With Labor Day weekend here, you might be thinking of ways to up your grilling game while the weather still allows for cooking and eating outside. A late summer barbecue is never a bad way to go.
The kitchens behind two of Longmont residents’ favorite barbecue restaurants — Georgia Boys and the soon-to-be South Main Street location of Smokin’ Dave’s, want to help. They’ve offered their best advice for your feast.
Georgia Boys tips for meats
There are a lot of possibilities for meats that you can barbecue and variables to how to approach the process. Rather than providing a process for a single type of meat, John Giguere, kitchen manager at Georgia Boys’ Longmont location, provided his thoughts on how to get the best end result.
Giguere recommends barbecue cooks pay careful attention to the cut of the meat and the cooking time.
“Cooking time is largely going to vary between different meats. A brisket or pork shoulder can go overnight, while something smaller like ribs or chicken can be done within a few hours,” he said. “The name of the game is low and slow, so the meat can begin breaking down and becoming more tender. Don’t try to rush it.”
Giguere also suggested taking care to carefully season meat but not too much. The same goes for sauce. He recommends little or no sauce be used in the cooking process but saved for just before the food hits the plate. Alternately, meat can be served dry and the sauce added as needed by the diner. The point is to “let the meat be the star of the show,” he said.
Smokin’ Dave’s recipes for tasty sides
Along with smoked and slowly prepared meats, sides are key to any barbecue meal. These customer favorites at Smokin’ Dave’s are made in large quantities for the restaurant, but scaled-down versions should work well in home kitchens.
Southern Collard Greens with Bacon and Onion
1 pound cut collard greens
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound bacon
2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
1. In a stockpot, cook diced bacon until crisp.
2. Add chopped onions and cook for 5 minutes.
3. Do not drain bacon fat. Leave in the pan. Then add collard greens to the mixture. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Add chicken stock, sugar and pepper. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Smokin’ Dave’s Apple Crisp
Ingredients for body of dessert:
6 Granny Smith apples (can substitute another variety of your choice)
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup melted salted butter
1 cup of sweetened dried cranberries
Ingredients for topping:
1 cup brown sugar
1½ cups flour
Half pound cold, salted butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9-by-13 pan with cooking spray
Stir together brown sugar, butter, flour, cinnamon and cranberries in a bowl. Next, stir in apples.
Pour mixture into prepared pan
In a clean bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour
Cut cold butter into small pieces. Add the pieces a few at a time into the sugar and flour mixture. Use your fingers to work them in. In the end, the mixture should look like fine sand.
Pour the sugar, flour and butter mixture over spiced apples until they are entirely covered.
Bake 35 to 45 minutes until the middle is hot
Serve with vanilla bean ice cream