Summer officially kicks off this weekend. There's nothing more American (except Fourth of July) than Memorial Day Weekend when grills fire up across the country "from sea to shining sea."
Around this time every year, more and more customers inquire about our favorite items to grill. We thought we'd put together a short list of our top 5 grilling picks. In no particular order, they are as follows:
1. Pork Ribs
Pork ribs are the ultimate BBQ staple. We carry both Baby Back and St. Louis Style ribs. Don't know the difference? Check out our previous article on the subject. To get pork ribs nice and tender, remember the two words "slow" and "low." Be patient and you will be rewarded with meat that is fall-off-the-bone delicious.
2. Custom Burger Blends
Up your flavor quotient by blending several different cuts together. The combinations are limitless. For more guidance on creating the juiciest burger ever, check out this article.
3. Ribeye Steak
Due to the ribeye's high-fat content, it is an amazingly rich and decadent cut of meat that grills up perfectly. We like them medium-rare and with nothing but a splash of olive oil and a generous sprinkling of salt.
4. Berkshire Pork Chops
The Berkshire Pork Chops are the grand-daddy of all pork chops. They are heavily marbled and were bred especially for the King of England. Berkshire pork is renowned for its richness, texture, marbling, juiciness, tenderness and overall depth of flavor. These are sure to go over well at any cookout — just make sure your guests are worthy!
5. Bone-in, Skin-on Chicken Thighs & Breasts
Chicken, especially conventional chicken from the grocery store, can seem mundane and bland. But our local, free-range birds are a whole different story. They are flavorful, incredibly moist and easy to cook. We recommend marinating thighs and breasts overnight in our brand new, house-made Poblano Tomatillo Lemongrass marinade then tossing them on the grill. You'll love the zesty and bright flavor this mixture gives to the chicken.
Ask us about our wide selection of spices, rubs, marinades and sauces. We also carry all the grilling and Big Green Egg accessories you will need to kick-off the summer season with gusto!
School is in full-swing and evenings are jam-packed with sports, band practice, homework, etc. The last thing you need is to prepare a complicated dinner that uses every dish in the kitchen and ends up being something the kids won't eat.
We present your new favorite weeknight meal — 5 Ingredient Honey-Mustard Chicken!
Time: 55 mins (10 mins prep + 45 mins cook)
1/4 to 1/3 cup smooth Dijon mustard
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 pounds chicken thighs, legs or breasts
2 sprigs rosemary (or a generous sprinkling of dried rosemary)
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180 C). In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and taste. Add more salt and mustard until you get the flavor where you want it.
Salt the chicken lightly and lay the pieces skin-side up in a shallow casserole dish. Add rosemary springs. Cook until the skin is golden and crispy. Spoon the honey mustard sauce over the chicken.
Serve with greens and wild rice, or keep it paleo with cauliflower rice.
We are happy to butterfly our free-range and organic chickens upon request. We recommend seasoning the chicken with one of our Dizzy Pig rubs or our newest product, Amola Bacon Salt.
Once seasoned, place on grill breast side down over flames at 350 degrees for ten minutes, flip and cook an additional 30-40 minutes over indirect heat. If cooking on the Big Green Egg we recommend smoking chicken over indirect heat at 250 degrees for about an hour and a half.
Try Dizzy Pig rubs on all sorts of meats. They are particularly amazing on chicken and are gluten- and MSG-free.
We are very excited to offer Amola Bacon Salt. Amola produces globally inspired infused salts. Their Bacon Salt is made with real heritage breed pork for a pure and intense flavor. Try it on chicken, popcorn, eggs, sautéed green vegetables or anything else you want to add that smoky bacon goodness too. It is especially good with dark chocolate. Let us know what you think!
Let's talk tailgating! With the Super Bowl right around the corner this is the year to impress your friends. Ribs and wings are no-brainers when it comes to Big Game fare but that doesn't mean they have to be boring. We'll help you create a crowd-pleasing and finger-licking spread.
We carry both beef and pork ribs at The Organic Butcher. Our favorite pork ribs are Berkshire, a heritage breed known for its marbling and dark red color. We sell both St. Louis Style and Baby Backs.
Our beef ribs are locally sourced, tender and packed with flavor. They are often dry-aged which adds a remarkable depth to the meat.
If chicken wings are more your style, we carry organic, free-range chicken from PA and Virginia. It is antibiotic- and hormone-free, and is more flavorful than conventionally raised birds.
Rub vs. Sauce (the age-old argument)
There are many delicious ways to BBQ ribs, but most people fall squarely into one of two camps — the dry-rub folks or the sauce people. We won't pick sides and will gladly eat either. It all comes down to personal preference or where in the country you are from.
The Organic Butcher carries a variety of sauces and spice rubs that you can pick up along with your baby backs. One such sauce is Old Mule BBQ. It comes to us from a small, family-owned business in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. They take special care in making and bottling their sauces by hand. They never use artificial ingredients and rely on slow-cooking methods to thicken their products. Old Mule comes in three flavors— Original, Mustard and Hot.
Also in stock is a selection of dry rubs from the Dizzy Pig BBQ Company in Manassas, VA. Dizzy Pig is extremely creative with their spice blends and has fun mixing ingredients like coffee, pineapple and African Bird Pepper into their rubs. Their spices are always gluten- and MSG-free.
Inside or Outside
The weather has been unpredictable, to say the least, but rest assured that both ribs and wings cook up beautifully on the grill AND in the oven. Ribs are a little trickier in the oven but you can find a great step-by-step tutorial for pork ribs here and beef ribs here.
We love the recipe for wings with homemade blue cheese dressing in the Blue Ribbon Cookbook. It never fails to impress our guests. We've included it below:
2 pounds chicken wings
Perfect Roast Seasoning (1/4 cup kosher salt, 3 tbsp ground black pepper, 1 1/2 tbsp dried thyme)
2 tablespoons Sriracha
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon Chinese plum sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1. Sprinkle the chicken wings with the seasoning. Let rest for 20 minutes.
2. In the meantime, preheat the broiler or grill.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the hot sauce, butter, plum sauce, and brown sugar. Set aside half of the hot sauce.
4. Broil or grill the wings, turning once, for 20 minutes. Slather the wings with the remaining half of the hot sauce mixture, making sure to coat both sides of the wings. Broil or grill until glazed and crispy, 10 to 15 minutes longer, turning once. Using a clean utensil, brush the wings with the reserved hot sauce mixture before serving.
5. To make the dressing: Mix together the sour cream and blue cheese. Serve with the wings.
Enjoy! (And don't forget the beer!)
We have delicious whole chickens that are pasture-raised from Polyface and certified organic from Pennsylvania. There are so many great looking spring vegetables in the market right now but you can do this recipe with any assortment of vegetables. Tonight I decided to use fennel, spring onions and carrots...
Step 1 - Pick up your whole chicken from your friendly local butcher.
Step 2 - Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Rinse your chicken and pat it dry. Start by adding some flavor boosters to the cavity along with some salt and pepper. I went with 2 lemon halves, 4 smashed fresh garlic cloves and a bunch of parsley. Tie the legs together.
Step 3 - I like to loosen the skin over the breast and rub a Tblsp. of butter under the skin. Then rub the outside with butter or oil and add seasoning. We carry some amazing local spice packets from Aromatic Spice Blends located in Vienna, VA that work great for seasoning. Make sure the chicken is liberally salted and peppered along with any seasoning you use.
Step 4 - Cut up all of your veggies, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange around the chicken in a large baking dish.
Step 5 - Take a drink, kick back and relax! In appx. 1 hour and 20 mins your chicken and veggies should be perfect, dependent on the size of the chicken. Let the chicken sit for 15-20 mins before serving.
Tonight we went with the Lobetia Organic Tempranillo. It's the perfect red for the warmer months and a great deal at only $12.99 in the shop. It is fresh and bright with notes of strawberries and cherries and a long, complex finish. Great bottle all around!