Spicy coleslaw with vinegar dressing

Spicy slaw and other sides are vital to a perfect BBQ party!A lot of people like the creamy coleslaw I have posted about earlier on this site. I think it’s perfect on buns for burgers and pulled pork. But as a side to steak, pork chops, bratwurst and more – I personally prefer a vinegar based coleslaw. Another plus of course is that a vinegar based coleslaw is super healthy and almost free of calories, which means I can eat even more smoked meat. So, how about this for a spicy, vinegary slaw for your next BBQ?

Time: 15 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

 

What you will need:

  • 1/2 a head of cabbage
  • 3 carrots
  • 1-6 finely chopped fresh chilies (depending on the level of fire you want)
  • 1 tsp maldon salt
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup of cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Some hot sauce

 

How to do it:

Find yourself a large salad bowl, and chuck in the salt, celery seed, pepper, vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and a couple tsp of your favorite hot sauce. Whisk it all together into a lovely dressing, adding more salt/pepper/hot sauce to taste. Chop your cabbage, carrots and chilies the way you like them (I’m lazy, so I grate it all in my food processor…), and throw it in there. Mix well. I think this slaw tastes best if I make it in the morning and let it sit in the fridge until dinner time. Enjoy!

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Smoky aubergine purée

Roasted aubergine. Not quite done yet.Aubergine puréee is an easy side dish to make on the grill. It goes particularly well with lamb, but also works nicely as a side for steak or venison. Here’s how I normally do it.

Time: 60-90 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

What you will need:
4 large aubergines
2 whole garlic
1/2 cup of good olive oil
1 lemon
Salt/pepper

How to do it:

Get your grill ready for indirect cooking at about 175-200C (350-400F)First, prep the aubergines by stabbing them repeteadly with a fork all over. This can be fun, imagine you’re stabbing someone you really don’t like! Or don’t. Once the grill is ready, chuck the aubergines and the whole garlic on the coldest side of the grill, and roast them for about 45-60 minutes. When the aubergines are done they will feel noticeably softer than they were. Get everything off the grill. Peel the aubergines and chop them roughly, put them in a blender. Squeeze the now soft garlic “meat” out of the whole garlic. Mix it all up in a blender, while slowly adding the olive oil. Add juice from the lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

DSC_1981

 

BBQ Viking’s Turbocharged Canned Beans

Turbocharged can beans!

Beans are real good eats. They’re also a side that work well with almost any BBQ meal. Great on burgers, hot dogs, with steak, pork, chicken… Yup, definitely an essential BBQ side dish. Now, you can make your beans from the ground up, using dried beans and making your own chilli or BBQ sauce from the ground up, that’s phenomenal. But sometimes there’s just not enough time for doing it that way. That’s when I turn to my turbocharged canned beans recipe. It’s basically about going to the store and buying some quality canned beans, and then doctoring them with some fresh chillies and some other stuff, to get to a great side dish with little time and effort. This should recipe is for 4-8 people, depending on what else is being served. Here’s how I do it.

Time: 45-60 minutes + some baking time (optional)
Skill level:Easy

You’re going to need:
3 cans of quality beans (I use S&W’s Texas Ranch Recipe Barbecue beans)
4-8 Fresh chillies of your choosing
4 Scallions, spring onions or even some leeks
A good chunk of quality bacon (about 250 grams or 0.5 pounds)
A couple tbsp of your favorite BBQ rub (optional)
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (optional)

How you do it:

  •  Usually I will do this a day ahead, to let the flavours really combine in the fridge overnight. Also, that makes for less side dish focus on BBQ day, and more time to focus on heating meat and drinking beer. Important.
  • Dice your bacon chunk, and heat in your pot on low, so you render as much fat as possible
  • When the bacon is starting to crisp up, finely slice your chillies and scallions, removing chilli seeds and stems if you like less heat
  • Chuck them in the pot and continue frying until everything’s nicely golden, making

    S&W Barbecue Beans cans

    sure not to burn the chillies and scallions

  • Open up and pour in your three cans of beans. Add 0.5 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Let it cool and store in fridge overnight, or optionally if you’re short on time, serve as is
  • Next day, I put the beans in a grill-proof vessel, or just leave in the cast iron pan if I have enough space on the grill, and bake the beans with whatever I’m cooking. Before I put it on the grill, I sprinkle with my favourite BBQ rub, which helps form a nice crust on top. Put some wood chips on the coals and you’ll have fabulous baked beans with great flavour in about an hour.
  • Enjoy!

Eastern North Carolina style vinegar sauce

Eastern North Carolina style vinegar sauce

This is one of the most basic, old-school barbecue sauces you can make. It comes from the Eastern parts of North Carolina, where they’re pretty adamant about how this sauce should be meady. Those Western North Carolinians put some ketchup in theirs, which I hear is a big no-no in the eastern parts. It is specifically designed with pulled pork in mind, and that’s really the only thing I use it for. Just whisk these ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved in the vinegar. You can always give it a quick boil if you want to, I normally don’t:

  • 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp ground chili flakes
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar

This should be enough for two pork butts. Just mix it in with the meat before serving. Enjoy!

All-round spice rub without sugar

Pork butt, rubbed and ready to go

I’ve decided to move away from rubs that contain sugar, largely because they’re not that all-round (sugar starts burning at higher temperatures) and also because the sugar makes them stick to my grate, which means more cleanup.

Also, I’m sure I get enough sugar in me during an average week, so if I can do without it in rubs – great!

So why not try this good all-round rub with some kick to it, which goes well with chicken, pork, beef, and even fish. Just mix all this together.

Use a mortar and pestle or your electric coffee grinder to get everything pretty finely ground:

  • 1 cup paprika powder
  • 0,5 cups hot, smoky paprika powder (Spanish or Hungarian variety)
  • 4 tbsp ground chili flakes
  • 4 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup celery salt
  • 4 tbsp smoked sea salt
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp marjoram
  • 2 tbsp onion flakes
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp dry mustard

Mix it all together and you’re ready to go! This recipe should make somewhere between 3-4 cups of rub, which should last you a couple of weeks or months, depending on how much you BBQ… Enjoy!

Tasty, creamy coleslaw

Homemade coleslaw. Ah yeh…

Coleslaw is my go-to side for a lot of BBQ and grilling meals. It’s a must for me with any BBQ sandwich, like pulled pork, hamburgers, sliders, steak sandwiches, brisket… It also works great with hot dog, as a side for BBQ chicken, fish…. Coleslaw – what can’t it do! So here’s my standard recipe, and I will get back to you with some more exciting varieties once you’ve got this nailed. Not into the creamy coleslaw? Lactose intolerent? Check out my spicy slaw instead!
Time: 20-30 minutes
Skill level:Easy

You’re going to need:
1/2 head of a large cabbage (or 1 whole medium cabbage)
2 carrots
1 cup of mayo (I suggest the homemade one found here, without the Chipotle)
1/2 cup of sour cream
4-6 tbsp vinegar (I use clear, no-taste vinegar for this)
2-3 tbsp sugar
1 clove of minced garlic (optional)
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Salt/pepper

How you do it:

  •  Put the mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, optional garlic and cayenne pepper in a container large enough to hold all your slaw. Whisk it all together, season with salt pepper, and adjust vinegar vs sugar levels to your tastes
  • Peel the carrots and grate them into the dressing
  • Thinly slice the cabbage (leave out the middle white stem part, it can be quite bitter)
  • Put on some vinyl gloves (indispensable), and mix it all well together
  • I like to make this some hours in advance, I think it tastes better when it sits a little bit. It will also keep well in the fridge for some days if you have leftovers.

Spicy Bacon Potato Salad

Spicy Bacon Potato Salad

A good potato salad is a great side for almost any BBQ dish. It’s also something that can be made the day before, stored in the fridge, and served cold.

Which in turn means you can focus on the preparation of meat when you need to, which is good. It also means it’s a great side to bring to the park, the beach or camping.

Time: 20-30 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’re going to need:
12-15 Medium-sized red-skinned potatoes
About 1 cup of Homemade Chipotle Mayo (you can always substitute for store bought mayo mixed with chipotle hot sauce, but it won’t be as tasty then)
4 tbsp of Honey Dijon Mustard (I use Maille brand, the French know their mustard)
4 Scallions
6 thin strips of quality bacon
Salt/pepper

How you do it:

  • Slice your bacon in small slices, and fry in a pan over low heat. I like to grind some pepper on it while frying
  • Wash and dice your potatoes (I leave the peel on, it looks nice, and I’m also lazy)and boil them until they’re just about soft, not too long. Rinse in cold water and let drain in a colander
  • Whisk the mustard into the mayo
  • Slice your scallions in thin slices
  • Put potatoes in a bowl and mix with scallions, bacon and the dressing
  • Serve lukewarm of refrigerated and enjoy!

Watermelon lemonade (yeah, it’s pink)

Watermelon lemonade

Here’s a little twist on the basic homemade lemonade, where I use some watermelon as well. Sweeter than my regular lemonade, and the color gets a pinkish hue that looks nice. My kids love this one. Because the watermelon is sweet, you can get away with less granulated sugar. This recipe makes about 3 litres (two large pitchers)Time: 20-25 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’ll need to get hold of:
12 lemons
1/4 medium-size watermelon
2 cups of sugar
Water
Lots of ice cubes

How you do it:

  • Put 2 cups of granulated white sugar and 4 cups of water in a pot
  • Make it boil (I trust you know how)
  • While you wait for the boil, squeeze 6 lemons into each of your lemonade pitchers.
  • Cut away the green and white parts from your 1/4 watermelon, and blend all the meat in a blender. Strain into the pitchers and mix with your lemon juice
  • Turn off your stove and stir until all sugar is dissolved
  • Fill your pitchers 2/3 full with ice cubes
  • Divide the simple syrup (sugar+water)in the two pitchers, and pour it on so most of the ice melts and the syrup gets cooled instantly
  • Put in more ice if needed, you can also add more ice cold water if the lemonade’s too strong

My favorite knife vs watermelon. Easy match.

Basic homemade lemonade

Lemonade ingredients

Homemade lemonade is a treat. When it gets really hot (not so often here in Oslo, but it happens), nothing beats a glass of ice cold lemonade (well maybe ice tea). I promise you it’s more healthy than sodas and other readymade drinks which are always full of cheap sweeteners like corn syrup and other nasty stuff… Here’s how how I do it, this recipe makes for about 3 liters (a little less than 6 pints).Time: 10-15 minutes
Skill level: Easy

You’ll need to get hold of:
12 lemons
4 limes
3 cups of sugar
Water
Lots of ice cubes

How you do it:

  • Put 3 cups of granulated white sugar and 6 cups of water in a pot
  • Make it boil (I trust you know how)
  • While you wait for the boil, squeeze 6 lemons and 2 limes into each of your lemonade pitchers. Put a small pinch of salt in each one to increase flavour
  • Turn off your stove and stir until all sugar is dissolved
  • Fill your pitchers 2/3 full with ice cubes
  • Divide the simple syrup (sugar+water)in the two pitchers, and pour it on so most of the ice melts and the syrup gets cooled instantly
  • Put in more ice if needed, you can also add more ice cold water if the lemonade’s too strong

Grilled Peppers

A pretty essential classic. Italian inspired, goes great with all meats as a side, but can also be used in salads and such. Can be made ahead and kept in the fridge, which I think is key for a BBQ side dish, as that means I can focus 100% on the BBQ when that’s what I’m doing. This is how I normally do it:

Grilling peppers over direct heat

Time: 45-60 minutes total
Skill level: Easy
Grilling method: Direct
Grill temperature: About 200-250 degrees centigrade  (390-480F)You’ll need to get hold of:
Peppers (I like to mix up the colors for visual appeal)
A lemon
Some good olive oil of the expensive kind
Salt/pepper

How you do it:

  • Have a hot grill waiting (don’t you always?)
  • This step is optional: Cut the top and bottom parts off the peppers. Slice the peppers lengthwise. I usually slice them in three or four slices, depends on the shape of the peppers, but the goal is to make it easy to get even grilling. Sometimes I also grill them whole, but that requires more tong-work
  • Put them on the grill, skin side down, and let them roast until the skin is black and starts peeling. Burning the (pepper’s) flesh a little is not a bad thing
  • When they’re done roasting, put them all in a bowl that you cover with some clingfilm. Let them rest for 30 minutes. This will make the skin loosen much easier due to the moisture being trapped in, and as an added bonus they will be cooler so you don’t burn your fingers in the next step
  • One rested, use your fingers to peel off all (or most of) the skin
  • Cut the pepper pieces into thin strips lengthwise, chuck them in a bowl, drizzle with some lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste