Food & Drink July 20, 2021

Backyard BBQs

Dazzle dinner guests with these recipes from top chefs

Cooking meat over an open flame has a long and vast history, dating back to the origins of mankind, all across the world. The word “barbeque” as used in the American lexicon is thought to originate from Spanish explorers who found Caribbean Indian peoples grilling on a wooden grate and called this method “barbacoa.” (Other theories credit French explorers with its founding, while remains of barbequing have been found as far away as Stonehenge.) As the explorers made their way north, they brought this cooking style with them, instilling an institution in the culture of America.

The first mention of the word “barbeque” in American history was found in 1733 in the diary of a Massachusetts man. Since then, barbeque has evolved to hold meaning for so many different groups: it’s a Fourth of July tradition, a reason to gather with friends on the patio during summer, and in many southern states, it’s a competitive event. This summer, gather your friends and family while enjoying these go-to recipes from some of Ketchum’s chefs.

Brisket from Joshua Jones, chef/owner at Smoke Over Baldy food truck

Jones learned this simple recipe from celebrity chef Myron Mixon, who also happens to be a regular on the competitive BBQ circuit. After sampling this cooking method and getting positive feedback from his customers at the truck, Jones made this his go-to for serving food in Idaho, which he calls “a huge brisket crowd.” Jones adds, “If you want a juicy brisket, make sure you have a pan of water when smoking it and also braise it for another 6-10 hours, depending on the size.”

Spice Mixture:                       Olive oil or vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

Granulated garlic

Onion powder

Chili powder

1. Make the Spice Mixture by mixing equal parts of all ingredients (salt and pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder and chili powder).

2. Rub meat down with a little bit of olive oil and then rub with Spice Mixture until thoroughly coated.Let meat sit for 30 minutes.

3. Smoke for 8 to 12 hours at 225-250°, depending on the size of the brisket.

4. Put in the oven at 250° for 12 hours (optional).

Vegan Tempeh Ribs & Pomegranate BBQ Sauce from Sydney Liepshutz, chef at Glow Juice Bar & Café

This recipe from Liepshutz’s personal collection is a delicious, meaty alternative to enjoy while barbequing. She recommends pairing it with cilantro lime coleslaw and creamy potato salad if you’re barbequing, or rutabaga puree and sauteed collard greens if enjoying as a summer family dinner.

1-2 packages organic tempeh


Smoked shiitake mushrooms or substitute regular dried shiitakes and a few drops liquid smoke

1 cup tamari
(or substitute soy sauce)

1/2 cup coconut sugar
(or substitute brown sugar)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1-2 tsp chipotle chili powder


2 qts pomegranate juice

2 cups organic ketchup

2 cups coconut sugar


1 tsp mustard powder

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

2 tbsp paprika

1-2 tbsp chipotle chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 tbsp black pepper

pinch ground cloves

pinch allspice

2 cups onion, finely diced

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp vegan Worcestershire (optional)

Salt to taste

3/4 cup reserved marinade

1. Mix together marinade ingredients and let sit at room temperature for 1-2 days, then 1-2 days refrigerated. Strain out mushrooms and submerge tempeh in marinade for 8-24 hours. Save the marinade for the next step.

2. In a saucepan, sweat onion in olive oil with salt and pepper, then add garlic and spices. Once fragrant, add pomegranate juice, ketchup, coconut sugar, reserved marinade and Worcestershire. On low to medium heat, reduce this mixture by half or until desired thickness. Blend in high-speed blender until smooth, pour back into saucepan, and adjust seasoning (salt/sugar/vinegar/spice) to taste.

3. Cut tempeh in half or triangles to handle easier on the grill. Oil grill and rotate once to get grill marks, flip and do the same on the opposite side. Cut into ribs and skewer bamboo into each strip for the “bones.” Slather on sauce after they’re off the grill.

Grandma’s “Portobello Burger” from Jay Veregge, chef at Warfield

This recipe is one that Veregge uses quite often in his personal life and that originates with his Italian-born grandmother. Described by him as always being of healthy thought and mind, even in her cooking, his grandmother attended a BBQ with the family where hotdogs and hamburgers were cooking. Undeterred, she brought out portobello mushrooms and some Italian lettuce called escarole. She threw the mushrooms, escarole, and some red onions on the grill, made up a little marinade, toasted some buns, and added aioli. It was something Veregge never forgot and surely everyone else at the BBQ, all of whom abandoned their hamburgers and hotdogs for grandma’s “burgers,” didn’t either.  Recipe serves 4.

8 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned and finned

1 head Italian escarole lettuce (can substitute radicchio or romaine),
split and quartered

1 medium sweet red onion, sliced

Ciabatta rolls or hamburger buns
(wheat is preferable)

1/2 cup garlic aioli

1/4 cup balsamic marinade

1. Make the garlic aioli by mixing 1 tbsp of fine, chopped garlic into 1/2 cup mayonnaise with a tiny squeeze of lemon juice.

2. Make the balsamic marinade by whisking 1/2 tbsp garlic with 1/8 cup oil and 1/8 cup vinegar.

3. On a searing hot barbecue, place portobello mushrooms over direct heat and allow them to brown evenly on both sides, about four minutes.

4. As the mushrooms are grilling, add to the indirect heat side of your barbecue or grill the split, quartered escarole lettuce. Add sliced red onion and let these become dark and soft to release sugars.

5. As the mushrooms begin to wilt, along with the lettuce and onions, take a small brush of balsamic vinaigrette and brush evenly across lettuce, mushrooms and onion, also adding salt and pepper to taste.

6. Grill your buns crispy on the barbecue as you remove your mushrooms, lettuce, and onion and set aside on a serving plate.

7. Apply the aioli to both sides of bun, roughly chop escarole lettuce and onion, and place portobello on the bottom bun with lettuce and onion mixture on top.

Common BBQ Mistakes

  • Not cleaning or oiling your grill …

Before lighting up the grill, make sure it has been cleaned. Ideally, clean it after each use—after it’s cool, of course. Oil that bad boy up so that non-meat items like fish and vegetables don’t stick.

  • Not fueling up …

If using a gas grill, make sure you have enough propane. You don’t want to have to make a last-minute trip when guests are waiting and hungry.

  • Not preheating the grill …

Whether using a gas or charcoal grill, always preheat, getting the grill to the highest temperature possible before putting food on.

  • Using too much heat …

While you want parts of the grill to be as hot as possible, you’ll also want a cooler area to put those foods that are ready to eat but not yet ready to leave the grill.

  • Mistreating your meat …

Fresh-from-the-fridge meat takes longer to cook so take it out at least 30 minutes prior to cooking. On the other end, meat also needs to rest after coming off the grill. Just five minutes should do the trick.

Idaho BEERs

You can’t have an Idaho BBQ without a few Idaho beers. Here are a few of our favorites and how to pair them.

Idahome IPA
Sawtooth Brewing, Hailey

This West Coast-style IPA is made using local Idaho barley, hops and water. The bitterness of IPAs can have a cooling effect, making this great to pair with something spicy like a burger with BBQ sauce.

Sockeye Barrel-aged Seven Devils Imperial Stout
Sockeye Brewing, Boise

Part of the brewery’s “Soaked in Oak” selection, this stout has tastes of chocolate, wood and salt and would pair well with BBQed ribs or smoked brisket.

Grand Teton Double Vision Doppelbock
Grand Teton Brewing Co., Victor

At 8% alcohol by volume, this beer might actually cause some double vision. Enjoy its burnt caramel flavor and malt sweetness with sweet sausages or BBQed root vegetables.

This article appears in the Summer 2021 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.