Independence Day is prime time for grilling. Come July 4th weekend, millions of Americans will be outside whipping up juicy steaks, hot dogs and burgers on their barbecues. Checkered tablecloths will be at the ready, potato salad in the works and hungry friends or family members salivating at the smells of a good old-fashioned holiday cookout.
At BBQ Island, we have everything you’ll need to make culinary fireworks this Fourth from gas grills and smokers to one of our favorite cooking tools—the Big Green Egg. This ceramic outdoor cooker is built in the style of Japanese kamado grills, which grew in popularity after WWII. They’re basically all-in-one backyard ovens that can be used to cook anything from pizza to tandoori chicken.
Today, in celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence nearly 250 years ago, we’re whipping up a full day of hearty red, white and blue meals fit for any holiday party. We’ve got an appetizer, entrée and dessert (or breakfast) to keep your guests’ bellies full and their taste buds sated. Follow Big Green Egg’s detailed recipes to ensure your cookout will be as dynamic as a July Fourth pyrotechnic display.
Naturally, red meat makes an appearance in this tasty, rib-sticking dish flavored with dad’s favorite stout. You’ll have to use up one whole bottle, but what better excuse to buy a 6-pack?
Ingredients (4 servings):
· 1 Rack Beef Plate Short Ribs, 3-4 bones and 5-6 pounds
· Olive oil
· Kosher salt
· Black pepper, coarsely ground
· Granulated garlic
· 1 bottle dark beer
Set the EGG for indirect cooking, with the convEGGtor at 265°F/130°C, with a small amount of oak wood added for flavor. Peel the membrane from the bone side of the ribs. Brush the ribs all over with a light coating of olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper and lightly with the granulated garlic.
Place the ribs directly on the cooking grate bone side down and cook for 2 hours. Flip the ribs and cook for another hour or until the ribs are deep golden brown.
Place the ribs in a foil pan and pour the beer over them. Cover tightly with foil and return to the EGG. Continue cooking until the ribs are very tender to the touch and have reached an internal temp of at least 200°. The ribs will shrink quite a bit. This should take another 2-3 hours but they’re not done until they are very tender. Remove the ribs from the pan and cut into individual bones. Serve with white bread, pickles, raw onion slices and barbecue sauce on the side.
The daughter of Blind Grilling’s Chris Peltz created this mouthwatering recipe for pizza-stuffed dough sticks. They’re so chewy and addictive that your guests will be begging for more.
· 2 cups milk
· 2 tbsp. yeast
· 6 tbsp. brown sugar
· 4 ½ cups flour
· 4 tbsp. butter-softened
· 2 tsp fine salt
· Baking soda
· Kosher salt
· Shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese
Heat milk until warm (about 110°F/43°C). Add to a bowl with yeast and let rest for 2 minutes. Add in brown sugar and 2 cups flour along with the softened butter. Stir with a wood spoon as to not kill the yeast. Finish stirring in the remaining flour and fine (table) salt. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes. Set in a warm spot and allow dough to rise. Let it rise for an hour, or at least double in size.
Heat grill to 350°F/177°C indirect with convEGGtor legs up. Add a little baking soda to warm water and stir till it is dissolved. This will help the kosher salt stick to the pretzels. Take risen dough and punch dough to help deactivate the yeast. Next, take a handful or so and roll out onto a floured surface in a rectangular shape. Make sure it is wide enough to fold over when stuffed. After it is rolled out, take your pepperoni and cheeses and add it lengthwise along half of the dough. Take the other half, and as mentioned before, fold over onto the other. Take the stuffed pretzel and dunk in the baking soda/water mixture. Put in a cast iron skillet or on a deep dish pizza stone and sprinkle with the kosher salt. Put in grill for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Our final dish makes a great dessert, or a pick-me-up brunch after a little too much holiday partying. Pair with sparkling mimosas for a little extra July 4 fireworks.
· 15 slices Texas toast-style white bread
· 1 lb. breakfast sausage (cooked, crumbled, and cooled)
· 8 large eggs
· 2 cups half-and-half
· 1 cup milk
· 2 tbsp. firmly packed light brown sugar
· 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
· ½ tsp kosher salt
· ½ cup salted butter (melted)
· 4 oz. fresh blueberries
· Maple syrup, warmed, for serving
The night before you plan to cook, tear each bread slice into 9 pieces and put the pieces in a large bowl. Add the sausage and toss to mix. In another large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy and blended. Add the butter and whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture. Using a large spoon, gently fold them together until the bread is evenly soaked.
Spray a 9 by 13-inch EGG-safe pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pour the bread mixture into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the blueberries over the top, distributing them evenly, and then push them down into the bread mixture just to hold them in place. Cover the casserole and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
In the morning, take the casserole out of the refrigerator to warm at room temperature for 1 hour. Prepare the EGG to cook indirect with the convEGGtor at 350°F/177°C. Uncover the casserole, place it on the EGG cooking grid, and cook for 30 minutes. Spin the casserole 180 degrees to ensure even cooking and continue cooking for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is firm and set in the middle.
Remove from the EGG and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup on the side.
While Big Green Egg’s recipes can be adapted for standard BBQ grills, we highly recommend taking advantage of the Egg’s even heating and excellent insulation. Call us at 877-474-5669 today to get started on your Big Green adventure!
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