Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Shiitake & Herb Crusted Umami Chuck Roast = 3 meals

I love smoking chuck roasts. I think they are so versatile. You can smoke them to a nice rare (125F) or take them to the pot roast stage where you have broken down all of the protein strands.

Shiitake & Herb Crusted Umami chuck roast

2-4lb boneless chuck roasts
4 cups low sodium organic beef broth
2 sweet onions peeled & slivered

Marinade ingredients:
1 cup cold pressed olive oil
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushroom powder (place dried shiitakes in coffee grinder – works great!)
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup kozliks horseradish mustard
(Or a combination of 1/8 cup horseradish & 1/8 cup Dijon mustard)
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp granulated onion
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
2 tsp kosher or sea salt

In large sized casserole dish combine all of the marinade ingredients. Completely coat both the roasts in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours. Turn the roasts over at least once during the marinade time.

Preheat grill to 225F creating an indirect heat zone or alternately directly on the grill if using a pellet grill (Traeger)

Remove each roast from the marinade.
Place roasts on grill – use  hickory & oak chips or pellets or mesquite for chuck roasts * If using chips add a small handful of each every hour until you foil

Baste with the remaining marinade

Grill chuck roasts until the internal temperature is 175F  approx 2-3 hours

Place each chuck roast in a 1/2 size disposable aluminum pan

Add 2 cups organic beef broth & slivered onions to each chuck roast.  Cover tightly with heavy duty foil.
Grill (approx 1-2 hours) until internal temperature is 205F or when the chuck roast easily comes apart with a fork.

Remove from au jus and rest covered with foil.

Strain the fat from the au jus and serve with the chuck roast.





Served with some creamy mashed potatoes, veggies and biscuits it makes a great meal.


You can do a lot of things with a chuck roast like:

CHILI!!! Perfect for these fall days! 

Substitute slices or shreds of chuck roast in your favorite Chili recipe. I like caramelizing a big batch of onions first then adding in some tomatoes, garlic, spices and peppers. Last add the chuck roast and bring to a simmer. Where I am from beans are always added too.

Then how about some chuck roast stew? I really prefer to serve my stews over mashed potatoes. Simply take some of the shredded chuck roast add some low sodium beef stock and add your favorite veggies like onions, mushrooms, carrots & green beans. Throw in a handful of whole garlic cloves and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for at least an hour. Then to thicken make a corn starch slurry and add that to the pot. Bring to a boil and serve over mashed potatoes. Super easy.


psst.  If by any chance you have any left shredded chuck roast is also awesome in quesadillas, burritos, nachos and tacos too!

Bacon Apple Chestnut stuffed & wrapped Pork Loin

Bacon apple chestnut stuffed pork loin


3lb pork loin
10 slices bacon

For the stuffing

3 c large seasoned croutons
2 ½ c diced apple
1 c reduced sodium chicken stock
1/3 c chopped parsley
¾ c chopped roasted chestnuts
6 slices bacon chopped
2 onions diced
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper

In a medium sized pan on medium level heat fry bacon until crisp. Using a slotted spoon or bamboo strainer remove the bacon and set aside.

Add chopped onion, thyme, salt, pepper and garlic to the residual bacon fat. Stir often scraping any bacon residue from the bottom of the pan. Sauté until the onion has softened. Add the diced apples and reduced sodium chicken stock. Bring to a simmer and add the croutons. Mix thoroughly cover and remove from heat.

Butterfly the pork loin using 3 cuts to open like a book. See this video for instructions -

Cover the pork loin with plastic wrap. Pound the pork with a mallet to make it a uniform thickness. Remove cover from the stuffing and fluff with fork. Add parsley to the stuffing mixture.


Spoon the stuffing mixture onto the pork loin leaving a 1 inch frame around all of the edges.
Starting at one end – roll the pork and stuffing together to make a tight roll.
Wrap pork with bacon lightly overlapping each layer. Secure with butchers twine.

Grill indirect at 275F until a digital thermometer reads 155F. I used oak and hickory wood pellets. Rest for 10 minutes then slice. Feeds a crowd.





Piri Piri Hot sauce

I really like Piri Piri hot sauces. While I can get a few bottles here in Canada -my friends from England The UK Grand Champion Award winning BBQ team Miss Piggy’s BBQ spoiled me with bringing multiple types when they came for a visit last year.

I set out to make my own. One problem. I could not find dried Piri Piri peppers anywhere unless I mail ordered some. As luck would have it a friend of mine was heading to Portugal and brought me back a few packets.

Piri piri can also be referred to as African Birds Eye Chilies they can range from 50,000 to 175,000 Scoville units

From Wikipedia 

Piri piri (pili pili, peri peri) is a cultivar of Capsicum frutescens, one of the sources of chili pepper, that grows both wild and domesticated. It is a small, extremely spicy member of the Capsicum genus. It grows in MalawiSouth AfricaGhanaNigeriaZimbabwe and Mozambique.

Here is a great chart from WIKI
Scoville heat units Examples
15,000,000–16,000,000 Pure capsaicin[4]
8,600,000–9,100,000 Bear spray, various capsaicinoids (e.g., homocapsaicin, homodihydrocapsaicin, nordihydrocapsaicin)
500,000–2,000,000 Most Law enforcement grade pepper spray[5]
855,000–1,463,700 Naga Viper pepper,[6] Infinity Chilli,[7] Bhut Jolokia chili pepper,[8][9] Trinidad Scorpion Butch T pepper[10]
350,000–580,000 Red Savina habanero[11]
100,000–350,000 Habanero chili,[12] Scotch bonnet pepper,[12] Datil pepper, Rocoto, Madame Jeanette, Peruvian White Habanero,[13] Jamaican hot pepper[14]
50,000–100,000 Byadgi chilli, Bird’s eye chili,[15] Malagueta pepper,[15] Chiltepin pepper, Piri piri (African bird’s eye), Thai Pepper Pequin pepper[15]
30,000–50,000 Guntur chilli, Cayenne pepper, Ají pepper,[12] Tabasco pepper, Cumari pepper (Capsicum Chinese)
10,000–23,000 Serrano pepper, Peter pepper, Aleppo pepper
3,500–8,000 Espelette pepper, Jalapeño pepper, Chipotle,[16][17] Guajillo pepper, New Mexican varieties of Anaheim pepper,[18] Hungarian wax pepper, Tabasco sauce
1,000–2,500 Anaheim pepper, Poblano pepper, Rocotillo pepper, Peppadew
100–900 Pimento, Peperoncini, Banana pepper
0 No significant heat, Bell pepper, Cubanelle, Aji dulce



Piri Piri Hot sauce

2 packages Piri Piri Peppers (approx 1 cup dried)
6 jalapeños seeded & chopped
1 cup red onion chopped
1 cup white vinegar
1 can diced tomatoes 398ml (14oz)
½ cup dehydrated red pepper
7 cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp white granulated sugar

In a glass bowl pour 2 cups boiling water over piri piri peppers cover with plastic wrap and set aside overnight.
Strain piri piri chillies reserving the water.
In a medium sized pan on medium heat sauté onions in the olive oil until softened. Add 1 cup of the piri piri water. Add jalapenos and continue to sauté until the jalapenos have softened. Add strained piri piri chiles, garlic, red pepper, salt, sugar and tomatoes mix thoroughly and set aside.
Pour the contents of the pan into a food processor. Pulse until the texture is smooth. Add the vinegar and pulse again until well combined.

Remove to a container with a tight fitting lid and set aside for 2 weeks in the fridge to let the flavours bloom.

I did an early taste test and there is real kick to this and a warmth that stays with you. I can’t wait to use it on some grilled chicken, pork and in a BBQ sauce.

For more hot sauce related information check out a couple sites that I like to visit:

Hot Sauce Daily 

Scott Roberts 

Chocolate Pig Candy Pretzels

Pig Candy is a truly versatile ingredient in recipes. You can serve it up whole, add it to cookies, cakes, ice creams and everything in between.

This time I decided to make a fun pretzel with it.

Super simple easy and absolutely bad for you deliciousness.  You can make it as spicy as you would like. This time I traded the chipotle powder for 1/2 cup Piri Piri hot sauce. It was a good change and I really liked the results.


  • 2 lbs pig candy (finely chopped)
  • 2 cups Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips  (or substitute dark chocolate) melted
  • 1 bag Great Value Honey twist pretzels 283gr
I used my food processor to chop the pig candy. To prevent the pig candy from sticking to the blades spray them with Great value butter flavored cooking spray prior to using.

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or microwave.
I used Great Value Honey pretzel twists.  Readily available at Walmart.  When I went shopping for the pretzels the GV brand was the only kind that had the least amount of broken twists in the bag.
Line all the pretzel twists on a piece of parchment. Discard  any broken pieces. (Or have a husband who loves pretzels take them away)
Get all your ingredients lined up and lay down an additional piece of parchment paper on a baking tray.  Dip the pretzel twist end in the chocolate sprinkle on the pig candy bits and lay them on the parchment. Repeat until all of the pretzels are covered.  Chill to set the chocolate.
Salty, sweet, smoky and crunchy – these are highly addictive treats. Great for giving at Christmas or anytime.  One bag of the pretzels was plenty to fill an entire tray.






One of my favorite Summer toppings Mango salsa

I love Mango salsas and I make them throughout the summer. When mangos are plentiful and ripe I make a lot of things with them. This salsa is wonderful on fish, chicken and especially pork. Tonight I served them with some smoked chicken breasts. The ingredients always vary depending on what is in the fridge or fresh from the market.

Today’s Mango salsa recipe:

6 medium size mango’s peeled and diced
1 red pepper finely minced
1 large handful of cilantro leaves chopped
1 jalapeño seeded membrane removed and finely diced
1/2 white onion finely minced
2 limes juiced and zested
1/4 tsp Chipotle powder
1/4 tsp Roasted cumin powder
salt to taste

I prefer to make this up at least an hour before serving. The flavors come together well and it really does brighten up any dish.

Barbecue Secrets Deluxe Ronnie Shewchuk – Review

Barbecue Secrets Deluxe Ronnie Shewchuk


I received this cook book a while ago after winning it in a twitter online contest. To anyone in Canada in the competitive BBQ world Rockin Ronnie Shewchuk is a familiar name. He was a member of the first team (the Butt Shredders) to ever win a US BBQ Championship. Since then two other teams have joined that same rank Dizzy Pig Canada and my own team Diva Q (proud to say we are the only Canadian team to win 2 in one year!).

I have the distinct pleasure of owning a copy of the first BBQ Secrets Ronnie wrote. I have tried a lot of the recipes and have enjoyed them immensely. Now it just gets better with the Deluxe edition. More pictures more anecdotes, recipes and more humour. I love the columns from Kate Zimmerman (Ronnie’s wife) The cookbook is truly a feast for the eyes. Gorgeous pictures throughout. They tug and pull you in and more than once you may find yourself wiping a bit of drool off the pages. Yes they are that captivating.

Behind the glossy pics is some sound BBQ advice. Terrific recipes. Good stories and a fun read. I will say that as a BBQ competition recipe book it is a little dated now but as a go to BBQ recipe book its solid. Since Ronnie competed there are lots of new techniques and some really interesting competition secrets widely available on the web. I would not however hesitate to recommend this book to anyone. It would be a welcome addition to anyone’s culinary library.

Favorite Quote from the book pg. 80
I am drawn to barbeque for its purity, its simple meaning and a true feeling of job that brings me to a happier place. The smoky cocoon of the barbecue contest creates a relaxed, friendly community unlike anything in urban life today

I recently had a conversation about Rockin Ronnie with a Western BBQ competitor. I explained I had received the book but felt bad about not reviewing it sooner. Ronnie seems to be a lovely gent in emails. I asked if he really as nice as he seems. The answer was a resounding yes. I don’t doubt it. The book comes across so genuine that you can’t help but want to meet the man behind the book. I certainly hope to someday. I would love to kick back and enjoy a pop or two with this fine representation of Canadian BBQ history.

Toronto – Crazy Canuck BBQ Championships Moink Balls

Well I have to tell you this was a challenging comp to do weather wise. The site is wonderful. Lots of room for future growth. We can really see it becoming premier BBQ event in Canada in future years.


Our neighbours Good SMoke BBQ were terrific. They had the loveliest children and were great to be beside.

Next to us on the other side was Stanley’s Smokehouse. Scott Stanley was a former member of another team and he has now moved on to his own team now. They are sponsored by Charlies Sticky Sauce. Well I guess they are still a little pissed at me for the review I did of their Mid Evil Sauce in April as the first thing out of the guys mouth was that we threw them under the bus. He seemed realy quite annoyed but I stand by what I said here. I reminded him that if he had actually read the post clearly that there were two sections when I stated that I really enjoyed the original. Apparently that was enough to set him off as he stomped away and said well what do I care we got more sales from it. Whatever. LOL

Friday was a gorgeous day and we went through the usual motions of setting up stuff etc. We were expecting some family from Europe that had flown in so we brought the awards out to show them. We have never brought all of our awards out before.


Friday night moved on and it was time for the potluck. WE made MOINK balls for the first time. IF you have not heard of MOINK balls please visit this website Larry does a terrific job. I enjoy that site a lot!

Here is how we prepped the MOINK balls. There are endless varieties this one worked for us. Really quite easy – Bacon Premade Frozen meatballs (Yes I know normally this would gross me out too but somehow it works) rub sauce and brown sugar.






Really simple- Unthaw meatballs. Wrap with half slice of bacon. SEcure with toothpick. Sprinkle on favorite rub. BBQ until bacon is done. Sprinkle on some brown sugar and glaze with favorite BBQ sauce. Thats it.

We made 65 of them. They were gone fast. Best quote we ever saw about our MOINk balls came from a good BBQ friend- Darryl

BusterRhinosBBQ@DivaQBBQ gave me some Moink Balls tonight – I have only one thing to say – Holy Shit – my mouth had food sex in it tonight!!!

The potluck was great. Chili from BBQ effect, Hashbrown casserole from Can’t Stop Grillin, Steak and pepper sammies from Bustin Loose, Venison from Stanleys Smokehouse, and a decadent bacon wrapped green apple with dipping sauces (Chocolate and Peanut butter) from Happy Smoke More.







Also around potluck time we got a visit from a member of Happy Grillmore !!! We had a great chat about BBQ and living in Toronto. Then he went to pull out one of his business cards and wait….. what do I see??? BACON. YES!!! Bacon. A Bacon wallet. You just have to love that!!



After the potluck I went right to bed after having a chat with Darryl owner of Buster Rhinos BBQ and Three Men and a Hog pitmaster Vince. Vince got a great idea for a 50/50 draw to raise money for breast cancer. This is the charity that the team Can’t Stop Grillin raises money for this year. So happily we put in money and we were glad to be the winners too!

My briskets were small after trimming so going to bed early was the best option for me. Got up at about 11 om to check on the butts etc and we had a challenge with our biggest cooker. Just that sort of day. Everything eventually sorted itself out but it was a battle.

One of the best things about comps is the visiting you get to do with other teams. Some of the best BS stories come out and some really good heartfelt talks are had. Darrin from BBQ effect and I got to chat for a bit. Now this guy has a really deep love and affection for all things BBQ. HE and Dave his other team member have travelled extensively eating at just about every BBQ joint they can come across on their travels. I am really glad to see them at comps. They are a terrific team and a terrific representation of true love for BBQ!

At around 2ish am things changed for the worse. The winds picked up significantly. The rain started coming down in buckets and from then on till after turn in times not many people were around or visiting much.


I would like to say two very very special thank yous to Vince for the expresso and to Earl for delivering breakfast in the pouring rain. This is just yet another reason why BBQ comps are awesome- the people make it wonderful to experience even if its pouring down rain, your cookers are not running well and you are having a hard go of it – the people always make it worthwhile win or lose.

And speaking of people the larger than life BBQer Ted Reader was on hand for the weekend. It was good to see him again- as always whenever you talk to Ted his passion for all things BBQ comes through! As we were standing there chatting I happened to see —– BACON—– on his wrist. YES BACON!!! He was wearing a BACON watch. You just gotta love that.


A highlight of the weekend for me was meeting Master Chef Olaf Mertens. He was a great person to discuss recipe compilation and his very successful restaurants and catering business. I probably talked and asked more questions then humanly possible in the short time we got to discuss with him but as I said to him there are not that many opportunities for me to have a face to face chat with a guy if his esteemed background. He and Ted after the competition was over were generous enough to give each of the teams signed copies of their cookbooks. That was lovely.

Back to the meat…..

Well everything came off in time to the coolers to relax, boxes were all prepped and everything got turned in on time. We thought our chicken was great. I am really happy with my comp chicken now. It has been very consistent and I am happy about getting to that level of comfort with them. NOw I still need to tweak them but so far so good. The ribs were good and I really thought the pork and brisket were not that great.

The scores reflected that. Ugh. It is what it is.

We ended up coming in 4th overall. Not bad. Not great. Middle of the pack. Not good enough. So it was back to the basics this week for me pracice wise. I also need my BBQ Karma back, tonight I did a brisket practice that was incredible. I was thrilled with the results and I am really looking forward to putting the new spin on things for this weekends competition in Boston Hills NY! Wish us luck.

Congratulations to Can’t Stop grilling for the GC. They are a terrific team who has earned every accolade they have received in the last two weeks. They practice and practice just as much as I do if not more. Also a big congrats to Happy Smoke More a new team full of chefs. They are doing really well (even if Jeffrey looks like a complete goofball with that rag on his head) their first year competing. They travelled down and took Mike Davis class and it really seems to be helping them!!!

Well done to all who got calls.

As a last note to this weeks blog in the coming weeks I will try to blog more often. Thanks for the emails wondering where I have been. I am still here. Just not updating nearly enough apparently.

For the rest of the pictures from the 2009 Crazy Canuck BBQ Championships please click here

You can always catch me on twitter as well as facebook.

Next weekend I will be at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville Ontario for the Thrill of the Grill with Rob Rainford from Food Network Canada Carrie Oliver from Oliver Ranch and of course Traeger Canada. I am looking forward to it !!!!

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