Chipotle Beef BBQ Sauce

Chipotle BBQ Sauce for beef ribs!Came up with a new BBQ sauce today. The plan is to use it for beef short ribs, so that’s what I thought about when coming up with the flavour profile for it. It’s slightly sweet, very tangy, and as spicy as you want to make it. I ordered some delicious dried Chipotles from iHerb. They’re kinda hard to come by in Norway. If you can get them locally where you live, consider yourself lucky. Here’s what I did.

Time: 45 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1 yellow onion
6 dried, whole chipotle peppers
4 whole fresh chillies (I use some medium to mild ones)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup A1 Steak Sauce
1/2 cup of ketchup
2 tbsp bourbon
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika powder (preferably the Spanish, spicy variety)
2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses

Cooking with chipotles!First thing you want to do is heat up some oil in a saucepan. Then add finely chopped onions, garlic, fresh chillies, and the chipotle peppers. Let them caramelize on low for about 15 minutes, then add the other dried spices and cook another 5 minutes.

Now you can add the A1, the vinegar, the ketchup, and the sugar. let it simmer until you get the desired thickness, and remember the sugar will make it thicker when it’s cold, so if you plan to primarily serve it cold, you should consider that.

Once it reaches it desired thickness, it is time to blend. The cool thing here is you can take out one or more whole chipotles, blend, taste and see how spicy it is. If it’s not hot enough for you, add inn chipotle(s) and blend again until it’s just right for you. How cool is that!?

My wife loves her new Dymo labeller...

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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!

Homemade burger, hot dog and slider buns

Slider buns just out of the oven

Inspired by Norwegian-American BBQ chef Craig Whitson and his book “Far
lukter svidd” (Daddy smells burnt), I started making my own hot dog, burger and slider buns many years ago. This is basically his recipe, and it’s pretty straight-forward. I also use these for any BBQ-based sandwiches (pulled pork for instance).

Be warned though – once you try homemade buns like these, you’re NEVER going back to storebought… I usually make a large batch (2-3x this recipe), put them straight in the freezer, they only need 1-2 hours to defrost and taste great. This recipe makes about 60 slider buns, 25 large hot dog buns or 19 burger buns.

Time: 2-3 hours (mostly waiting though)
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1 kilo (2.2 pounds) wheat flour (about 1,4 liters worth if you don’t have a scale)
2 packets of dry yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2,5 dl (8,5 oz) milk
2,5 dl (8,5 oz) water
2 eggs
4 tbsp rapeseed or similar oil
1 egg white and 2 tbsp milk for brushing
Sesame seeds (or other seeds if you prefer) for sprinkling

How you do it:
Put all the dry ingredients in your mixer bowl and whisk them a little. Put milk and water in a microwaveable (!) container, and heat to about body temp (for once I avoided the temp conversion from C to F!). Whisk the two eggs and rapeseed oil thoroughly into the milk/water mixture. Pour water mixture slowly into dry stuff while mixing continuously at low speed. Once the dough starts forming, crank it up, and knead it for 5-10 minutes by machine. You’re all set, leave the dough covered to rise for about 45-60 minutes until it has doubled in size.

Now, knead the dough a little by hand to get the large air bubbles out and the small ones evenly distributed. Once that’s done, you can start making your buns. I like to use a scale, so I can get them all the same size. I use 30 grams for slider buns, 75 for large hot dog buns, and 100 grams for large burger buns.

Turn your oven to 200 degrees centigrade (390F). Roll out the buns, and then squeeze them pretty flat, about 1,5cm (half inch) thick. They rise quite a lot. Cover the trays of buns with kitchen towels, and leave to rise to double size, again about 45 minutes. Brush them with egg wash (milk+egg white), then sprinkle seeds on top. Bake them in the middle of the oven for 10-14 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack immediately to let them cool, before eating them or bagging and freezing them. Enjoy!

Spicy Fennel Ketchup aka Ketchup for grownups

Homemade spicy fennel ketchup

I like experimenting with making ketchups. The regular Heinz ketchup is of course aclassic that will live forever, but sometimes it’s good to have a ketchup with more taste to it, especially for spicy sausages and on burgers. In this one, a spicy fennel taste is what I’m going for. This recipe makes about 2 jars of delicious homemade ketchup.

Time: 60 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
8 smoked, roasted chillies
2 cans of chopped tomatoes (If you live in a part of the world with GREAT tomatoes, you can use fresh ones instead. Lucky you!)
0,5 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
6 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup of brown sugar (I use the sticky kind)
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp freshly ground fennel seed
1 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp maldon salt
2 tbsp ground chili flakes

Fennel seeds

Put your smoked and roasted chillies with rapeseed oil in a blender, and blend to a fine paste. Combine with everything else in a saucepan, and bring slowly to a boil. Let it simmer for 45 minutes or until desired consistency is reached. Blend in batches until desired smoothness is achieved. Let it cool to room temperature before putting in containers and storing in the fridge. Sterilize your equipment and jars, seal them properly, and this kind of sauce will stay good for many months in your fridge.

Rocket Fuelled Bull BBQ Sauce

I make my own BBQ sauces. It’s fun, it’s a lot cheaper than buying them (at least here in Norway), and it means you can tailor the sauce to your particular tastes. I think it’s good to make as much as possible of my food from the ground up, because then I know what’s in it. Call me paranoid, but I don’t always trust the food industry to make the healthiest choices on my behalf… Also, it’s not a very difficult thing to cook. This is a sweet, tangy sauce with quite the kick to it. Which is just what I like for any BBQ beef dish.

Chillies stringed up on steel string and smoking on the BBQ

Time: 60 minutes
Skill Level: Easy

You’re going to need:
1/2 yellow onion
8 whole fresh chillies (I use some medium to mild ones)
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
0,5 cups of good bourbon
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp paprika powder (preferably the Spanish, spicy variety)
2 tbsp freshly ground pepper
1,5 cups of brown sugar
2 tbsp of liquid smoke (not necessary if you smoke the onion and chillies)

Ideally, I like to smoke and roast the chillies and onion on the grill beforehand, I normally do this while BBQing something else. If you don’t have time for that, just deseed chillies, chop onion, saute in the rapeseed oil, and then put in a blender to make a smooth paste. Combine the paste and the rest of all the ingredients in a saucepan. Whisk once in a while and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes until desired consistency is achieved. Let it cool to room temperature before putting in containers and storing in the fridge. Sterilize your equipment and jars, seal them properly, and this kind of sauce will stay good for many months in your fridge.

The finished sauce. I still draw at a kindergarten level, I know. Thanks.

Red Onion Compote

Red onion compote – so tasty!

This is a great side dish that goes well with a lot of things. I use it with gourmet sausages and hot dogs, burgers, lamb, duck, all kinds of game meat, and of course; pork. It can also be made a couple days ahead, and because of the vinegar it will stay good in the fridge for some time. It’s the one dish the most people have asked me about a recipe for. This recipe is for a fairly large portion, but I’ve never had to throw any out…Time: 30-45 minutes total

Skill level: Easy

You’ll need to get hold of:
4 big, red onions
3 tbsp of butter
3/4 cup of prunes
1/2 cup of raisins
Cayenne pepper
Sugar
Good Balsamic Vinegar or Crema de Balsamico

How you do it:

  • Get a frying pan, set your stove on low and put the butter in
  • Slice the onions, in small squares, small long slices, whatever way you like them
  • Throw the onions in the pan together with the 3 tbsp of sugar, and a couple pinches of salt. Stir occasionally.
  • While you’re waiting slice the prunes in thinnish slices
  • When the onions have cooked for 15-20 minutes, throw in the prunes and the raisins
  • If you’re reducing your own balsamic vinegar, throw that in there now, about half a cup should do it
  • If you’re using crema (I usually do, because it’s easier and just as good), wait another 5-10 minutes, then throw in about 4-5 tbsp of Crema di Balsamico.
  • Season to taste. I use about a teaspoon of cayenne for an extra kick, in addition to salt and pepper
  • One the compote has the right consistency for you, turn off the stove and let it cool. I usually serve it warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!