The Beef Wellington Recipe of Champions!

The Beef Wellington Recipe of Champions!

When I cook, I always aim for maximum deliciousness and flavor. As a beef lover, one of my favourite dishes to prepare on the BBQ (and to enjoy, of course) is oh-so-comforting Beef Wellington. I like to treat my family with this dish after we’ve spent the whole day outside playing catch and running around.

Now I know tenderloin is not the most flavourful cut of beef BUT… sear it, season it well, give it a bit of love, and you’re in business. Trust me, the way this recipe combines a tender and juicy piece of meat with a mixture of vegetables and a crispy (and buttery!) puff pastry results in a Beef Wellington that’s hard to top, taste-wise. I have to restrain myself, or there won’t be any left for my wife and kids!

Believe me, this recipe is a lot easier to do than it seems. Ready? Let’s go!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 lb) beef tenderloin
  • 1 package store-bought puff pastry (or make your own!)
  • 4-5 white mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • ¼ cup of your favourite herbs (optional)
  • Montreal spice mix, such as House of BBQ Experts’ Montreal Spice Mix and Rub, to taste
  • 3 tbsp good quality mustard
  • ½ cup of your favourite gravy or sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten

 

Cooking Method

  1. Season the beef tenderloin to taste with the Montreal spice mix and rub. (The more seasoning you put on, the more flavours the tenderloin will pack.????)
  2. Sear the piece of meat on the BBQ for 2 minutes on each side at a very high temperature. Remove it from the heat and let it rest for 1 hour.
  3. While you wait, place the mushrooms, carrot and herbs in a food processor, and chop everything into small pieces. Transfer the vegetables into a bowl and set them aside.
  4. Preheat the BBQ to 350°F.
  5. Using a rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle that’s large enough to envelop the beef tenderloin.
  6. Spread the mustard and chopped vegetables on the puff pastry.
  7. Once that is done, place the beef tenderloin in the center of the puff pastry, wrap the puff pastry around it, and brush the dough with beaten egg.
  8. Place the wrapped beef tenderloin into a barbecue-safe dish; place the dish onto the BBQ and let it cook in an indirect cooking zone until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 145°F. After that, let it rest for a few minutes outside the BBQ.
  9. Heat up the gravy or sauce and drizzle it over the Beef Wellington.
  10. Serve and enjoy the explosion of flavors it creates in your mouth!

 

Have fun BBQing everyone!

Editor’s note: We made this Beef Wellington ourselves and itwas just as easy and fun to make – and as delicious to eat – as Max promises! Here are pics of the result.

5 Must-Have Barbecue Accessories

5 Must-Have Barbecue Accessories

With the official arrival of grilling season in May, it’s the perfect time to get your grill prepped and ready for the warmer months. One important aspect of preparing for the season is ensuring that you have the essential accessories and utensils in your toolbox. These must-haves range in price and quality, so pick the brand and type that works best for you and your budget.

 

Meat Thermometer

When it comes to cooking meat or fish, it can be hard to judge if your item is properly cooked and ready. Consider a meat thermometer to add to your toolbox to take that tricky guesswork out of grilling – knowing the accurate internal temperature can help avoid overcooking or undercooking your dish. A thermometer with a magnetic back will stick right onto the grill for easy access, or you may want to look at digital thermometers which connect to an app on your phone.

 

Metal Tongs

Tongs are essential for anyone wanting to cook on the barbecue and is likely the one tool you’ll use the most. A set of quality long-handled tongs can make all the difference when it comes to cooking on your grill, and they will allow you to quickly handle any food that needs to be moved or flipped. Consider having at least two sets of tongs for your barbecue, so you always have one on hand.

 

Cast Iron Skillet

If you’re looking to change up your cooking style on the grill, consider adding a versatile cast iron skillet to your lineup. A cast iron pan will allow you to sauté and cook as you would on your stovetop, and it can be a great tool if you’re looking to try out baking on the barbecue. Check out our Baking on the Barbecue post for more handy tips, and for an easy and delicious grilled cheesecake recipe.

 

Grill Brush

Cleaning your grill is almost as important as cooking on it; you won’t be able to make quality food if your grill grates are dirty. So, if nothing else, make sure you have a good grill brush that will help remove debris and clean the grill after each use. By keeping up with this simple maintenance, you’ll find yourself having to deep clean your grill a lot less, and it will stay in good condition for longer. See grill brush safety tips here.

 

Grill Spatula

A spatula is essential for when you need a delicate touch flipping or moving food on your grill. Look for a spatula with a beveled edge and a long handle that allows you to get under food and lift it away from the grill while keeping your hands away from the direct heat.

 

These five basic barbecue accessories are perfect for any griller, whether you are a pro or a beginner. And remember: always keep your barbecue tools clean – wash them after every use and store them inside. If you must store them outside, keep them protected from the elements.

Baking On The BBQ

Baking On The BBQ

Now more than ever, cooking and baking have been bringing joy to Canadians. Creating new things in the kitchen has provided entertainment and comfort throughout the past year.  Spring is here and it’s time to take the fun outside. Your grill can offer some creative methods for making fabulous baked desserts the whole family will love, and as a bonus, you won’t have to heat your oven or your home to get that delicious result.

We went to the experts on this one and checked in with Kyla Kennaley, Pastry Chef and Judge: The Great Canadian Baking Show Season 3 & 4, to ask our most burning questions when it comes to baking on the barbecue.

Why bake on the barbecue?

“Well, it’s cooler to cook on a barbecue than in a hot kitchen, which can be especially important in summer. The grill allows for controlled heat, and you can create a convection current by heating the grill to temperature, turning off one side of the burners, and baking on that side. This can be a huge advantage! Start by experimenting with drop cookies when you’re ready to bake, as it’s easier to learn how to control your baking with cookies before moving on to cakes and pies. Remember, even heat is the key to success when baking on the barbecue!”

What are some of the advantages of using a barbecue?

“A barbecue heats up faster than your oven, and a convection current bakes more evenly and cooks more quickly than an electric radiant heat oven. The heat factor can be particularly helpful, especially for holidays, as it frees up your oven to cook your turkey or roast beef with the drippings in the pan. Otherwise, you can always reheat the meat on the barbecue after resting it for an added barbecue smoky taste.

Baking on the barbecue allows you to entertain your guests and enjoy the great outdoors while you’re preparing dessert. Try baking a cake, brownies or bread pudding in a cast iron pan baked right on the grill – it produces a nice crispy edge, and you can use your side burner to make a creme anglaise at the same time.

And lastly, the barbecue adds a smokiness that is essential to any great grilled meal or baked barbecue treat.”

Charcoal vs Gas?

“Gas is controlled even heat and popular in most homes and apartments. However, charcoal is also an excellent option for cooking and baking, and can produce similar results to a gas grill.” 

Favourite Barbecue Tools?

“I would suggest two essential tools for any serious griller: heavy oven mitts with long sleeves for excellent protection while working with the high heat of the barbecue, and a few good quality cast iron pans in multiple sizes so you always have what you need when the grilling mood strikes.”

 

This great advice is the perfect place to start if you are interested in baking on the barbecue at home. If you’re feeling inspired, consider trying out this cheesecake recipe from Maxim Lavoie, BBQ Guru, House of BBQ Experts. This cheesecake is delicious to eat as an afternoon snack or as a breakfast treat the next day, and the whole family can enjoy this cheesecake together. Maxim’s added words of advice: hide a piece for yourself; the cake won’t be there for long!

House of BBQ Experts Grilled Cheesecake

 

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • ½ cup graham crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Spice Blend, such as House of BBQ Experts’ Cake spice mix
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter

For the filling:

  • 375g cream cheese (1½ packages)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Suggestions for topping:

  • Fresh berries or fresh fruit slices
  • Caramel topping
  • Fruit compote
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Whipped cream

Cooking Method

  • Preheat the BBQ to 325 °F.
  • In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients for the crust. Press the mixture into the bottom of a barbecue-safe dish – make sure the crust is approximately 1cm thick
  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, white sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on low speed after each addition, until your filling is well blended. Pour filling into the crust.
  • Bake over indirect heat on the BBQ for 20 to 25 minutes with the lid closed. After 20 minutes have passed, you may peek. Similar to baking in a conventional oven, to ensure the filling does not get overcooked, stick a toothpick in the center of the cheesecake. If it comes out clean, it is fully baked.
  • When baking is done, let the dish cool and then refrigerate for 6 hours.
  • Once the resting time is over, top as desired, serve and enjoy!

Max’s Pro Tip

“While waiting, prep a piece of meat for dinner. A low and slow BBQ recipe will keep the BBQ going all day, filling the air with an amazing smell and serving as a warming station at the same time. Truly, there is no better way to enjoy being outside!

 

The Perfect Time for Cold Smoking

The Perfect Time for Cold Smoking

Have you ever tried smoked salmon? Personally, it’s my favorite snack and I love making it. It’s made by cold smoking, a technique used to preserve meat, and is now considered a renowned delicacy worldwide. To this day, this refined preservation method is employed often, in hopes of storing meat for a long time without it going bad. Not only does smoking kill harmful bacteria, it also gives a wonderful smoky flavor to your dishes. There are many ways to smoke, but here’s a very simple way to elevate your cooking game to the next level.

My favorite smoking method is to cold smoke, which I love doing with different foods, but more particularly with fish. To cold smoke, you must first understand that it is not a source of heat that will cook your meat; instead, the smoke penetrates each layer and slowly cooks it. Hence why it’s called cold smoking. This method requires the ambient temperature to be favorable. Fall to early winter and spring seasons are ideal as it’s not too warm outside. If the smoking isn’t done in a smoker, you can use a barbecue with a large grid. The reason for this is that we want the food to be as far as possible from the heat source while it’s smoking.

These are the very simple steps I use when cold smoking which have never let me down:

If cold smoking meat or fish, you must brine your piece in a mix of your favorite spices and salt for at least 12 hours in the fridge, to cure the meat and stop bacterial growth. The quantity of spice depends on the size of your filet. Make sure your filet is well covered with your favorite rubs and tightly wrapped in your fridge, to contain the delicious yet “fishy” smell.  When ready to go, gently rinse your fillet and pat dry. If you are planning to cold smoke nuts, cheese or fruits, you can skip this step.

  • Check the outside temperature! To cold smoke, you must make sure that it’s between 4 and 15 degrees Celsius. Your smoking session will last 3 to 4 hours, so do it under the warm midday sun or after sundown to stay within that temperature range as much as possible.
  • Fill the pellet holder of your choice with enough pellets to fulfill a 3-4 hour smoking session and light the pellets on fire. Wait until the pellets have burned a few centimetres with a strong flame, then blow it off to keep the smoke going. You want to make sure the fire is strong and will work its way through after you set it up and forget about it. Too close to the fire? Don’t hesitate to wear gloves.   
  • Place the smoking pellets at the opposite end of your fish inside your BBQ, either under or on your heat deflectors.
  • After making sure you have good airflow and that your BBQ is cold smoking, close the lid and let the flavor-infused smoke slowly cook your meat.
  • For a milder flavor, smoke your meat or fish for 3 to 4 hours, and up to 10-12 hours if you prefer a very intense flavor. No matter what, you’re sure to enjoy a delicious and simple dish!

Remember that smoking with maple, cherry, and apple woods will render a softer smoky taste while hickory, oak, or mesquite will  make it more pronounced.

I love this simple recipe on any given day. Smoked salmon is great on salad, can be enjoyed with a cream cheese bagel the next day, or as a topping on white pizza. Well… that’s another recipe!

Enjoy your barbecue at this time of the year and get smoking!

For more recipes and barbecuing techniques, visit www.bbq-experts.com.

10 Tips for Grilling in Winter

10 Tips for Grilling in Winter

Temps are falling, days are getting shorter, and there’s every indication that this season we will be staying in and cooking at home more than any winter before.

Here’s one way to get by: don’t put that grill or smoker away. Instead, embrace backyard cooking through the fall and all winter long.

 

The following are 10 tips to make the most of grilling in the coming months:

  1. Don’t peek! Heat escapes quickly and you’ll be adding on cooking time. Limit lifting the lid except for turning and flipping foods.
  2. Plan on adding 25% more cooking time to compensate for cold temperatures. Use a reliable food thermometer to check.
  3. Consider adding a propane heater to your patio this year. Of course, these heaters can make barbecuing and entertaining in winter much more comfortable.
  4. Make shorter trips outside by moving your barbecue grill a little closer to the house, but make sure you still keep it at least 10 feet from any buildings or structures. Never grill in enclosed spaces, such as a garage or under an overhang, that can trap deadly carbon monoxide.
  5. Position gas grills so the wind is perpendicular to the gas flow, and not blowing the flame down the burner tubes. A sturdy patio umbrella set on its side can also serve as a wind block. When lighting the grill, do not turn the handwheel on the propane tank all the way on. Instead, use a single turn before lighting.
  6. Check that everything is in working order before using your grill. Don’t force a frozen knob or grill lid – you’ll risk cracking it or breaking the seal. Instead, move your grill to a garage where it can thaw or use a hairdryer.
  7. You’ll want to dress warmly, but avoid hazardous bulky clothing and tuck in loose scarves. A pair of easily-removable boots or shoes is a good idea when making trips in and out of the house. You’ll find heat-resistant gloves with plenty of dexterity are worth the investment.
  8. The days are shorter in the winter, and you’ll likely be grilling in the dark. While your favorite flashlight works, it can be hard to juggle with your grill tools. Clip-on or magnetic grill lamps are a handy upgrade for monitoring your cooking.
  9. Consider a wireless remote or instant read thermometer your new best friend. A leave-in remote thermometer allows you to monitor cooking temperature while you stay warm inside, and an instant read thermometer will minimize your time in the cold.
  10. When not in use (and only when completely cooled), protect your grill from the elements with a snug cover.

 

If you’re not planning to grill over the winter, it’s important to protect your grill from the harsh winter elements. Learn more here: hpbacanada.org/winterizing-your-barbecue.

Winterizing Your Barbecue

Winterizing Your Barbecue

Many of us enjoy grilling outdoors year round, but for some of us, the grilling season comes to an end when temperatures drop below freezing. If you don’t plan to grill during the winter, we recommend “winterizing” your grill. Properly caring for it during the winter months will ensure your appliance will be in good working order next season.

Cleaning the Grill

Apply non-stick spray on the grates before lighting the grill; the protective spray cuts down the clean-up time afterwards. Heat for about 15 minutes, turn off the grill and allow it to cool. If you have a charcoal grill, line the bowl with aluminum foil. After heating, and once the grill and coals are cool, discard the foil with the coals and ash.

Once the grill has cooled, use a wire brush or even crumbled aluminum foil to scrub away buildup on the grates, and discard any grease from the grease tray. Spray grease-cutting dishwashing detergent on grill and grates, scrub with brush or abrasive pad, then rinse. A repeat may be necessary.

Clean the outside of the grill, using a good stainless steel cleaner; it’s important to scrub and polish in the direction of the grain. Make sure all dirt is removed, which can get trapped in the grain.

Covering the Grill

Invest in a good cover for your appliance; this is especially important if you plan on keeping it outside. Prolonged exposure to the elements can shorten the life of your grill, no matter how high quality it is. Grill covers are a good investment, when you compare their relatively low cost to the price of replacing your grill.

Cover once the barbecue is cool and dry.

Storing the Grill

If you won’t be using your barbecue during the winter, unplug your gas from the wall or remove your propane tank. If you have space, we recommend storing the barbecue in your garage or under a covered part of your patio. It is not safe to store propane tanks in the garage; store them outside, off of the ground, and cover.

If you have cast iron grates, it’s best to bring them inside. Temperature changes can cause them to crack, and moisture in the air can cause them to rust. It’s a good idea to season them before you put them away.

Preparing Your Outdoor Living Space for Winter

It’s also important to prepare and protect the rest of your appliances and equipment, so that everything is ready to use in the spring.

Keep brick oven and fireplace doors closed and cover fire pit openings to prevent snow and ice from building up inside the unit. If snow or ice does build up on a fireplace, fire pit or brick oven, be careful to remove any loose snow or ice, warm the unit up and thaw it slowly.

It’s important to protect your pipes, so shut off water to your outdoor kitchen and drain all water lines. Leave the drain valves open.

Turn off all of the power to appliances. Clean the inside of appliances and cabinets and wipe everything down to remove residual moisture. Do not cover outdoor refrigerators or ice makers, which could cause moisture to get trapped and cause electrical damage.

Cover any sinks to prevent debris from settling in the basin. You may want to consider removing the faucet and storing it indoors. If counter tops are made of stone, consider applying a sealant to prevent leaf stains or cracks caused by freezing moisture.