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Vegeterian “Rib Fries”

15 Jul

Hi All – first cooking post on Stew’s Brew.

The other night, I decided to grill – it was one of those PERFECT nights for grilling – 73 degrees, low humidity, etc.  Robin had to take the boys for their annual physicals, so they wouldn’t be home until 7:30, so I was responsible for making a late dinner.  She had pulled out some Iowa Chops to toss on the grill – those were thawing on the counter when I rolled in the door at 6:30, and below them on the floor was a 10 lb bag of potatoes.  Meat and potatoes – my fave and oh the possibilities!

The Iowa Chops I just did in simple Argentinian “Gaucho” barbecue style – LOTS of coarse salt, and lots of black pepper.  Rub with olive oil first, then hit them hard with kosher salt and FGP and let sit for 15 mins or so before grilling.  Grilled them to an internal temp of 135, let rest for 10 mins, carved like a roast.  Heaven.

But this post is about my potatoes.  I wanted to do something roasted on the grill.  I had happened across some recipes for mustard-glazed grilled potatoes a couple of months ago in Cooking Light, and those are fantastic – I’ll share another time.  But, decided that I wanted a barbecue potato – as in smoky, tangy, tasting like barbecue food.  My process is always, “Imagine the flavor, think about the ingredients, Go!”  Most of the time, it works.  This time it ROCKED.

The recipe is simple – a quick whisk up of barbecue sauce, some dijon mustard, veggie oil and salt and pepper.  Quarter up the potatoes, toss them in a large bowl and tumble with the sauce to coat.  Then just scatter them out on a medium-hot grill, let grill for about 15 mins and it’s heaven.  Because this IS a recipe, here’s the official version with measures and everything, below:

  • 2 1/2  lbs of potatoes (about 7 medium russets) – quartered into big wedges – any kind works – russet, Yukon, C-size Redskins, etc.  Make sure you cut them large enough where they won’t fall through your grill grate.
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce of your choice.  I used good ‘ol Iowa-made Cookies.  Sweet. Smokey. Yum.
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard – give your mustard a taste first and use more or less based on how strong it is – you want the acidity of the mustard, plus the emulsifying quality of it (makes things blend together nicely) more than the mustard flavor.  I had both generic and Grey Poupon.  I used a 1/4 cup of the generic.  Had I used the Grey Poup, I’d have used quite a bit less – perhaps 2T.
  • 1/4 cup veggie oil – doesn’t really matter what, although I don’t think Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the right play – too much flavor.  Goal is to provide some fat to keep the spuds from sticking to the grill and make the sauce coat nicely.  I used Canola on this batch.
  • 1/2 t salt (I only use kosher salt for cooking)
  • 1/2 t fresh ground pepper

Honestly, these quantities are guesses – I know I did 2x the amount of BBQ sauce to mustard.  Oil was equal to the mustard, or so I thought, and the salt and pepper were to taste, although this is probably a good guess.  A wonderful cook and blogger, The Pioneer Woman – and her food forum, The Pioneer Woman cooks, says “potatoes and salt are best friends.”  Have to agree.


Pre-heat grill to medium if it is a gas grill – if charcoal, well, wing it – perhaps put the lid on your grill and damper it down a bit to lower the heat before cooking.  You don’t want it too hot or you’ll burn the sugars in the sauce before the spuds cook on the inside.

Mix up all the sauce ingredients first, and put them in a large bowl.  Wash and cut up your potatoes – you want the wedges the long way on the spud so they are nice and long.  As you cut them, just drop them into the sauce bowl.  Once all the spuds are in, toss them with the sauce to coat them well.

Out to the grill!  Set up your grill for INDIRECT cooking – that means on a gas grill that you shut off one or two burners – my big Weber Genesis, I shut off the middle burner, leaving the two outers running.  On charcoal, push all of the charcoal to one half of the grill.

Using tongs, place the spuds evenly over the “INDIRECT” portion of the grill – where there’s no burner running or charcoal under the  grill.  If you’re a savant for grill marks like I am, put them on a 30-degree angle to the grill bars – looks NICE!  But you want them cr0ss-way across the grates so they don’t fall in.  Grill for 5 mins, turn, grill 5 mins more, turn, then stick a fork in one and check for doneness – they should be close, but not quite – about 5 more mins and they will be PERFECT.  Test one before you bring them in.  Test as in EAT one.  “Car Fries!”

And that’s it!

So, about this name:  As we sat down to dinner the other night, Brian (son #3) grabs one, takes a bite and says “Oh my God!  They are like Rib Fries.”  My pal “GASHM” said “Oh, you should add ‘Vegeterian’ to the name.”  Therefore, Vegeterian Rib Fries.  Taste like Ribs.  But they are fries!

Yes, I know all good food blogs have pictures, and on this my friends, I have failed.  But I’ll make them again very soon, and I’ll repost this, with the pictures next time.



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