An Ingredient Often Overlooked

If you have about an hour, you can whip up a nice marinade, Texas style, suitable for the family barbecue. We pride ourselves on our tasty sauces made with spicy ingredients and distilled or filtered water. Yup, you heard right. Don’t let those chemicals and chlorine mix in like they think they are required ingredients. No sir, they are not wanted. A better taste comes with a better quality of water. The Home Water Center has plenty of great water filtration products that you can check out. Buy it or make it yourself if you have a water filtering system and store it in the fridge for drinking or cooking. You don’t have to be a weird purist to want the full flavor to come out. We all do.

Barbecue Marinade

Ingredients for 8 servings

8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, large rack of ribs (pork or beef as you like it)

3 tbsp packaged brown sugar (a must to sweeten the tang)

1 tbsp ground paprika (adds interest and sparkle)

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tsp dry powdered mustard

½ tsp chili powder (this is the heat!)

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more heat!)

¼ cup water (filtered)

¼ cup distilled vinegar

2 cloves of minced garlic (optional but recommended)

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (the flavor)

1 ½ cups tomato vegetable cocktail (juice that comes in a can or bottle)

½ cup catsup (favorite brand of your choice)

You can mix everything together in a big bowl and let it fester (stew in its juices) for a while before you are ready to light the grill. The longer you let it sit, the more the flavor enriches itself. Apply it to your meat liberally on both sides, but brush the bottom off so it doesn’t fall into the flames and create and infernal havoc. It would be better to reapply it than overdo the first time. Cook as usual making sure the sauce has baked on nicely and is even a tad crusty if you like. Enjoy with your favorite beer or alternative beverage.

This is a typical recipe and there are a thousand variations and secret ingredients. For steak, people often add together soy sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, black pepper, minced onion, salad oil, filtered water (here we go again), mashed garlic, powdered or creamy mustard, and the inevitable Worcestershire sauce to taste. This is a Texas standard and you can’t go wrong. Be sure to coat both sides for lip-smacking good results.

I can vouch for these ingredients and would love to hear individual variances and substitutions. The portions also make a difference so watch what you do. There is absolutely nothing like the smell of a BBQ on a hot summer day. You can sip your ice-cold lemonade, iced tea, or favorite beer. The neighbors are sure to get friendlier (equals nosier) once they have taken a gander over the backyard fence! Are you willing to share a rib or two? In the interest of good relationships, we say make plenty of them. Then you can count on the neighbors to bring homemade pecan pie for dessert.