Jacked Up for the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational

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You know Jack Daniel’s® for their infamously tasty whiskey in its iconic bottle and black label. While we’re no stranger to the whiskey, we also know JD for its annual BBQ competition held on-site at the distillery each October. What exactly does this “non-whiskey-related” Jack Daniel’s fun we speak of entail? Well, there’s still plenty of JD involved, but most importantly, it includes the country’s top barbecue teams and about 25,000 fans from around the world all there to celebrate one thing…Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue.

Competitors competed for titles in 7 categories in either an invitational or amateur bracket:
– Chicken
– Pork Ribs Pork Shoulder
– Butts
– Beef Brisket
– Dessert
– Cook’s Choice
– Jack Daniel’s Sauce

For the occasion, we’re sharing our JD Butter is Betta’ recipe – because Jack, in spreadable form, is just too good to resist, and we want you to live life to the fullest.

Cowboy’s Jacked Up Butter
A pat of this butter on top of a hot, Cowboy-seared steak or on French Toast adds the perfect kick to your flavor palette.

– 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
– 2 shots of Jack Daniel’s
– 1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
– 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
– 1 teaspoon salt
– White pepper to taste

– Combine all ingredients except for 1 shot of Jack, in a food processor (or use electric hand-mixer).
– Blend until smooth and slightly fluffy
– Slowly add in the rest of the whiskey and continue to mix (If consistency gets too runny, leave out the rest of the whiskey.)
– Once combined, place butter on a large sheet of wax paper in a sheet pan.
– Put the pan in the fridge until butter has firmed up slightly (about 15 minutes)
– Once firm, remove the sheet pan and roll the butter into a log using the wax paper
– Place the formed log back in the fridge until hard and firm.
– When ready to use, slice into rounds and enjoy!

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    It’s the Great Grilled Pumpkin, Cowboy!


    It’s that time of the year…the leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp and chilly and everything pumpkin flavored is hitting the shelves. We thought we’d head back to the vine and grill up some dishes that feature real pumpkin as the main ingredient. It’s also the perfect time to kick-off the fall grilling season, which is one we love dearly.

    What are your favorite pumpkin dishes to grill? Share them with us at theroundup@cowboycharcoal.com and your recipe could be featured on our blog and Facebook page!

    Grilled Pumpkin with Rosemary, Goat Cheese & Arugula
    Makes 4 Servings
    – 1 small sugar pumpkin
    – 1 teaspoon sea salt
    – 1 teaspoon rosemary
    – 1 teaspoon olive oil
    – 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
    – 2 cups arugula

    – Prepare grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal, ensuring grates are cleaned and oiled
    – Slice pumpkin in half and clean out the inside (be sure to wash the outside of your pumpkin as well)
    – Once cleaned, slice into 1 inch thick slices and brush with olive oil
    – Sprinkle each slice with sea salt and rosemary
    – Place onto hot grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear
    – For one serving, place 2 to 3 slices on a bed of arugula
    – Sprinkle lightly with additional sea salt and rosemary
    – Add goat cheese crumbles to the top and garnish with a rosemary sprig

    Check out this tasty recipe for Pumpkin Chipotle BBQ sauce from the Country Chic Cottage. This sauce would be great to use as a marinade on chicken wings or pork chops…yum!

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      Mint Chutney Lamb Chops with Moroccan BBQ Sauce & Grilled Potatoes

      Mint Chutney Lamb Chop With Moroccan BBQ Sauce

      This recipe is delicious and easy to make. Delight your guests at your next barbecue or enjoy any time.

      Potato Ingredients:
      – 1 pound potatoes, we suggest fingerling, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
      – 2 cups white vinegar
      – 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
      – 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
      – 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

      Potato Directions:
      – Add sliced potatoes and vinegar to a medium saucepan (vinegar should cover potatoes) and bring to a boil.
      – Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer potatoes until just fork tender (about 5 minutes).
      – Let potatoes cool in the vinegar for 30 minutes.
      – Once cooled, drain the potatoes and gently toss with the oil, salt and pepper.
      – Fill the grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light it.
      – Once coals are ashed over, place potato slices in a single layer on the grill grate.
      – Cook slices until grill marks appear and slices are browned on both sides.
      – Remove from heat, place on a serving tray and top with a pinch of salt.


      Mint Chutney Marinade
      *Note: Prepare marinade at least 4 hours prior to allow flavors to meld together.
      – 1 cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed
      – 1/2 cup olive oil
      – 1/2 cup chopped green onions
      – 3 tablespoons parsley leaves
      – 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      – 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
      – 1 teaspoon salt
      – 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
      – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

      Mix the above ingredients in a blender until smooth.


      Moroccan BBQ Sauce Ingredients:
      – 3/4 cup honey
      – 1/2 cup fresh cilantro sprigs
      – 1/3 cup lemon juice
      – 1/4 cup rice vinegar
      – 1/4 cup ketchup
      – 1/4 cup soy sauce
      – 1 clove garlic
      – 1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
      – 3/4 teaspoon black peppercorns ground
      – 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
      – 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, whole cloves
      – 1/4 teaspoon crushed chili flakes
      – Pinch salt

      Moroccan BBQ Sauce Directions:
      – Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
      – Stir sauce frequently and continue to cook until it is reduced to about 1 1/4 cups (about 15 minutes).
      – Pour sauce through a fine strainer into a bowl and set aside.


      Lamb Chop Preparation:
      – Place the lamb chops in a bowl and cover with approximately 1/4 cup of the Mint Chutney Marinade. Reserving the rest of the marinade to serve as a dipping sauce.
      – Turn and coat chops well with the marinade.
      – Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours (no longer than 24 hours).
      – Remove the chops from the marinade and season both sides with salt and pepper.
      – Fill the grill with Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal and light it.
      – Once coals are ashed over, place chops on the grate and cook 5-7 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
      – Remove from heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.
      – Place each chop on top of a potato slice and finish with a drizzle for Moroccan BBQ Sauce.
      – Serve the reserved Mint Chutney Marinade and the remaining Moroccan BBQ Sauce alongside for added flavor.

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        Our Trip to the 35th Annual American Royal!

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        This past weekend was the weekend to top ALL weekends for BBQ enthusiasts…The American Royal World Series of BBQ® in Kansas City.

        But first, let’s start with a little BBQ history. In 1908, Henry Perry, an ex-steamboat cook found himself in Kansas City. To make ends meet, he began selling smoked meats in an alley to laborers in search of a quick, low-cost lunch…visualize beef brisket and wild game smoked over an open pit served in day-old newspaper. After bouncing from block to bock, the stand eventually found a home in an old trolley barn. As KC ‘s infamous jazz scene exploded, Henry’s quaint little BBQ stand became a KC icon, and Henry came to be known as the father of Kansas City Barbecue.

        The American Royal World Series of BBQ® is one of the most renowned BBQ competitions in the world, and we just couldn’t miss it! Set in one of the United States’ most prolific BBQ states, Kansas City has been buzzing with excitement all week. Today KC has over 100 different BBQ restaurants!

        So, what makes Kansas City BBQ unique? They aren’t partial to one type of slow-smoked meat over another, and they’re no stranger to using various types of wood for added flavor. And, we can’t forget that delicious, tomato-molasses based sauce!

        For those of you that haven’t been to the American Royal, we’d highly recommend putting it on your bucket list…especially if you’re a BBQ lover. The size of this event is hard to grasp without actually experiencing it. The event covers 52 square miles! Now that’s A LOT of BBQ!

        When we arrived at the Royal, we headed straight for the Operation BBQ Relief! We had heard they were prepping for their 2nd Annual Hawg with a Heart Pigapalooza fundraiser! If you’re not familiar with OBR, they’re a fantastic, not-for-profit corporation founded in May 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri. In the wake of this nearly unprecedented destruction, competition barbecue teams from 8 states answered the call to help feed displaced families and emergency personnel including police, fire, and the National Guard. The group, headed by Stan Hays (County Line Smokers), Jeff Stith (Big Creek BBQ) and Will Cleaver (Sticks N Chicks BBQ), was able to serve over 120,000 barbecue meals to those who were affected by the disaster.

        This year’s Hawg with a Heart Pigapalooza was hosted onsite at the American Royal! The OBR crew was cooking up four whole hogs, among other delicious BBQ fair, using our very own Cowboy Charcoal! We were delighted to be a part of the efforts to raise money for this very deserving and hardworking organization.

        The American Royal Association is also a non-profit organization that has been working to provide scholarships, education, awards and competitive learning experiences since 1899. So, not only is it a great opportunity to sample some of the best BBQ on earth, it’s also an opportunity to learn about and support an incredible cause.

        Our hats are off to all the great teams that competed and won this past weekend! It was an honor to sample some of the world’s best BBQ.

        Some of our favorite photos from the weekend are below. Did you attend the American Royal? If so, we’d love to know what you thought of the event!

        The Cowboy Charcoal Booth at the American Royal

        Cowboy Booth_Both Attendants

        The Operation BBQ Relief Booth

        OBR Booth_Food Line

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          Fall Bounty on the Barbie!

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          Although the peak season for summer’s classic produce offerings has come and gone, autumn presents a whole different range of grillable garden options—from squash and eggplant to apples!

          Here’s our recipe for grilled, spiced butternut squash and apple skewers. They’d pair perfectly with a pork roast and spinach salad or any other cozy fall food.

          Spiced Butternut Squash & Apple Skewers
          – One medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
          – 3 firm, tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (Granny Smith or similar)
          – 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
          – 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

          – 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
          – 2 tablespoons brown sugar
          – 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

          – Bring large pot of water to a boil. Boil squash until tender, but still firm (about 10 minutes)
          – Drain the squash and rinse under water to stop cooking process.
          – In a large bowl, toss apples and cooked squash in vegetable oil
          – Add spices, sugar and salt and toss again until apples and squash are thoroughly coated
          – Alternate apples and squash on metal or soaked wooden skewers (about 5 or 6 pieces per skewer)
          – Grill over hot coals for 5-7 minutes per side.
          – Serve as a side dish or appetizer

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