January 2019 - The Super Bowl Issue
Smoked Beef Ribs with Roasted Tomato Harissa
If you love beef brisket, but don’t have time to smoke for 20 hours, then I suggest trying your hand at smoking beef chuck ribs. They take less than half the time, they are a bit more forgiving if you haven’t mastered your technique yet, and they taste fantastic!
We are keeping things simple and seasoning the ribs with salt and pepper, then smoking them for 7 hours. What about that beautiful crimson exterior? Surely there must be some barbecue rub or sauce, right? Not at all. That tantalizing barbecue color comes purely from the smoke. This recipe includes a flavorful harissa with roasted pepper and onion, but you could just as well serve these beef ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce. I recommend our Onion Marmalade Barbecue Sauce if you are interested in going that route.
If you plan on using your Hybrid Fire Grill instead of a smoker, read ahead to the note at the end of the recipe for tips on how to do this.
- 2 3-bone chuck rib racks, about 5 pounds each
- Kosher salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper
For the Harissa
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 small red onion, halved through the equator, papery skin left on
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 5 fresh red chiles, such as Fresno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar (we love Blis 9 Maple Solera Sherry Vinegar)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Prepare the smoker for 225°F smoking with oak wood for flavor. We recommend preheating the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet for 1 hour before putting in the food.
Liberally season the beef ribs all over with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, uncovered, until right before you put it in the smoker. By putting cold meat into the smoker, you are able to create a better developed smoke ring.
Place the rib racks into the smoker with the bones on the bottom. If available, insert a meat thermometer (the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet includes one with the pit computer) into the thickest portion of one rack, making sure to not get it close to the bones. Set the meat thermometer alarm to 200°F.
Beef ribs smoking in the Kalamazoo charcoal smoker cabinet
Smoke the meat, maintaining constant smoke, until the internal temperature reaches 200°F, about 7 to 8 hours, depending on the thickness of the meat.
While the ribs are smoking, make the harissa. Begin by preheating a grill for direct grilling with a multi-zone fire. One zone of the grill should be as hot as possible for roasting the red pepper. Two zones are needed for the onion, one zone with MEDIUM heat, and another with LOW or indirect heat (in a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, you can use the warming rack area above the MEDIUM zone for the indirect cooking).
Roast the red pepper until the skin is black all over, about 15 minutes, then remove it from the grill and place it in a bowl covered by a plate. Let it steam like this until the onion is ready.
Place the onion halves on the grill grate over the MEDIUM-hot fire with the cut sides down. Leave there until quite charred, about 5 minutes. Then move to the LOW heat or indirect zone, close the lid, and continue cooking until soft, about 15 minutes more.
Once cool, remove the outer layer of the onion. Chop the onion and place in the vessel of a blender or food processor. Discard the stem, skin and seeds from the bell pepper. Roughly chop the flesh and add it to the vessel. Add all of the other ingredients and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until the ribs are done.
Once the ribs have reached 200°F internal temperature, remove them from the smoker. Wrap them in foil and let them rest for about 30 minutes. The ideal internal temperature for serving the ribs is around 140°F. Slice them into individual ribs and serve with the harissa for dipping.
Note: If you would like to smoke these ribs in the Hybrid Fire Grill, we have described a few methods in our Barbecue Techniques Grilling Guide. We recommend following option one, and placing the ribs on the warming rack.
Bourbon-marinated Flank Steak Hoagies with Horseradish Aioli
A few hours soaking in a bourbon bath intensifies the meatiness of the flank steak at the heart of this amazing sandwich. Grilled onions, melted asiago cheese and horseradish aioli make it absolutely luscious. We like using long pretzel rolls so the hoagies can easily be sliced and shared with guests for any barbecue.
- 2 pounds flank steak
- 1-1/2 cups bourbon
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1/2 cup good-quality mayonnaise (we use Sir Kensington’s)
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- Fine gray sea salt
- 2 pretzel rolls, about 11 inches long, sliced lengthwise
- 4 ounces asiago cheese, sliced
- Baby arugula
Score both sides of the flank steak in a cross-hatch pattern (about 1/8 inch deep and 1/4 inch apart) to increase the surface area for the Maillard reaction while grilling.
Whisk together the bourbon, soy sauce, olive oil and minced shallot to make the marinade. Seal the steak in a ziplock bag with the marinade and refrigerate for 4 hours.
To make the horseradish aioli, stir together the garlic, horseradish and mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavors combine.
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over high heat, with an indirect grilling zone at about 450°F. For a Kalamazoo K750 Hybrid Fire Grill, the ideal setup is a hot fire under one plancha surface and one meat surfacenext to each other. Place an additional meat surface in the indirect zone.
Grill the onion slices on the plancha surface (or on a cast-iron griddle or skillet) over the fire with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. You can start grilling the steak before the onions are done, but they should be mostly cooked first.
Remove the steak from the marinade and discard the marinade. Season the steak with sea salt.
Cut the pretzel rolls in half and quickly toast the insides over the fire, then remove from the grill. Use a rubber spatula to spread the horseradish aioli on the insides of each roll, then cover the bottom half of each roll with the sliced asiago cheese. Place the dressed rolls back on the grill, insides facing up, in the indirect grilling zone to melt the cheese, and continue toasting the rolls.
Grill the steak on the meat surface over the hot fire, closing the grill hood some of the time to help melt the cheese. Cook the steak to medium, about 8 minutes total grilling time. Rotate 90 degrees on the grill grate after 2 minutes, flip after 4, and rotate again after another 2. Once done, transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest for 4 minutes.
Remove the rolls from the grill and layer the caramelized onions on top of the cheese. Thinly slice the steak across the grain and layer it over the onions. Top with arugula and the tops of the rolls to finish the hoagies.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
There is one key way we think many Buffalo chicken pizza recipes fall a little bit short, and that is the sauce. This recipe has a secret weapon – a creamy base made with (unsweetened) whipped cream. The high heat of the pizza oven quickly transforms the whipped cream into a thickened sauce that melds beautifully with the mild blue cheese flavor. This creates the perfect base for the hot sauce and spiced and grilled chicken.
- 1 10-ounce Two Hearted Ale Whole Wheat Pizza Dough ball
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon turbinado sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Olive oil
- 1 small chicken breast
- 4 teaspoons hot sauce, plus more to drizzle on the finished pizza (we used Blis Blast)
- 3/4 cup whipped heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
- 2 ounces creamy blue cheese (we used a buttermilk Emmi Roth blue cheese)
- 1/2 green onion, light green and green parts only, sliced
- 1/2 cup celery greens and the skinniest stems, chopped
Prepare the grill for direct grilling over high heat.
Combine cayenne, paprika, sugar and salt to create the seasoning blend for the chicken. Pound the chicken breast out to a uniform half-inch thickness (palliard). Lightly brush with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle the seasoning blend onto the chicken (use it all).
Grill over high heat until cooked through, turning once, about 8 minutes total cooking time. Remove from the grill, slice, and toss in a bowl with the hot sauce.
Fold the celery seed into the whipped heavy cream.
Working on a lightly floured surface (we use Caputo ’00 flour), form the dough ball into a 10-inch pizza. Spread the whipped cream evenly onto the dough. Distribute the blue cheese, followed by the chicken and green onion.
Place the pizza on a pizza peel and transfer to the oven or grill. Cook until the cheese is melted and the crust is nicely browned.
Cooking in a hot pizza oven will take less than 3 minutes. Cooking in a conventional oven at 500⁰F, or on a grill, will require closer to 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Drizzle on a little more hot sauce and then top with chopped fresh celery greens.