the leftover barbecue sauce for another rib fest! Corn on the cob anyone?  Get out extra napkins too!

Makes 8 Servings


6 lbs. spareribs or baby back ribs
½ cup cider vinegar
2 – 4 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring (the brand I use is Colgin,
it has all natural ingredients)


6 Tbsp. chili powder, (regular chili powder)
3 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. golden brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Barbecue Sauce

4 tsp. EVO
1 cup minced onion
1 ½ cups water
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
2/3 cup cider vinegar
¼ cup molasses, unsulfured
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. instant coffee powder
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. chili powder (regular chili powder)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Tip: A rib rack is a very handy piece of equipment for the barbecue.

Two hours ahead, cut each rib section into 2 or 3 pieces. Place in a large pan. Combine vinegar & liquid smoke in a small bowl; brush over both sides of ribs. Place in fridge for 2 hours.

Prepare the charcoal in the barbecue to medium heat (325-350 F). You may want to use a thermometer for this or just guess! Place a drip pan containing water under where the ribs will cook. Combine rub ingredients & rub on both sides of ribs; season with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Place ribs on barbecue; close lid and cook for 70 minutes, turning once. Brush ribs with barbecue sauce; close lid; cook 15 minutes. Brush ribs with remaining barbecue sauce; cover and cook for 10 minutes longer until ribs are looking very tender. Remove to a large cutting board; divide into sections and serve on a warm platter.

Rhubarb Ketchup

Having picked up an armload of rhubarb on the weekend, it was time to get busy and cook up our annual batch of rhubarb ketchup!  Don’t remember where I got this recipe but we liked it a lot the first time I made my version of it.  I’ve even used it in making homemade barbecue sauces.

Makes Approx. 4 Cups

6 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup water
1 tsp. black  peppercorns
1 tsp. mustard seeds (I use a tsp. Dijon as Joe can’t have mustard seeds)
2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
½ tsp. allspice berries
1 tsp. whole cloves
2 Tbs. EVO
2 cups chopped onion
1 (6 oz.) tin tomato paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
28 oz. tin of Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
½ cup packed brown sugar
½ cup cider vinegar
1 ½ tsp. sea salt

To Make the Ketchup:

 In a large pot over medium heat, cook the rhubarb with the 1 cup of water until most of the water has been absorbed & the rhubarb has a soft jam consistency, approximately 10 – 15 minutes.  Place in a bowl, set aside until needed.  Wipe out the pot.

Take a square of cheesecloth that you have rinsed in water & spread it out on a work surface.  Place the peppercorns, mustard seeds (if using), bay leaves, cinnamon stick pieces, allspice berries & whole cloves onto the cheesecloth.  Bundle up & tie with kitchen string.

Add the olive oil to the wiped out pot, place over medium heat.  Add the onions, sautéing until soft; add the garlic & cook for a minute.  Add the tomato paste & cayenne, cooking & stirring for another minute.  Remove from the heat.

Add the chopped tomatoes &  rhubarb “jam” to the pot, allowing mixture to cool for a few minutes.  In a blender puree the mixture in 2 or 3 batches, placing in a bowl as pureed.  Wipe out the pot again; return the pureed mixture to the pot, add the brown sugar, vinegar & salt, stirring to combine.  If using Dijon instead of mustard seeds add it now.  Submerge the bundle of spices into the mixture & place over medium-low heat, simmering until the mixture has darkened,  has thickened & is reduced to about 4 cups, approximately 2 hours, stirring often.  I use a spatter guard while this is going on as it does bubble up somewhat!  Adjust the heat lower if you need to.

Remove the spice bundle to a small plate & cool until able to be handled then squeeze any juices into the ketchup mixture.  Allow the mixture to cool.  Place into bottles or what you have.  The ketchup will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

The Kamado Joe Rocks Ribs!

Bbarbecued beef ribs were the choice for my birthday dinner, so off to our hipster butcher Pete, of Pete’s Meats  we go! The rib recipe is by John Malik and was published in Bon Appetit magazine in July 2003.

kamado joe 2A Kamado Joe was recently added to the collection of outdoor charcoal cooking apparatus that we and our neighbours have accumulated over the years. The four of us are kind of hooked on charcoal cooking. Well…what an opportunity to barbecue those longed for beef ribs, don’t you think?

After around 4 hours, which included a bit of spritzing with water then basting with the fabulous barbecue sauce/glaze/mop, we ended up with the most amazing ribs that we have eaten, ever!

Hear and now…let it be said, if you are looking to buy a fabulous piece of equipment for charcoal barbecuing…you gotta check these babies out!

A Weber charcoal barbecue is what it seems is used in John Malik’s recipe and we did try it out a few years ago on ours…the consensus was the ribs needed more time on the barbecue than the recipe stated; the notes I wrote at the time said “tasted great” but change cooking time and keep the temperature as close to 250 F as possible. The ribs need to be really tender, juicy and succulent and that’s exactly how they turned out on the Kamado Joe. Rib perfection!

A note about briquettes…we no longer use these but switched up to lump charcoal a number of years ago…you may wish to consider checking them out if you haven’t already.

Makes 6 servings

Marinade and ribs: We used 2 racks of beef ribs, each with 7 ribs each, doubling the marinade amount. It does sound like a lot of salt, but we didn’t find it so & we don’t like a lot of salt…it seemed just right. We marinated and cooked the rib racks whole, cut them up & served with extra sauce on the side for dipping. We made the “Sauce” amount as per the recipe, basted one time, serving extra sauce on the side.

DSC_2841 nx2Marinade for Ribs:

1 1/2 cups water
1 12-ounce bottle pale ale
1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
5 fresh thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
16 beef short ribs or 8 whole beef ribs


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
DSC_2887 nx21 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup bourbon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
Leaves from 5 fresh thyme sprigs

Charcoal chimney for starting coals

45 charcoal briquettes

Marinade and ribs:

Combine all marinade ingredients except ribs in heavy medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Cool marinade completely. Place ribs in large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; add marinade. Seal bag; turn to coat ribs. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

For Sauce:

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar & boil until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add ketchup, molasses, & 1/4 cup water, then bourbon; stir to blend. Bring sauce to simmer. Stir in salt and white pepper. Simmer 10 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in thyme leaves. (Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Kamado Joe method for cooking the ribs:

Get things going in the same way as above with a whole bunch of lump charcoal, preferably in a charcoal chimney to get them going. Open the vents up a bit on the top and bottom and get the temperature up to 250 F (allowing approximately 30 minutes.) Place the marinated ribs on the grill, close lid & let things cook for about 3 hrs. Check to see if they are really tender (watch the temperature gauge occasionally to ensure that it’s keeping fairly steady at 250 F), adjusting the vents if necessary. If the meat seems tender when pierced with a sharp knife, spritz with water, cover with lid, cook for about 20 minutes, spritz again, cook 15 minutes, then baste both sides with sauce; cover with lid & cook for about 45 minutes more. Remove ribs from K. J. (as she is affectionately now known), cover with foil & allow to rest for 20 minutes or so; carve between ribs & get those napkins ready!

John Malik’s method for cooking the ribs:

Place handful of torn newspaper in bottom of charcoal chimney. Top with 30 charcoal briquettes. Remove top grill rack from barbecue. Place chimney on bottom rack. Light newspaper; let charcoal burn until ash is gray, about 30 minutes.

Open bottom barbecue vent. Turn out hot charcoal onto 1 side of bottom rack. Using metal spatula, move charcoal to cover approximately 1/3 of rack at 1 side. Fill foil loaf pan halfway with water; place opposite charcoal on bottom rack.

Return top rack to barbecue. Arrange ribs on top rack above water in loaf pan. Cover barbecue with lid, positioning top vent directly over ribs. Insert stem of candy thermometer through top vent, with gauge outside & tip near ribs (thermometer should not touch meat or barbecue rack); leave thermometer in place during cooking. Use top & bottom vents to maintain temperature between 250°F and 300°F, opening vents wider to increase heat and closing to decrease heat. Leave other vents closed. Check temperature every 10 minutes.

Cook ribs until meat is very tender when pierced with knife, turning ribs occasionally and basting often with sauce the last 10 minutes of cooking, about 3 hours total. Open barbecue only when necessary to turn or baste meat & close quickly to minimize loss of heat and smoke.

After first 30 minutes of cooking, use technique described earlier to light additional 15 charcoal briquettes in charcoal chimney set atop nonflammable surface. If cooking temperature drops below 250°F, use oven mitts to lift off top rack with ribs and place on heatproof surface. Using tongs, add half of hot gray charcoal from chimney to bottom rack. Replace top rack on barbecue, placing ribs above water in loaf pan. Cover with lid.

Transfer ribs to plates; brush with more sauce and serve, passing any remaining sauce separately.

Phyllis Signature


Spot Prawns With Two Dips

Get ‘em still alive. Remove the heads just before cooking. If you are a bit squeamish get your partner (I do), or a friend to do this.  Or you can simply leave them whole.

Spot Prawn season begins in May and we get them right off the boats at the dock at Granville Island. They are wonderfully sweet and succulent and worth waiting for! We just place them on the barbecue, medium-high heat with the shells on and cook until they change colour. You could do them on a rack under the broiler. Watch carefully, you don’t want to overcook them.

These two dips go rather well with the Prawns:

Charmoula Butter

6 Tbsp. butter
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
2 ½ Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ tsp. (scant) ground cumin
¼ tsp. hot smoked Spanish paprika

Melt the butter in a small pan over medium heat. Add the garlic & sauté for a bit, but do not let the garlic turn colour. Stir in the remaining ingredients; season with salt.

Sweet Chili Sauce – This is really excellent, spicy, sweet and oh so good with spot prawns or halibut cheeks, coconut prawns, or crab cakes.

½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
½ sweet red bell peppers, seeded & any membrane removed, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped garlic
2 Tbsp. sambal oelek, you can adjust to taste, perhaps 1 Tbsp. to start and see from there
¼ cup fish sauce
4-5 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine water & sugar in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over high heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes or until reduced by a quarter and just beginning to thicken. Let cool.

Place the red pepper, garlic & sambal oelek in a food processor of blender. Add sugar syrup and puree. Add fish sauce & lime juice, blend until combined. Taste for seasoning adding more lime juice, fish sauce or sambal oelek to taste. Makes about 1 ½ cups & freezes really well.

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Pork Tenderloin With Rhubarb Chutney

This Rhubarb Chutney compliments pork beautifully.  A nice dish to make when the young, sweet rhubarb begins to appear at the markets or in your garden.   I have made this chutney in spring & frozen it.  It tasted great with both  turkey and tourtiere!  Bonus…great on a ham or turkey sandwich too!

_DSC2166.jpg nx2 5Makes 4 Servings

2 Pork tenderloins, trimmed of silverskin
Thinly sliced prosciutto (approximately 4 oz.)
1 clove of garlic, cut into 6 slivers
Fresh sage leaves
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.

On a large piece of wax paper, lay out the proscuitto in a square shape to the width of the  tenderloin , slightly overlapping the slices.  With a small knife cut 3 slits into the pork tenderloin (near both ends & in the middle); insert 3 slivers of garlic in each slit.  Season with a small amount of salt & pepper; place a few of the sage leaves on top and then roll up the tenderloin, completely enclosing it in proscuitto.  Using kitchen string, tie up every 1″ or so to keep the proscuitto from falling off.  Season & wrap the second tenderloin in the same way.

Heat 1 Tbsp. EVOO in an oven proof frying pan (cast iron works well) over medium-high heat. Season pork with salt & pepper. Tuck thin ends under and secure with toothpicks or short wooden skewers. Brown on all sides, approximately 5 minutes. Place pan in oven and roast for 15 – 20 minutes. Check the inner temperature of the tenderloins with an instant-read thermometer, pork should be 155 F for medium-well. Remove from oven, place on a cutting board, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving into ½” thick slices.

Alternatively, preheat your barbecue and cook over indirect heat for 20 minutes or so (155 F). Serve with the rhubarb chutney.  My choice!

Rhubarb Chutney – makes 2 cups

Make up to 2 days ahead and keep refrigerated.

½ cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¾ piece of cinnamon stick
¾ Tbsp. (2 ¼ tsp.) minced fresh ginger
¾ tsp. grated orange peel, a Microplane grater works really well for this
¼ tsp. (scant) ground cardamom
2 1/4  cups coarsely chopped rhubarb, approximately 1 lb. trimmed of leaves, leaves discarded
1/4  cup + 2 Tbsp.  currants
2 green onions, chopped

Make the Chutney:

Stir the first 6 ingredients in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture comes to a boil. Add the rhubarb, currants and green onions; bring back to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon stick. Cover and refrigerate chutney until cold, at least 1 hour.

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Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

You tell me…who doesn’t love blueberries…who doesn’t love a barbecue? This slightly spicy, slightly sweet barbecue sauce is perfect to make when the local berries appear, it’s delicious basted on ribs, pork chops or tenderloin, burgers, and chicken while they are cooking! Might work on salmon too!

DSC_2550 nx2Makes Approximately 2 ½ to 3 Cups

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup water
½ medium onion, chopped into ¼” dice
¼ cup brown sugar, not packed
4 Tbsp. cider vinegar or blueberry vinegar (have made it with blackberry vinegar too)
2 Tbsp. fancy molasses
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1 tsp. dried marjoram, crushed
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Cool for 15 – 20 minutes then puree in a food processor or blender until smooth; season to taste with salt & pepper.  Will keep in the fridge for 5 or 6 days…you can freeze it too!

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“Jerk” Pork Chops

The last time we barbecued the pork chops we both agreed; they are very, very good, quick and easy to put together and we are making them tonight! Mix up some Jamaican drinks, kick back and dream of those island breezes! You can easily increase the recipe too.

Makes 2 Servings

DSC_1133 nx2(2) ¾ – 1” thick pork chops
¼ cup chopped onion
½ small clove garlic
1 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 tsp. Muscavado sugar, or other brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chili (use the type & amount you feel comfortable with), the rub should have some heat
½ tsp. ground allspice
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 – 2 tsp. cooking oil

Prepare the barbecue.

Mince & mash onion to a coarse paste with garlic, thyme, sugar, salt & spices with the flat side of a chef’s knife, place in a small bowl, stir in the oil. Pat pork chops dry & rub the jerk paste all over them. Grill the chops 5 minutes on the first side, then 4 – 5 minutes on the second side, until cooked medium well.

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Chinese Style Barbecued Chicken Wings

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here.

 Who just doesn’t like wings, sticky fingers and all!  Get out the napkins.  These make great appy’s too!  Don’t leave out the five-spice, it adds a delicious dimension to the chicken!  If you prefer, you can use bone-in chicken thighs.  Delicious!!

DSC_8024 nx2Makes Approximately 4 Servings

1/3 cup hoisin
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced gingerroot
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder**
¼ to ½ tsp. Sambal Oelek (chili paste) or to taste
2 lbs chicken pieces
1Tbsp. liquid honey

Stir together hoisin, orange juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, orange rind, Chinese five-spice powder & Sambal Oelek; pour over the chicken in a glass or ceramic dish large enough to hold the chicken in one layer, turning to coat all the pieces. Marinate in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat your barbecue medium-high (375 – 400 F) & prepare it for indirect cooking by placing a drip pan under where the chicken will be cooking.  Place the chicken on the barbecue skin-side down & cook for 20 minutes, lid on.

In the meantime, place the marinade in a small pot, bring to a boil & boil for 1 minute, add the honey; remove from the heat & reserve until ready to turn the chicken over.

After the 20 minutes, remove the lid, brush the chicken with the reserved marinade; turn the chicken over, brush with the remaining marinade; cover with the lid and continue to cook another 10 – 15 minutes more or until all the chicken is cooked and nicely browned.

**If you would like to make your own fabulous Chinese five-spice, click here.

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Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

The blueberries are in season and we’re making a batch of this barbecue sauce to slather onto pork chops, ribs, burgers, chicken, turkey or even fish! It will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and can be easily frozen.  In fact, I have doubled the recipe just so I could have a stash in the freezer!  Gelderman Farms has delicious, juicy blueberries grown organically. If you would like to get some of their berries, see Some of My Favourite Sources.

Makes Approximately 3 Cups

DSC_7922 nx21 cup blueberries, preferably fresh
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup water
½ medium onion, chopped
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup blueberry or cider vinegar (I’ve even used blackberry vinegar)
2 Tbsp. fancy molasses
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled
1 tsp. dried marjoram, crumbled
1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined & finely chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Cool for 15 minutes then puree in the processor or blender until smooth; season to taste with salt & freshly ground black pepper.

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Barbecued Thai Ribs

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, click here.

There is just something about a coconut milk marinade and pork! I like to serve the ribs with a rice noodle salad or a Chinese noodle salad. Begin preparing the ribs the day before.

DSC_7584 nx2Makes 4 Servings

4 lbs. pork ribs, side or baby back, divided in half
1 cup tinned unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup grated palm or brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup chopped shallots, firmly packed
¼ cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp. chopped garlic
1 Tbsp. peeled, chopped fresh ginger
2 stalks lemongrass, cut off the lower bulb, remove tough, outer leaves; using only the yellow section. You can freeze the remainder for soups or curries
1 – 2 tsp. Thai red curry paste or to taste
1 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Place the ribs in a large roasting pan. Add ½ cup water; cover & place in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes to steam. Remove ribs from the pan & allow to cool.

Combine coconut milk, cilantro, sugar, shallots, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, red curry paste & salt in the food processor until almost smooth. Place the ribs, once cooled, in a large glass baking dish or two. Pour on the marinade & coat the ribs with it. Cover & refrigerate overnight.

Prepare the barbecue (medium heat for gas). Remove ribs from marinade. Grill the ribs until golden brown turning occasionally. About approximately 30 – 40 minutes, over indirect heat. Remove to a cutting board, separate the ribs into serving pieces & serve on a warm platter.

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