Archive for October, 2012

American barbecue goes hand in hand with baked beans. Serve these traditional baked beans with any grilled pork, beef, or poultry. Slow-cooking the beans with bacon and molasses gradually infuses the entire stew with rich, sweet flavors. To make this dish over a low campfire, start the fire early and make sure you have enough wood for the fire to burn gradually for 5 hours (about a quarter of a cord of wood should do it). Set up the fire with a higher-heat area for adding wood and a medium-low-heat area for cooking. Rake coals into the cooking area as necessary. It also helps to have a camp grill with a pot hanger and a wire-handled pot, which allows you to suspend the pot over the cooking area and swing it toward you or over the heat as necessary. But a simple campfire grill grate will also work. Regulate the heat by raking more or fewer coals beneath the pot. The beans should simmer gently in the pot. If using a charcoal grill, put the pot of beans on a sturdy grill grate (make sure the grate can hold the weight of the beans), cover, and cook as directed, regulating the heat with the air vents and replenishing the coals as necessary.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for sauce)
Soak: Overnight (or 8 hours)
Cook: 4 to 5 hours.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 60 pounds of charcoal or about a quarter cord of wood so that the fire can burn gently for about 5 hours
– Heavy pot, preferably cast iron with a wire handle so it can be hung over the fire
– Heat-resistant grill mitt

TIP
– If you don’t have enough fuel to cook the beans over an outdoor fire, you can cook them on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. The cooking directions remain the same.

THE GRILL
Charcoal:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting or pot hanger and wire-handled pot
Wood:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire or pot hanger and wire-handled pot.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 8 SERVINGS)
10 ounces dried navy beans or other small white beans, picked over and rinsed
4 ounces thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup molasses
1¼ cups Sweet, Hot, and Sour BBQ Sauce
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak overnight.
2. Heat the grill as directed. Drain the beans in a colander and set aside. Cook the bacon in the same bean pot directly over the heated part of the grill until crisp, about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the beans and enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Stir in the molasses and barbecue sauce. Bring to a boil, then move the pot to the unheated part of the grill and simmer gently, uncovered, until the beans are tender, 4 to 5 hours, stirring now and then and adding hot water as necessary to keep the pan bottom from going dry.
4. Stir in the salt and pepper and serve.

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Here’s a Mexican take on barbecued baked beans. Black beans stand in for navy beans, and a sweet-hot spice mix replaces the molasses. Cilantro and lime perk up the flavors. Serve this as a side dish with fajitas, grilled pork, beef, or poultry.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for rub)
Soak: Overnight (or 8 hours)
Cook: 1½ to 2 hours.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– 20 pounds of charcoal or about an eighth cord of wood so that the fire can burn gently for about 2 hours
– Heavy pot, preferably cast iron, with a wire handle so it can be hung over the fire
– Heat-resistant grill mitt.

GETTING CREATIVE
– For beans with a thick, soupy consistency similar to refried beans, cook them until the liquid evaporates and some beans cling to the bottom of the pan. Add about ½ cup hot water before stirring in the salt, lime, and cilantro. Scrape up the bits stuck to the pan bottom and stir well.

TIP
– If you don’t have enough fuel to cook the beans over an outdoor fire, you can cook them on the stovetop in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. The cooking directions remain the same.

THE GRILL
Charcoal:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting or pot hanger and wire-handled pot
Wood:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire or pot hanger and wire-handled pot.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 6 SERVINGS)
10 ounces dried black beans, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
¼ cup Fragrant Chile Rub, made without the salt
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
Juice of ½ lime
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Let soak overnight.
2. Heat the grill as directed. Drain the beans in a colander and set aside. Heat the oil in the same bean pot directly over the heated part of the grill. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the beans and enough water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Stir in the bay leaves and the salt-free chile rub. Bring to a boil, then move the pot to the unheated part of the grill and simmer gently, uncovered, until the beans are tender, 1 to 1½ hours, stirring now and then and adding hot water as necessary to keep the pan bottom from going dry.
3. Stir in the salt, lime juice, and cilantro. Cook for another 5 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
4. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

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Fennel (sometimes called anise) is a beautiful vegetable – a broad, white-green bulb that tapers into long, slim, celerylike stems topped with dark green, feathery fronds. The bulb is the only part that is cooked, but you can use the fronds as you would any other delicate herb such as dill. A fennel bulb is structured like a squat head of celery. For this recipe, it is sliced lengthwise into thick planks, leaving the white, pulpy end intact so that the ribs stay together. Because fennel is quite crisp, it needs to be basted with liquid as it browns to help it become tender. In this recipe, a fruity Riesling permeates the fennel’s fibers as it cooks, marrying beautifully with the vegetable’s natural licoricelike flavor.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Grill: About 20 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled spatula or tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas:
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill-middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill–1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting
Wood:
Indirect heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bulbs fennel, stems and leaves trimmed, cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices (see recipe introduction)
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Oil for coating grill grate
¾ cup Riesling wine
4 sprigs rosemary, tied together at the stick end into a basting brush.

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Mix the olive oil and garlic in a small bowl, and coat the fennel slices with this mixture. Season with the salt and pepper.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the fennel on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until browned and tender, about 20 minutes, turning and basting with some of the Riesling, using the rosemary basting brush, about every 5 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 375°F.
4. Place on a serving platter or individual plates and serve.

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