Playing with fire: learn all about the barbecue and smokehouse

Playing with fire: learn all about the barbecue and smokehouse

A new book of barbecue and smokehouse techniques and recipes will hit bookstores just in time for the summer season. Play with fire Philippe Lapointe answers questions from beginners and the most experienced.

From equipment selection, safety principles, and cooking methods to essentials and descriptions of great American barbecue styles, the science of grilling is detailed in this article. Play with firepublished by Éditions du Journal.

Seeing that the same questions always come up on the Facebook page he authored, Vilain Lapin BBQ, Philippe Lapointe, a truck driver by trade and a foodie at heart, set about writing this book.

“In the last few years, people have wanted to go beyond propane cooking, so they’re turning their attention to charcoal and smokers. To achieve good results, it is important to understand the principles of cooking and how barbecue works. I have noticed that there is a lack of literature on this subject in French. This is what my book is about,” says Philippe Lapointe.

Among the many recipes we find several barbecue sauces, grating spice mixes, vegetarian dishes, recipes for fish, seafood and various types of meat. Philippe Lapointe teaches us that depending on the barbecue technique you choose, you can make chili, moussaka, and even leg of lamb!

“We can do everything! And everyone can create their own style. I love telling people, “Take my recipes and change them to your liking.” Culinary curiosity is such a great adventure! Philippe Lapointe says.

Available to everyone

According to Philippe Lapointe, the public’s curiosity about barbecues and smokehouses, which has existed for several years, has only increased over the past two years. “There’s a lot more information circulating there than five or six years ago, and when you get involved, you discover new techniques, new flavors, it’s a passion that feeds on itself. The same! I constantly see new people who are interested in this and want to arm themselves. There’s a hiss that won’t let up! »

Barbecue is accessible to everyone, says Philippe Lapointe. “It is important to equip yourself according to your needs and lifestyle. I find it very zen to sit next to my fire for 10 hours adding logs, but someone else might prefer a pellet barbecue that controls its own temperature. Today, it is not necessary to spend a fortune to have quality equipment, as manufacturers have expanded their range. You can even buy local from BBQ growers in Quebec! »

BBQ IS BETTER FOR YOUR HEALTH THAN YOU MAY THINK

  • Philippe Lapointe, a graduate of the Laval School of Hospitality and a Stanford University degree in nutrition, wanted to find a way to combine barbecue and healthy eating, a topic he touches on in his book. Play with fire.
  • Grilling and dieting is possible, Philippe Lapointe proves. “There is no doubt that food choice is at the core and that we must rely on diversity in order to follow the principles of healthy eating. In my book, I also thought about those with dietary restrictions and give advice on how to rediscover classic barbecue flavors despite the exclusion of certain ingredients, such as salt or sugar. »
  • If the basic principles are followed, cooking on the grill or in the smokehouse is not risky, says Philippe Lapointe. “Barbecuing can be unhealthy if done incorrectly, but the practice has changed. The briquettes have become better quality and we no longer light the fire with gasoline! Today the methods are more suitable. Because we don’t add fat, it’s also a way of cooking that can be healthier,” he says.

Marinated steak on salad


0409 Zest Playing with fire

Photo courtesy of Patrick Lavoie.

Servings: 2 | Preparation time: 24 hours | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Internal temperature: 130-155°F

INGREDIENTS

For brine:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 C. lemon juice
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 C. ground black pepper
  • 1 C. spoon fresh thyme

For salad:

  • 1 whole romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup store-bought Caesar or Ranch dressing
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

PREPARATION

  1. In an airtight container, combine all marinade ingredients and add steaks. Leave to marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
  2. Preheat the barbecue on direct high heat to 500°F.
  3. Drain the marinade well from the steaks and cook them directly on the barbecue for 7-8 minutes per side or until the core temperature reaches 130°F to 155°F, depending on the degree of doneness desired. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.
  4. Cut the romaine in half lengthwise and place on the grill for 5 minutes in direct cooking without flipping. Put the semi-romaine on a plate and pour over the vinaigrette, garnish with pomegranate seeds. Slice the flank steaks and place them on top of the salad to serve.

Chopped shoulder of lamb


0409 Zest Playing with fire

Photo courtesy of Patrick Lavoie.

Servings: 8 | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 6 hours | Internal temperature: 204°F

INGREDIENTS

  • Boneless lamb shoulder (about 1 kg)
  • 1 C. salt
  • 1 C. Ground coriander
  • 1 C. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp caraway
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat barbecue in indirect cooking at medium-low heat to 225°F and add wood type.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the spices together and set aside.
  3. Brush the lamb shoulder with vegetable oil and sprinkle the spice mixture all over.
  4. Turn on the barbecue in indirect mode until the core temperature reaches 204°F. Remove from the grill, place on a plate and let the lamb shoulder rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Using a fork or your hands, mash the spatula to separate the meat fibers.

Cold smoked salmon mojito


0409 Zest Playing with fire

Photo courtesy of Patrick Lavoie.

Servings: 12 | Preparation time: 72 hours + 15 minutes | Cold smoking time: 6-10 h | Internal temperature: 165°F

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 whole salmon fillet
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 2 limes, zest and juice
  • 1 bunch mint coarsely chopped

PREPARATION

  1. In a bowl, mix kosher salt and brown sugar. Place half of the mixture in the bottom of a large Pyrex dish. Put the salmon fillet on the mixture, pour over the rum and lime juice, add the lime zest and mint. Coat the salmon fillet with the remaining salt and brown sugar mixture and cover with plastic wrap. Add a load to a salmon fillet wrapped in plastic wrap (for example, another dish with a carton of milk or a bottle of liquid). Leave to rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours. For smaller fillets, reduce all ingredients by half.
  2. Remove salmon from salt mixture and rinse under cold tap water for 5 to 10 minutes to remove surface salt and brown sugar. Pat dry with paper towels and refrigerate outdoors for 24 hours. This will help the smoke adhere better to the surface of the salmon.
  3. Prepare your BBQ for cold smoking with the smoke maze. Put the salmon fillet in it for 6-10 hours, depending on the desired smoke flavor.
  4. Place the salmon back in the refrigerator for 24 hours outdoors before cutting it into thin slices at a 45-degree angle.

▸ Nothing is easier than making your own smoked salmon and adding herbs of your choice. Whether it’s plain, with beetroot, with maple syrup or, like here, in style drink mojito, the possibilities are endless. The base mix remains the same: 50% kosher salt and 50% brown sugar. Other flavors are up to you. Be careful not to use table salt, as finer grains are not suitable for this type of recipe and will give poor results.

Pork tenderloin stuffed with apricots


0409 Zest Playing with fire

Photo courtesy of Patrick Lavoie.

Servings: 6 | Preparation time: 30 minutes | Cooking time: 2.5 hours | Internal temperature: 145°F

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) pork loin
  • 1/2 cup C’est Cochon Spice Rub for Pork (Spice Mixes section)
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

PREPARATION

  1. Heat an indirect barbecue over medium heat to 275°F and add some wood essence.
  2. Place the orange zest, orange soup and apricots in a food processor. Puree and set aside.
  3. Using a chef’s knife, cut the length of the loin so that it unfolds, leaving about 1 inch thick.
  4. Sprinkle the spice mixture inside and add the apricot mixture in an even layer on the inside of the loin.
  5. Close the strap by folding it towards you. Cut the fat on top with a square pattern and tie with meat thread.
  6. Coat all surfaces with spice mixture and BBQ on indirect until core temperature reaches 145°F, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Grilled panzanella and burrata salad


0409 Zest Playing with fire

Photo courtesy of Patrick Lavoie.

Servings: 4 | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Internal temperature: –

INGREDIENTS

  • 500 g cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 loaf of bread
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 C. Dijon mustard
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1 C. lemon juice
  • 1 C. salt
  • 1 whole burrata 250 g

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the barbecue on direct high heat to 450°F.
  2. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl.
  3. Cut the onion and pepper in half, brush them with olive oil and place on the barbecue in the direct cooking mode for 5-7 minutes without turning. They should turn black on one side, but retain their crunch.
  4. Chop the cucumber, onion, and bell pepper into 1 1/2-inch cubes and add to the bowl with the tomatoes.
  5. Preheat the barbecue on direct high heat to 450°F.
  6. Cut a loaf of bread into thick slices and brush with olive oil.
  7. Toast the slices of bread on the BBQ direct until golden brown.
  8. Grate the toasted slices of bread with garlic cloves, chop the remaining garlic and add to the vegetable mixture.
  9. Cut the bread croutons into 1 1/2 inch cubes and add them to the rest of the vegetables.
  10. In a measuring cup, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, lemon juice and salt.
  11. Whisk the dressing well and pour the desired amount into the mixing bowl.
  12. Transfer the panzanella to a serving platter and top with a ball of burrata cheese.
  13. Optional: Cold smoke burrata for 2 hours for a more smoky flavor.

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