Labor Day Menu Ideas (pt.1)
August 27, 2019
As I’ve mentioned before, we do whatever we can to cook a much as we can on our grills. It keeps the kitchen clean(er) and cool(er) and is sort of an awesome party trick. Why yes… this pie was cooked on a grill!
A prime BBQ holiday is coming up, and if you’re like me, you’re working on your menu so you have the best dishes prepped for family and friends on Labor Day. The weather is nice, people are off of work, and it’s the perfect event to end an awesome summer of grilling! I haven’t finished figuring out our menu for Monday, but it’s getting closer. And I’m certainly thinking back to some other great cooks for inspiration.
Here are some amazing cookout dishes that you can do for your Labor Day festivities…
· Brisket: There is nothing quite like an amazing slice of brisket fresh from a
famous Texas BBQ joint. But if your Labor Day plans don’t involve a trip to Austin, a perfect smoked brisket on your grill is an adequate substitute. I always cook a full packer—a brisket with both the flat and the point connected. You can find full packers most economically at your local warehouse store like Costco. The price per pound for a prime is always lower than the price per pound for a pre-trimmed brisket. A little patient knife work and you’ve got a trimmed up brisket ready to go. Season with a 50/50 blend of Kosher salt and ground black pepper. Give yourself plenty of time to cook your brisket low and slow until it’s probe tender. Then give it at least an hour to rest in a cooler. Your friends and family won’t be able to tell if they’re in Texas or your backyard if you serve it with fluffy white bread, white onion rings and crisp pickles on a tray.
· Chicken Lolipops: Chicken wings are delicious. Chicken drumettes are even better. And with a little prep work, you can top both options by making chicken lollipops. Start with well-chilled chicken drumettes and trim around the bone in order to French them. By pushing the meat to one end, you make the perfect one-handed chicken bite, and the meat will cook nice and evenly. I season them with a good pork and poultry rub (not too sweet) and first smoke them. Then give them a bath in a pan of melted butter until nearly cooked through. A dunk in your favorite BBQ or hot sauce and a bit more time on the grill to set the sauce and you’ve got a delicious party snack. You’ll still need napkins!
· Blueberry Muffin Fatty: Labor Day cookouts are not just reserved for an evening gathering. Treat your guests to a breakfast treat when they arrive early. This Blueberry Muffin Fatty is a great combo of sweet and savory. Start by creating a rectangle of ground breakfast sausage (uncooked) on a piece of plastic wrap. Make a pile of crumbled blueberry muffin and maple syrup down the middle and then roll it up like a piece of sushi. About an hour on your grill and you’ve got a delicious sausage roulade that’s best served with a bit more maple syrup. Might I suggest you also make a Bloody Mary, rimmed with my new Spicy Bloody Mary Rub.
· Pork Ribs:Nothing is quite as quintessential for Labor Day as a great rack of pork ribs. Trim them up, season with your favorite rub and a yellow mustard binder, and about 5 hours of cook time later, you’ll have the tastiest ribs you’ve ever had. Many people swear by the 3-2-1 method of cooking (3 hours unwrapped, 2 hours wrapped, 1 hour with sauce unwrapped). I actually think a bit shorter cook makes for as delicious ribs. Be sure to give yourself time to let them rest before serving. A trimmed up rack of ribs provides 10 good ribs—so budget 1 rack for 2-2.5 guests.
More ideas coming tomorrow….