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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Uncommon Barbecue

Pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken, and sausages... we love them, but sometimes we almost become obnoxiously tired of reading their names on every barbecue menu and in every barbecue blog post.  Fortunately, as variety is the spice of life (not that we need more cliche), there are some barbecuers out there thinking outside of the box when they cook outside of the kitchen.

Jamie Oliver, famous British chef, often cooks in an outdoor wood oven, doing an Italian-inspired higher heat style of barbecue.  One recipe from his BBC show Jamie at Home that stood out to us at Sizzle Grove was for a roast of game birds.  You can see the recipe includes sausage (just for the hell of it), and plenty of herbs as is his trademark.  Game birds make for great barbecue, as they can be done faster than whole turkey and whole chicken due to their small size.  Smoke is absorbed deep into items such as game hens, partridges, and even pigeons.

Though pork ribs are most common in American barbecue (maybe beef ribs in Texas), some menus in the Middle East or Mediterranean might include lamb ribs.  Lamb tends to be particularly popular in Greece, Morocco, and India, though many Indians are vegetarian.  In Steven Raichlen's cookbook Raichlen on Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs, and on his Primal Grill show, there are lamb rib recipes, such as one done on a spit with Moroccan rub.  The ribs are finished with a spicy Moroccan harissa sauce.

You might not see a lot of vegetarian dishes on barbecue shows, blogs, or menus, but veggie 'cue is certainly out there.  One of the most popular non-meat items for grilling and barbecuing is portobello mushrooms, for their large size and steak-like thickness.  However, as I (Nick, Sizzle Grove founder) have never been a mushroom kind of guy, you might not see such recipes on this blog.

In all likelihood, however, some eggplant recipes will be included in the future.  Eggplant is perfect for grilling.  It can be grilled until firm and topped with whatever you like perhaps tomatoes, basil, and Italian cheeses as a "deconstructed eggplant parm."  Eggplant can also be barbecued to tenderness with wood smoke, then pureed with oil, garlic, tahini, and parsley into a smokey baba ghanoush. Raichlen includes a recipe for such on his Barbecue University show.  Here is a nice rundown about grilling eggplant, courtesy of

Have you tried barbecuing any unusual items lately?  Send your recipes, photos, and success stories to

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