This coming Monday is Labor Day in the United States. It honors the labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of their country. For many, it’s a weekend to relax, spend time with family and, of course, barbecue! Some of you might even be embarking a Holland America Line cruise.
To honor the holiday we’re resurrecting some of our favorite barbecue recipes to give you inspiration for when you’re entertaining this weekend. From traditional favorites like chicken to messier entrees like ribs, there are many ways to serve up fantastic barbecue dishes. Don’t worry, for those traditionalists we’ve even included a burger recipe!
SPICY BARBECUE CHICKEN
2.5 pounds chicken legs halved into thigh/drumstick portions
5 oz BBQ sauce
3.5 tsp garlic, minced
2.5 tsp BBQ spice
4 tsp olive oil
2.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 tsp cider vinegar
3.5 tsp brown sugar
3.5 tsp harissa paste
1/2 tsp tabasco
scallions, chopped for garnish
1. Make two slashes, about one inch apart, into the thickest part of the drumstick and thigh meat, cutting to the bone. Season chicken with salt/pepper/ BBQ spice. Mix in garlic and olive oil.
2. In bowl, mix barbecue sauce with tabasco, harissa paste, brown sugar and vinegar.
3. Place chicken on hot grill, cook for 20-25 minutes turning until chicken is starting to turn golden brown. Using a thermometer chicken should reach 165F internal temperature. Brush chicken generously with the barbecue sauce all over and continue cooking to create a golden brown, shiny glaze on the chicken. Remove from grill and serve.
4. Once plated, add additional sauce and garnish with chopped scallions.
APPLE GLAZED PORK SPARE RIBS
5 lbs pork spare ribs
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tsp garlic, minced
2.5 tsp BBQ spice
1.5 tsp cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp mesquite
1.5 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
7.5 oz barbecue sauce
1.5 tbsp apple juice
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp water
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
4.5 tsp granulated sugar
1.5 tsp mesquite for marinade
2 tsp chili powder for marinade
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Caramelize sugar in thick-bottom pan, deglaze pan with vinegar and allow reducing until syrupy and bubbling. Add apple juice, tomato ketchup, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, mesquite and chili powder. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes, thicken sauce as needed with cornstarch slurry (water/cornstarch mix), strain through a china cap to remove any lumps. Save until needed.
1. In food pan marinate ribs in olive oil, garlic, barbecue spice, cayenne pepper, mesquite, paprika and chili powder for 24 hours.
2. Remove ribs from marinade and brown on hot grill at 450F. Transfer to 2-inch pan. Place in oven at 350F and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on outside.
3. Remove from oven and brush each rib with barbecue sauce, cover with foil and place back in oven for 25 minutes.
4. Remove foil and complete cooking for 10 more minutes until ribs are well glazed. Just prior to serving place back on hot grill to complete cooking.
5. To serve, plate ribs, then sprinkle with scallions and additional sauce on request.
But if you do want to grill up some burgers, try this incredible recipe:
3 large Idaho potatoes, washed and scrubbed clean
1 cup vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
1 pound ground beef chuck
8 ounces ground pork
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sturdy hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls
4 slices bibb or butter lettuce
1 large red tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 large yellow tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
4 (1/3-inch-thick) slices fresh mozzarella cheese
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pesto, store-bought or homemade
4 basil sprigs, for garnish
1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees F. With a sharp knife, cut the potatoes into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Cut the slices into 1/4-inch-thick strips. (At this stage, the strips can be stored, covered with cold water, in the refrigerator for up to 3 hours.)
2. In a large, heavy-duty skillet or large sauté pan, heat the oil over high heat until a deep-frying thermometer registers 375 degrees F (do not allow the oil to smoke). While the oil is heating, drain and thoroughly dry the potatoes on paper towels.
3. Add half the potatoes to the oil and cook until crispy and brown, 6 to 7 minutes. With a slotted spatula, transfer the cooked fries to a plate lined with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a baking sheet, and place in the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. The fries will hold for up to 30 minutes in the oven while you grill the burgers.
1. In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the onion and sauté lightly until translucent, about 3 minutes. Transfer the onion to a small plate and place it, uncovered, in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool.
2. In a stainless steel bowl, gently but thoroughly combine the cooked onions, beef, and pork, mixing with a fork until just incorporated. Form the meat mixture into four 1-inch-thick patties. Place the burgers on a platter and cover them with plastic wrap. (They can be stored this way for up to 6 hours in the refrigerator.)
3. Heat a charcoal, gas, or electric grill to medium hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the rack for 3 to 4 seconds). Season the patties with salt and pepper and grill them for 7 to 8 minutes on each side, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted through the side of the patty into the thickest part registers at least 160 degrees F.
4. Toast the buns, cut side down, on the grill until golden brown, about 1 minute. Serve the burgers in the buns with lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella, red onion slices and pesto. Place a serving of fries beside each burger and garnish the plate with a basil sprig.
NOTE: You can cook these burgers on a well-seasoned flat griddle, too, or in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. The timing will be about the same.
And don’t forget to serve up some sides with your entree. Barbecue favorites onboard and ashore include potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans and corn on the cob.
Will you be barbecuing this weekend? Tell us what you’re making below! And if you make one of these recipes, send photos to email@example.com.