Saturday, April 06, 2013
I've been a fan of Tastefully Simple for quite a while now. I made some really terrific white barbecue chicken with their luau dip mix (which was also a great chip and veggie dip as well).
Tastefully Simple checked to see if I'd like to try out some of their new products for this grilling season. I'm usually game to do so and give an honest opinion.
I've always loved raspberries. When we visited the relatives when I was a kid, they would take me picking berries (mostly eating for me) and would keep getting me to say what they were. I called them RAUS-berries. So, the relatives all thought I sounded very city-fied, and I cracked them up with my mini foodie self.
Of course, I had to break open the Tastefully Simple Raspberry Sauce which does have jalapenos but not enough to run off many. You get just a hint of heat but not really any hot which works for me on this flavor combo.
Raspberry Jalapeno sauce is billed as a barbecue sauce or a table dipping sauce. I'd have to agree that it works both ways, so even if you don't barbecue grill, you can still get some great flavor here.
Grilling Country Ribs
Of course, I was going to grill with the Raspberry barbecue sauce, because . . . hey . . . that's what I do. And, that's really the only way I know how to tell you how a barbecue sauce really tastes. Fire up the grill and use it.
I had some country ribs which are an odd cut and inexpensive but with a lot of meat for the money. The flavor is close to pork chops. Also, these are not true ribs, so they don't have to grill or smoke for near as long. These were on maybe 45 minutes to an hour on low heat.
First I smoked the ribs until close done. This can be done with charcoal or gas (just low on the temperature). The last fifteen minutes or so I added the Tastefully Simple Raspberry BBQ sauce. Sauces with sugar will burn if you put them on for the entire grilling time.
Having smelled and taken a little bite of the barbecue sauce beforehand, I sauced only one side of the country ribs. This is a sweet sauce, and one side was just perfect for us. If you have a real sweet tooth, you could go heavier and sauce up both sides. I'll stick with one side as the balance was just right here.
What Did We Think of the Raspberry Barbecue Sauce?
First, I must say that this is a beautiful barbecue sauce. I rarely go there on the blog. But, if you look at the photo at the top, you'll see what I mean. Wow. That's just a point and shoot camera on my front porch and no PhotoShop. The ribs looked just like that (or better).
The flavor was as good as how the country ribs look. Although I do suggest going light on the amount with the sweetness, the overall flavor was something to write home (or on FaceBook) about. The rich raspberry flavor with the hint of heat was spot on.
I love a lot of grilling seasoning, spices, rubs, oils and sauces. There are just a very few that I count top picks. This is one, so you know I loved it. Then again, I do go way back as a raspberry fan, but I do think it would be hard not to love this special barbecue or dipping sauce.
Here is the bottle for those looking for Tastefully Simple Raspberry. I know it helps me when I know what to look for on the shelf.
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
Grilled Smoked Ham - Bone In
Eli won a ham at the turkey shoot. If you're not Southern - not to worry. They do not shoot turkeys. The guys shoot paper targets. The one who gets closest to the center gets a prize. In this case, Eli won the ham turkey shoot prize.
Of course, I'm thinking grilling when Eli comes home proud with his haul. Actually it's smoking with a larger cut of meat that is not pre-cooked as this ham butt as it's called. Don't stress if you don't have a smoker though. You can also do this on a grill with a few tips.
Now if you want a super easy grilled ham, then get you a pre-cooked ham and just grill smoke it up to temperature. I've already written about super easy grilled ham. An uncooked one is not so hard though, so stick with me here. If you can bake a ham, you can grill one.
Getting the Ham Ready to Grill
First I got the ham out of the package. They have a flavor package in there, but I've had those . . . and well no thanks. That packaged stuff is not very good. You can find much better flavors right in your refrigerator or cabinets.
As you can see, I used a toss away pan to have moisture going in the grill. Some people wrap the ham in aluminum or tin foil (as we say in the South), but then how does the smoke flavor get in there? So, I'm open grilling but with moisture under, so I know I'm getting some smoke flavor.
I put the ham in meat side down and then added half and half water and apple cider up to around one inch around the meat (which is why I put the meat in first). You can use water only. I just happened to have some cider going begging and a chance to use it rather than waste it (plus apple juice or cider gives a nice flavor kick to ham).
Then, I had a bag of oranges, and we often don't finish a whole bag, so I decided to slice one up and float it in the water. Well, now that was smelling yummy.
Next up, I stuck cloves in the ham. You can score the ham (little criss-crosses with a knife). My Mom always did that. I was running a little behind so just randomly placed whole cloves around on top.
Sometimes I rub the ham with mustard (which you can't taste - just acts like glue on grilled meats) and add various seasoning or rubs. That always works out well, but we had this bottle of Bacardi Peach that I could not pawn off on anyone. The Bacardi Razz is good in a drink, but the Bacardi Peach is way too sweet. Hum . . .
I poured the Bacardi Peach rum over the top of the ham.
And, then I was ready to grill my bone in ham.
Grilling the Ham
What you want on a ham is a low temperature - say 250 to maybe 325. Ham is kind of forgiving, but try to keep it low on the grill or smoker temp.
I was using a Traeger pellet grill here which is super easy. Just turn it on and let it do its thing. Check now and then. But, a Traeger is about like using an oven except you've got burning wood pellets and that kiss of smoke flavor.
For other smokers, just work on the vents to get your low temperature.
With a grill, offset. Put the heat to one side (charcoal only on one side of the Weber for instance). Or, if you have a big gas grill turn the side burners on but not the middle one. Keep the heat low and the meat over the area without direct coals or burner flames.
How Long to Grill an Uncooked Ham?
With various grills, outdoor temperatures, and grillers, you get variations on times when grilling a ham or any large cut of meat. I always suggest allowing an hour more than you expect. If you do get done early, then just wrap the meat in foil and let it rest until meal time.
In this case, the ham was small. I was switching between smoke setting and medium on the Traeger which is a little low on smoke and a little high on medium (which is why I switched around). It took about three hours to hit the magic mark of 145 degrees F which is the suggested time for uncooked ham by the USDA. Actually I think I pulled it at 147 F.
I did use a thermometer, because you really can't eyeball a big cut of meat and tell. Steaks, burgers, pork chops - those I can tell by looking. Something like a ham, I check with a thermometer. My favorite outdoor thermometer is the Thermopen, but it's expensive. I have a Taylor that works fine (but takes longer) that was only $10 or so.
So, How'd the Grilled Ham Turn Out?
Yum. I think this is the best ham I've made. Everything just came together for a great taste, and that Bacardi Peach rum gave a nice glaze on the outside while holding in the moisture.