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Barbecued Beef Brisket

Chicken Kabob. Pixabay photo

By Barbara Beltrami

This is the third in a series of columns about easy summer dinners, and because it’s about meat and poultry, it’s mostly about grilling. One of the great things about these recipes is that they make tasty leftovers which pay forward for less time in the kitchen. Slice or chop them up for salads or sandwiches, but on second thought, they’re all so good that I doubt you’ll have any leftovers.

Saffron Chicken Kabobs

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings


1/2 teaspoon saffron threads

1/2 cup boiling chicken stock

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 pounds boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2” cubes


In a large bowl stir together the saffron and chicken stock and let steep for half an hour. Add the wine, oil, cardamom, salt and pepper; add chicken; toss to combine, cover, and stirring occasionally, refrigerate for 3 hours. Prepare grill: oil grill rack with an oil saturated crumpled paper towel and place rack 4 to 6” above fire. Remove chicken from marinade but reserve the liquid; pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then thread it onto skewers and arrange them on the rack. Grill, turning frequently and brushing with reserved marinade, until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with rice pilaf and sliced tomatoes with olive oil and fresh herbs.

Barbecued Beef Brisket

YIELD: Makes 8 to 10 servings


One 4 – 5 pound brisket

4 garlic cloves, cut into slivers

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3/4 cup ketchup

3/4 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce


Make slits all over surface of meat and poke garlic slivers in them; rub brisket with two tablespoons of the oil. In a small bowl combine salt and pepper, thyme, paprika and cayenne and smear over meat; let sit at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile make the barbecue sauce: In a medium saucepan over moderate heat warm the remaining two tablespoons oil, then add the onion and chopped garlic and heat, stirring frequently, until onion starts to turn golden, about 5 minutes; add ketchup, tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chili powder and hot sauce; stir to combine, then reduce heat to simmer and cover partially; cook until sauce thickens, about 15 to 25 minutes. 

Prepare fire for indirect heat cooking and position an oiled rack 4 to 6 inches above fire; place brisket so it is not directly over heat, cover grill and cook for one hour; brush meat with about a third of the sauce and cook another hour, turning occasionally and brushing sparingly with more sauce. Remove from grill and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice across the grain and serve with coleslaw and fresh corn on the cob.

Spicy Pork Chops

YIELD: Makes 6 servings


1/3 cup grainy Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons orange zest

2 tablespoons whiskey

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Six 6-8 ounce boneless 3/4” pork chops


In a small bowl combine mustard, orange juice , orange zest, whiskey, Worcestershire sauce, sage and pepper. Smear over both sides of pork chops and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature. Oil grill rack and heat grill to medium-high. Cook, turning once, until chops are barely pink inside, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve with sweet potato fries and salad.