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The Hot Line August 2010 | Whiskey and Grilling - A Winning Combo

August 2010
Welcome
  And the winner is... Jack N from Milton, Ontario. Jack's barbecue has been determined to be the skunkiest, junkiest, least appetizing barbecue in the country this year. The judges were, eventually, unanimous in their decision that this barbecue is the one they'd least like to see their food go near (and the quality of the photo helped too). Jack is now the proud owner of a brand new Napoleon barbecue.
At one point in the judging for this year's contest, our judges were so deadlocked in deciding a winner of the contest that they had to resort to a marathon beer-pong session to resolve their differences. A winner was chosen. And then, sadly, the decision (and the winner) were forgotten as none of us can remember what happened after the tension-filled seventh round of pong. So...blearily, we sat down and chose our winner. Again. Because we've spent so much time viewing this year's entries, they've all become like family to us. So, despite only having one grand prize winner, we've decided to send everyone that entered a $25 gift certificate to use in one of our four stores. (I know, I know, we didn't say that there would be runners-up prizes. It's just in our nature to be overly generous like this. Spontaneous acts of barbecue kindness; it's how we live.) Thanks to all of our entrants for some great photos this year. We will have them up on our website in due course. If you need to see them sooner, we have most of them posted on our Facebook page now. Now, we take a deep breath, de-pressurize from all this barbecue excitement and get down to the important task at hand. That is: talking about grilled meat and booze. As Corb says; "It's time to switch to whisky." This issue of The Hot Line is all about whisky and barbecue. Two of the world's most beautiful things. We've got two great recipes for you below that involve whisky and some sage words from one of Canada's whisky experts. So, read on...

Barbecue Tipster If you've been into one of our stores you know that we carry an exhaustive supply of wood chips. One of the most popular 'flavours' is whisky.  
These compressed, pelletized wood chips start out as Jack Daniels whisky barrels and are pressed into rabbit-refuse shape. Sprinkle these right over hot coals or place a handful in a smoker box over your gas burner for heavenly smoke flavour (YouTube video demo here). Don't add water, these pellets turn to mush when they mix with water.
These pucks, made out of compressed wood shavings, are built to be used in Bradley smokers. However, they can also easily be used in any gas grill. Just place the pucks (again, no water) under your cooking grill, just over where your burner sits. They will produce sweet, sweet smoke for about fifteen minutes. We carry all of the Bradley 'bisquettes' all year round. We've got Crown Royal and Jim Beam pictured here. Both are made from oak barrels which are no longer used in their respective distilleries. Being a patriot I'd go with the Crown Royal but I see that Jim Beam currently has a promotion going with Kid Rock and, as we all know, there's no better indicator of good taste than Kid Rock.
 

Gotta Have It
As you may know, every week in the summer our stores feature a 'deal of the week' where we slash one of our already low prices on an essential barbecue product. This week (August 3-10) we're featuring our porcelain coated barbecue wok for $6.98 (regular price of $14.99). If you like to grill sliced peppers, onions, mushrooms, shrimp, tomatoes, cubed beef or, well...actually, anything smaller than an egg (but not actual eggs, they'll crack and fall through the holes) in your barbecue you NEED one of these easy-to-clean woks. If you want to know what our deal of the week is for the rest of this month, drop by one of our stores or, check out our facebook page (where you will be part of a embarrassingly small but extremely intelligent and, some would say, sexier than average collection of 'friends'.)

Meet the Experts
Normally this spot in our newsletter highlights one of our in-house barbecue or fireplace experts. This month, we're doing something different and are featuring someone else's expert. Andrew (who may or may not be pictured above) works for Calgary's Kensington Wine Market (Calgary's largest collection of single malt don't you know) and is their whisky expert. His job is to taste a lot of whiskeys and provide his clientele with his opinions on same. Yes, you're right, that's a very civilized way to be employed. Now, I know which newsletter is your absolute favourite. However, you really must check out Andrew's 'Malt Messenger' newsletter. More passion than a stack of Danielle Steele novels. Try and read it without wanting to go out and have a snort or two of Scotch - I dare you. Andrew is a walking, talking Scotch encyclopaedia so we thought, for this whisky themed edition of The Hot Line, we'd get his take on the intersection of Scotch and barbecue: Us: Some recommend drinking scotch instead of red wine with steak. Your thoughts? Any recommendations on which type of scotch might be preferable with a big fat rib-eye? Andrew: The key to pairing a whisky or a wine with something like a big fat rib-eye is to find something that pleasantly compliments or contrasts with it. As a general rule of thumb I would also stick to a whisky with a little bit of peat or smoke. The extra flavour the peated barley imparts will help it stand up to the robust flavours of the meat. I would also go with a cask strength whisky (something 46% ABV or higher) the additional strength will make the fats in the steak melt in your mouth. If the goal is to compliment the rib-eye then you would aim for whisky that is buttery, gamy and earthy. Something like the Bowmore Tempest ($81.99/exclusive to KWM) which has a lovely creamy palate with loads of vanilla, tropical fruits and a touch of smoky sea salt. If you are looking for more of a contrast you would want to pair the steak with something spicy and rich. The Springbank 1996 KWM Oloroso Cask ($109.99 bottled exclusively for KWM) would be the best option. It is spicy, caramelize and rich with loads of dark fruits and soft smoke and hints of sea breeze. (editors note: See that? "Sea Breeze"? I told you: you want to try that don't you?) Us: Any favourite grilling recipes that involve scotch? Andrew: With the exception of chicken or ribs I am a fan of letting the meat's flavours speak for themselves. I don't know if I have a favourite grilling recipe, but my favourite grilled meal would be: Beef Side Ribs, Taber Corn, asparagus and a Caesar salad. I generally marinate the beef side ribs for a few hours or more in beer, a strong lager 6%ABV or higher helps to tenderize the meat. I then like to add a whisky-based BBQ sauce (there are lots of recipes online). I also grill the corn and asparagus and make for the salad I make croutons and dressing from scratch. On a hot day I would pair a meal like this with a refreshing whisky from Auchentoshan or Arran distilleries. The Auchentoshan 3 Wood ($73.49, sweet and spicy with soft citrus notes) for something complimentary or the Arran 10 Year ($53.99, creamy, soft and refreshing) for something a little different. Us: Do you suggest 'seasonal' scotch selection (ie. smoother, lighter scotches in the summer and heavier, peatier scotches in the winter)? If so, do you have a recommended 'summer scotch'? Andrew: Whisky like wine or beer is very much a mood based beverage. Time of year, weather, temperature and your mood can really influence what you want to drink and when. Heavily peated, medicinal whiskies are really satisfying on cold damp, wet days, but can be a bit much in the dog days of summer. I generally like whiskies that are lighter and more refreshing in the summer, mainly ex-Bourbon cask and unpeated. Arran 10 Year ($53.99, creamy, soft and refreshing) is an excellent choice, and also a great buy. Another pick would be something like the Compass Box Spice Tree ($63.99, lush round sweet vanilla, and gentle syrupy spices) which isn't a single malt or a blended whisky but rather a blended malt. At the end of the day though, it depends on your own tastes, everyone's palate is different, as well as what you're pairing it with. The Arran 10 is a great dram, but it would be completely overwhelmed by a big piece of meat. In that case a smokier choice would still be the best option. Us: What do you think will happen with the Canadian industry? Are there any signs that it will become more 'artisanal'? Andrew: There are some artisanal distilleries starting up in Canada, but they are still a few years off. Sadly, the only true Rye whisky in Canada is Alberta Premium made in Calgary. Canadian whiskies are mainly the product of corn. The best rye whiskies are currently coming out of the states and are very rare/expensive.  

Recipe of the Month Two recipes this month. I know, I know: great value. Recipe #1: Grilled Back Bacon on a Bun with Maple Jack Grilling Sauce Recipe courtesy of Ted Reader for Jack Daniel's Ingredients
  • 16 slices Canadian peameal bacon or back bacon
  • 1/2 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1/2 cup cold water
Maple Jack Grilling Sauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey
  • 1/4 cup grain mustard
  • 1 Tbsp prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 4 Kaiser rolls, sliced
  • 4 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced into 4 thick rounds
Serves 4  
Assemble your ingredients - don't forget your honey bear.
Place peameal bacon into a self sealing plastic food bag. Pour in Jack Daniel's and water. Seal bag and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the Jack Daniel's to infuse into the peameal bacon.
In a bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, honey, Jack Daniel's, mustard, garlic and sage.  
Remove peameal bacon from Jack Daniel's/water marinade, discarding left over marinade.
Grill bacon for 2 minutes per side, basting liberally with maple Jack grilling sauce, until cooked through and tender.
Turn heat to low and brush each slice of peameal one more time. Sprinkle each slice of peameal with shredded cheddar cheese.
Close lid for 1-2 minutes allowing the cheese to soften. Stack'em four slices high and serve on toasted Kaiser rolls with mayonnaise, red onion and tomato.
Recipe #2: Rye Marinated Flank Steak This is a continual favourite in The Hot Line test kitchen. The rye/soy marinade flavours and tenderizes the beef beautifully. We like to use a 'marinade turbo charger' which is basically a set of thick needles that help break up the meat so that the marinade can soak into it a bit better. This gadget is available at, yes, you guessed it: Barbecues Galore. Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup rye whisky
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mustard (Dijon or whole grain both work)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
 
Assemble your ingredients.
Unwrap your steak. You may need help with this part of the recipe.
Use the marinade turbo charger to loosen up the fibres of the flank steak. If you don't have a marinade turbo charger then take a sharp knife and make multiple, thin, deep cuts throughout the steak
Mix all of your ingredients together and pour on your steak. Try to make sure that the entire steak is covered. Let the steak sit in the marinade for at least 12 hours. 24 is better.
Get your barbecue surface hot and grill your steak for approximately three minutes per side. You do NOT want to overcook flank steak.
Retain the left over marinade and boil to get rid of all the scabies and icky bits. Don't let it boil too long - all the sugar in this marinade will start to burn easily and you'll wind up with a blackened syrup. Trust us on this.
Let steak rest for 5-10 minutes before you slice it.
Slice against the grain as thin as possible.
Top the sliced steak with some of the boiled marinade and enjoy.

Ask Dr. McGrillemup Question: Dear Dr. M, Why is the word sometimes spelled 'whisky' and other times spelled 'whiskey'? Curious, D. Stiller Answer: Dear Mr. Stiller, Don't know, don't care. I know that some people spell it "whisky" and some people spell it "whiskey" but, we're so concerned about spelling "barbecue" properly that we just can't get too excited about your particular etymological battlefield. I mean, when you're fighting against people that use the letter 'q' improperly, you've just got to ignore the minor skirmishes. After all, have you seen what people are doing out there? "Bar-B-Que"?! That's not a proper noun - that's a nightclub in Tajekistan. Most vanity license plates make more sense than that spelling.... If you're spelling a word and decide that you need not one, but two hyphens, you may want to grab your Websters and do a little research. On a related note; next month's topic is: 'rotisserie' (proper noun) versus 'rotisserary' (made up word used by those of us who also prefer to use 'real-a-tore' to describe the profession of someone who sells real estate). Sincerely, Doctor McGrillemup

The World of Barbecue
  Mireille sent us a picture of her husband Mike at two jacks in Banff National Park. Check out those "steaks". I've had smaller roasts in my time.
I have never met Mike Z. He sends us pictures occasionally of what he's grilling for dinner. I have learned to not open these emails when I'm hungry as, judging by the pictures, Mike puts on quite a spread. When he read that this issue of The Hot Line was about whisky he grilled the following:
- bourbon marinated rib eye grilled over charcoal and basted in a bourbon butter sauce - twice baked potato with smoked Gouda and chives (alas no whisky in this) - green salad with honey lime dressing and candied walnuts that were soaked in Forty Creek (for some reason I forgot to - plate this and take a picture....you can see the spot for it on the plate...a sad lonely empty spot .....maybe too many nips out of all the bottles I was using...but I digress -mushroom and onions with a rosemary bourbon butter sauce
  and for dessert Jack's Cake.....a Jack Daniels cake with chocolate chips and pecans icing with a bourbon vanilla glaze.....
Keith from Manitoba sent us a picture of a loaf of bread finishing on his Weber barbecue. Turns out that a spray plane disabled the local hyro lines and the barbecue had to save the day.
Send us a picture and/or story of you grilling and we'll send you a $25 gift certificate usable throughout our massive chain of four stores.

This Month's Winners
Every single month, we randomly draw four winning names (one per store) from our newsletter mailing list. We only post the winning names below so you've got to keep your eyes peeled each month. If you win, you can claim your prize by stopping by the Barbecues Galore in your area with your photo identification. Congratulations to this month's winners of a whiskey flavour prize pack: Greg Olsen (Calgary South) Colleen Dixon (Calgary North) Dave Knight (Burlington) Andy Wardle (Oakville)  

Next Month's Issue Next month we cast our line a little deeper into the murky waters of grilling as we tackle the topic of 'Tentacles'. Yep, we're going to grill some cephalopods. Not sure how yet so stay tuned.

Contact Us We want to hear from you! If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at: query@barbecuesgalore.ca Remember, an archive of our past newsletters can be found at www.barbecuesgalore.ca

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