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Beef Tenderloin is incredible cooked on the smoker. We’re using the reverse sear method to create an incredible smoky flavor, then finishing it over a hot grill for that perfect sear, and then slicing it into medallions to serve.

This post is sponsored by Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. All opinions are my own.

Whether a holiday dinner or special occasion, various cuts of beef create a great option for crowds, and can be adapted for use on a grill or smoker. Our smoke roasted beef Tenderloin is the perfect example. This step by step process follows the reverse sear method to give you the perfect, tender smoked beef Tenderloin every time.

But first let’s talk about beef Tenderloin.

What is Beef Tenderloin  — The Cut

Beef Tenderloin is a muscle that comes from the rear or backbone of the cow beneath the ribs. This location is why this lean and tender cut is so sought after. Beef Tenderloin is the most tender beef muscle that comes from the area under the backbone of the animal. That is why the luscious, soft, and buttery flavor of tenderloin is so delicious.

We like to simplify the whole tenderloin into three parts.

  • The Butt
  • The Center Cut
  • The Tail

Have questions on various grades of beef? Check out this great article on the grading system from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. when making a decision on buying beef tenderloin.

How to Trim Beef Tenderloin

When buying a whole beef Tenderloin, you will see either peeled or unpeeled. Unpeeled has the silver skin and surrounding muscle still on it, often referred to as “the chain”. Peeled typically has all of that removed (and much easier for when you trim). Regardless of which you find, you will still need to do some trimming. For our smoked beef Tenderloin, we are using the center cut.

Pro-Tip – Buying large beef cuts, like tenderloin, prime rib, or strip loin is a great way to save money. Just trim and then cut up the steaks, and vacuum freeze until you’re ready to use them.

First, trim off the tail, or the thinner tapered side so the center cut tenderloin is a consistent size. This is important for consistent internal temperature while cooking.

Option – You can tuck the tail back and tie it along the tenderloin, this method is common when roasting in the oven. For this recipe, cut off the tail and use for a stir fry.

Next, cut off the butt end. There will be a few areas of muscle that are loose or were removed when separating the loin, such as the chain. Bring the knife along the edge of the loin on the butt end and remove the flap meat and then bring a vertical slice to remove butt from the tenderloin for the same consistent size. Save this trim, or butt, for smaller steaks, or to cook for sliced steak sandwiches.

Finally what is left is the center cut. Remove the silver skin and larger pieces of fat. This is the step where you can slice filet mignon from the cut if you wanted to make individual steaks. Leaving the center cut tenderloin whole (sometimes referred to as the Chateaubriand steak) for the smoker is much easier for smoking and grilling, otherwise known as the reverse searing method.

What Is The Best Seasoning for Beef Tenderloin on the Grill or Smoker

Our go-to beef dry rub is a simple mix of equal parts kosher salt, coarse ground pepper, and granulated garlic (not garlic powder). This cut is lean and delicious on its own, so we simply want to compliment the beefy flavor.

How to Reverse Sear Beef Tenderloin – Smoke Roasting

For smoke roasting we follow our basic reverse sear method. This incorporates a wood smoke flavor profile, and then finish with roasting temperature, or high heat, to get the exterior texture expected in a roasted tenderloin.

What is the reverse sear method?

  • Smoke – Process in which the lower heat and smoke will flavor the meat. We use apple wood and smoke at 250 degrees F until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 130 degrees F. The Tenderloin is not done yet, we are going to continue cooking over high heat to our desired finishing temperature of 145 degrees F.
  • Sear – When the beef tenderloin reaches the desired smoke internal temperature of 130 degrees, remove the meat and add it to a high heat to finish. (Grill, Broiler, or cast iron pan). In this case we removed the meat, then increased the temperature of the grill (getting it nice and hot), then finish it by searing it over the hot grill. Alternatively you can finish it in a searing hot cast-iron pan, if your pan is large enough for your loin.

  • Rest – Critical step to remove the meat from the grill at your desired internal temperature, which for us is 140 degrees F, and let rest for 15. The internal temperature will rise to 145 degrees F. The resting period allows the cells to cool slowly and absorb the moisture back in so the meat stays juicy.

What Internal Temperature Do I Cook Whole Beef Tenderloin To?

For this cut and for a crowd we cook the beef tenderloin to medium rare, or 140 degrees Fahrenheit (it will temp up to 145, see below). Be sure temperature is taken in various areas of the beef tenderloin using a good instant read thermometer.

Pull at 140 degrees F, because of the cooking process called carryover cooking. The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise another 5 degrees to the target temperature of 145 degrees F as it rests. This avoids overshooting the target temperature. You can check out this link on additional details on determining doneness.

What to Serve With Beef Tenderloin

Add a simple finish to the beef tenderloin with a compound herb butter. This can also be modified as a pan sauce. Simply combine room temperature unsalted butter, finely diced herbs, finely grated garlic, and a touch of salt. Add to the sliced steak as you plate and it will melt into the tender meat.

Pro Tip – Use a fine mesh cheese grater for the peeled garlic, it is so much easier than mincing using a knife.

For sides, beef tenderloin is perfect with grilled broccolini, roasted potatoes,  or your favorite sautéed greens.

Slice the beef tenderloin in small medallions of 2 to 3 ounces each and serve two to a plate. Now go grab your beef tenderloin, invite your friends over for a great memorable meal, and get smoking!

Recipe for Reverse Seared Smoked Beef Tenderloin

Reverse Seared Beef Tenderloin

Smoked low and slow and then finished hot and fast over charcoal.

  • 1 3-4 pound center cut Beef Tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Dry Rub
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coarse ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated garlic
Compound Butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 peeled garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Trim beef tenderloin. Cut off the tail, remove the butt end for a uniform center cut whole tenderloin, save the scraps for other dishes. Remove the silver skin and excess fat.

  2. In a small bowl, combine dry rub ingredients. Coat the trimmed beef tenderloin with the olive oil, and liberally apply the dry rub to the tenderloin. Cover tenderloin in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours prior to cooking.

  3. Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator and remove from plastic wrap. Prepare your smoker using apple or other fruit wood at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. Place the tenderloin on the smoker, covered, until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees. This should take approximately 45 minutes to an hour. Once the temperature of the meat reaches 130 degrees remove tenderloin.

  5. Prepare grill for high heat or direct grilling. Grill tenderloin 3 minutes per side and remove when the internal temperature of the tenderloin is 140 degrees F, about 8 – 12 minutes total. You will find the tenderloin has roughly three sides as it smokes and makes it easy to rotate.

  6. Remove from heat and let rest prior to slicing, this is when carry over cooking will take the internal temperature to 145 degrees F. Prepare compound butter by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Slice the tenderloin into 2-ounce medallions, and serve two to a dish. Using a spatula add about ½ tablespoon of compound butter to the warm steak where it will melt.

What Wine to Pair with Beef Tenderloin?

Beef Tenderloin is a lean cut of beef packed with flavor. Which means for wine, a less tannic wine is best like a Merlot from Sonoma or Washington state, or Rhone Valley Syrah. You can read more about pairing at this link.

 

The post Smoked Beef Tenderloin – Reverse Seared appeared first on Vindulge.

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Grilled Peach Crostini with Mascarpone and Honey is the perfect summer appetizer.

Grilling peaches is a must during the summer months! Grilled peach wedges and baguette slices are grilled up, the bread is topped with some creamy mascarpone, layered with a grilled peach wedge, and topped with honey and a drizzle of aged balsamic and fresh mint. You’re gonna love this summer treat!

We grill alllll the fruit in the summer months, especially as they start to reach their peak freshness. Nearly all tree fruits do well grilled hot and fast, and we love to use fresh Pacific Northwest berries to smoke low and slow and incorporate into savory sauces or cocktails.

But there’s just something about peaches that makes them extra tasty when grilled, and one of my favorites. They’re great on their own, served over ice cream, pizzas, or like we’re doing today, as a topping for a simple and delicious crostini. This is a fantastic appetizer (or meal, as I proved when making one of the test batches )

So let’s get started!

Do peaches need to be ripe to grill?

It’s much easier to slice and remove pits, when peaches are slightly under ripe. While the taste of under ripe peaches won’t be as sweet as a fully ripe peach, it will grill easier. And when you grill peaches it brings out and intensifies the natural sweetness in peaches, so the flavor will be maximized when you finally bite into the grilled fruit and the result will be sweet, caramelized, and oh-so-delicious.

How to halve and pit peaches for grilling

The easiest way we find to prep peaches for this recipe, is to slice the fruit into wedges and work out the wedges in preparation for grilling. Hold the peach with one hand (or on a cutting board) and find the natural seam that runs from one end to the other, and run along that with your knife, and gently remove one wedge at a time.

Alternatively, using both hands, slice the peach in half using that natural seam and twist the peaches until you have 2 halves. This is easier with firm peaches. Soften peaches will have to be cut into individual wedges to remove because they will otherwise crush as you try to separate the halves.

Using a spoon or pairing knife to gently loosen the pit and remove, after it has been halved, is helpful.

How to grill peaches

Once you’ve sliced your peaches into wedges, drizzle them with olive oil and place them on a hot grill for about 3-4 minutes per side, until you see grill marks and they look slightly caramelized.

Pro Tip: The grill needs to be blazing hot, like 500 degree sear hot. Otherwise the peaches will not sear, they will get mushy.

How to serve grilled peaches
  • Over ice cream
  • Drizzled with honey
  • A topping for grilled flatbread
  • With grilled pork or chicken
  • Accompanying a salad
  • On top of grilled baguette slices, like the following grilled peach crostini
Grilled Peach Crostini Recipe

Once the peaches are grilled, toast up baguette slices on the same grill. Just coat them with olive oil on one side, place them for 1-2 minutes per side over direct heat to get a nice toasted char, then remove and assemble your crostini.

To assemble, place about a teaspoon of mascarpone cheese on each slice of baguette, layer with a slice of grilled peaches, and drizzle with honey (fresh or smoked honey), some aged balsamic vinegar, and chopped fresh mint. So perfect!

Grilled Peach Crostini with Mascarpone and Honey

  • 4 peaches, pitted and sliced into wedges ((slightly underripe peaches work best))
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 baguette, sliced into 24 slices
  • 8 oz mascarpone
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • honey, for drizzling ((smoked honey or fresh))
  • aged balsamic, for drizzling
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  1. Prepare the grill for direct heat cooking. If using a gas grill, set to medium heat.

  2. To grill the peaches: Halve and pit the peaches, and then slice into wedges. Alternatively, slice into wedges while removing the pit. Brush each peach wedge with olive oil

  3. Place the wedges on the grill and cook for 3 minutes per side, or until desired char marks. Flip and grill the other side for 3 additional minutes. Remove.

  4. Grill baguette slices: Brush top of slices with olive oil. Place baguette slices on the grill over direct heat and cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until toasted and grill marks appear. Remove.

  5. Assemble the crostini: Layer the grilled baguette slices with approximately 1 teaspoon of mascarpone, a grilled peach slice, a drizzle of honey, a small drizzle (less than 1/4 teaspoon) of aged balsamic, then top with a pinch of fresh mint.

Smoked honey: We love using smoked honey for this (made similar this recipe, but before incorporating it with butter), but you can use whatever honey you have lying around. 

Wine Pairing for Grilled Peach Crostini

This dish isn’t as sweet as it looks. It has the savory toasted baguette and creamy mascarpone to balance out some of the sweetness. I also recommend serving as an appetizer. Bubbly Moscato d’Asti works great with this, as does a fruity Prosecco. The bubbles are a great match for the creamy cheese, and you’ll find some bright peach characteristics to the wines. Alternatively, Riesling and Pinot Gris (Grigio) work well too.

Want more grilled fruit recipes?

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes.

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Smoked Beef Ribs are the ultimate treat for beef lovers. Slowly smoked, these giant ribs are rich, tender, and melt in your mouth like butter! 

For this recipe we’re using Plate Short Ribs, because it’s my all time favorite cut of beef. Find out why.

Short ribs are my favorite cut of beef of all time. Slowly smoked, sometimes finished in a wine braise, until tender as butter, and served alone or over some kind of root vegetable puree. It’s what I request for Mother’s Day every year. But one year Sean surprised me with a whole plate of my favorite cut of beef, and decided to smoke the whole thing. It was fantastic and made us more curious about cooking the whole plate vs the store-bought pre-sliced ribs. What do I mean by this?
Read on…

Beef Ribs – The Cut

There are a number of beef ribs you can buy including chuck ribs, beef back ribs, and our favorite, short ribs.

For our smoked beef ribs, we are using plate short ribs. Short ribs (or the plate ribs when they are not cut up) come from the belly area of beef ribs versus closer to the spine. The bones are straight, and often you see these already butchered in small 2 to 3-inch pieces (like in this recipe).

You can also purchase these ribs as a “plate” which is typically three bones.

This cut is similar to pork spare ribs for reference. Because the ribs are closer to the belly, the marbling is incredible, and requires a slow cooking process to best get the fork tender texture.

Pro Tip – Call your butcher in advance, ask them when they get their short rib plates delivered. Reserve the entire plate before they use the saw, as it is not common for anyone to go into a store just for a plate. You can also shop online and have it delivered. These ones were ordered from Snake River Farms (we love the quality of their beef).

Preparing Beef Ribs for Smoking

Smoking beef ribs low and slow allows the intra-muscular fat to break down over time. Keeping the ribs whole prior to smoking is important so they can cook evenly. You can certainly smoke short ribs in the smaller cuts from your butcher, or as single ribs, but these large plates serve a crowd really well. Single beef ribs fall over during the cooking process, and it just looks really cool for your photo bragging.

  • Trim excess silver skin off the top of the ribs. This exposes more of the meat and that silver skin is not going to render out.
  • Use a binding agent for the rub. This helps the rub stick. We recommend olive oil.
  • Keep the rub simple. Beef ribs are often called brisket on a stick, and good quality beef really does not need much dry rub. Keep it simple with salt, pepper, garlic (or SPG), witch a touch of cayenne for heat.

Smoking Short Ribs — The Cook

As mentioned, plate short ribs are a lot like spare ribs from pork. Our process is simple for smoking, it just takes time. We add extra flavor by adding wine to our spritz combined with beef stock. For wood we like hickory for that balance of sweet and smoke, oak also works really well.

Why a spritz? It adds a little more flavor to the beef as it cooks and the moisture helps as the smoke looks to adhere to the meat during the cooking process. We wait to spritz until we see a nice bark form, generally around the 2 hour mark from the start of smoking.

Simple steps for smoking short ribs:
  • Smoke for a couple of hours to develop bark
  • Spritz to add moisture and allow the smoke to adhere to the meat
  • Remove when at desired temperature and let rest
  • Slice, serve, and eat

As the ribs cook, the meat will pull back on the bone, which is normal. The most important part of cooking plate ribs is giving enough time to get to the right temperature so the fat is rendered out.

The photo on the left is the cook at about 2 hours. That’s when we knew it was time to start spritzing. The photo on the right was after 7 hours of total cook time, just before we pulled them off the grill. See the difference in how much they pulled back from the bones?

What temperature to cook beef ribs to?

Between 200-210 degrees (F) internal temperature is the sweet spot. Similar to brisket, this will take several hours to slowly get to. There is no exact time as each rack will be different (it could take 6 hours total, or up to 8, there are always factors that will effect total time). Be patient. It’s worth every minute! We like to use a bluetooth probe thermometer to monitor the cook throughout, and double check with an instant read thermometer like the Thermapen Mk4.

Your efforts will reward you!

Recipe for Smoked Beef Ribs

Smoked Beef Ribs

How to smoke the most incredible beef ribs. Smoked Beef Plate Ribs are rich, tender, and melt in your mouth like butter. 

  • 2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 3 bone plate beef short ribs (about 8 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine (like merlot)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  1. Prepare ribs by trimming the silver skin and excess fat off the top of the ribs the day before cooking. Combine pepper, salt, granulated garlic, and cayenne into a small bowl.

  2. Coat the ribs with olive oil, and liberally apply dry rub, cover and place back into the fridge overnight.

  3. The day of cooking, preheat the smoker to 275 degrees F. At the same time, remove the ribs from the refrigerator. Insert a meat thermometer probe like the Smoke unit (optional) and place onto the smoker when it reaches temperature. 

  4. Combine the wine and beef stock into a food safe spray bottle for your spritz.

  5. Smoke for two hours, and then begin spritzing every 30 minutes for up to an additional 4 to 6 hours. As the internal temperature of the beef ribs reads 200 degrees, begin probing with a handheld instant read thermometer looking for consistent temperature of somewhere between 200-210, and that the probe inserts easily, like inserting into room temperature butter. This could take more time if your ribs are large. Always cook to temperature, not exact time. 

  6. When at temperature, remove from smoker, and wrap in foil or butcher paper, and place into a cooler (with no ice) to rest for at least 30 minutes. Remove and slice between the bones and serve with your favorite side like polenta or a root vegetable puree.

Video for Beef Ribs

Do I need to wrap my beef ribs?

No, wrapping isn’t necessary. While it may speed up the cook, the lower heat and the intramuscular fat in the beef ribs will keep the beef juicy as it comes to temperature. If you do wrap, it will speed up how quickly the internal temperature rise to 200 degrees, so adjust your total cooking time appropriately.

Should I rest my beef ribs?

Yes. As meat warms, the cells expand and the intramuscular fat renders down. Resting the beef ribs, or any meat, allows the carry over cooking to complete, and the cells to start to contract and pull that moisture back in. This is often why you hear that cutting a hot piece of meat straight off the grill will spill the juices all over.

Where to find plate ribs?

As we mentioned you can call your local butcher for them. We use Snake River Farms and they can mail order all over the US. You can find short ribs here. The best part is they will mail order to your door. The marbling on the American Wagyu beef is tremendous and worth any special occasion.

Wine Pairing for Beef Ribs

These incredible melt in your mouth ribs are juicy and tender and super rich. Typically I pair bold food with bold wine, but this cut of meat, when slowly smoked, is incredibly rich. I don’t want an overly rich wine because I’m going to be full and tired from the first bite and sip. Instead I want a red that’s not going to weigh me down, but still strong enough to not get lost in the flavors of the meat. Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon can be great with this (and not as intense as its neighbors in Napa). The fruit is prettier, and the tannins aren’t as bold.

Rhône based blends, or Rhône-style GSM blends (Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre) made outside of France, Italian reds (such as Sangiovese and Barbera), even some Zinfandels (those on the lower alcohol side), all work great with this dish.

*This post contains affiliate links for Thermoworks digital thermometers. We only recommend products we use and love! And to make this recipe, a good digital thermometer is key! 

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

The post Smoked Beef Plate Ribs Recipe appeared first on Vindulge.

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11 Rosé Recommendations Perfect for Summer. From light to bold, find out about rosé wines and some of our current favorites. 

I like to review wines the way most people taste them, with food. Many of the wine reviews you’ll see on this site are accompanied by a recipe. When we test recipes we usually open a few different wines of various styles that we think will work, then write about the best pairing.

But often we taste wines — either those sent as samples for review or those we purchase on our own – that are definitely worthy of mention even though they weren’t part of a recipe. These wines below fit that bill.

Summer is knocking at our door, and for me that means bring on the pink! We love to drink rosé wine year-round, but they are fairly limited in what you can get. This time of year, rosé wines are everywhere. In fact, they’re a little overwhelming. So we’re going to start this post with a little primer about what the heck is this pink wine anyways? You’ll notice that most of the wines on this list are from Oregon, and, well, that’s because that’s what we’ve been drinking this spring. There is a great flock of Oregon rosé this year, and I want you to know about it.

Bonus: a few of these wines made it to my Wine of the Week. That is a weekly feature I generally reserve for my newsletter subscribers, but wanted to give a sneak preview here. The reviews in my newsletter go into more detail and depth on the wines, and also show you where you can purchase them. If you’re interested in our weekly WOTW feature, you can subscribe to our newsletter here to receive that and other exclusive features for our awesome group of subscribers

Bring on the  Rosé

Yes way, Rosé! Rosé is an amazing expression of winemaking that takes on so many flavors and variations throughout the world. We aren’t talking about white zinfandel here. Rosé wine of today is sophisticated, acidic, great with food, and will run the full range of flavors.

These wines are generally produced from red grapes. When grapes are pressed (before fermentation), the juice of nearly every single grape runs clear. The skins give wine its color. With red wines, the grapes are pressed and ferment with their skins attached. With white wines, the skins are removed before fermentation, leaving that pure juice and clear color.

How is rosé wine made?
  • Letting skin of red wine grapes stay in contact with the juice for a few hours (up to 24 hours in some cases) to get a pinkish hue, before the juice is separated from the skins.
  • Blending red and white wine together – common for sparking rosé wine (but not so common in still rosé).
  • Saignée, or “bleeding,” whereby grapes sit in their skins, allowing some the juice to “bleed” off into a new vat to produce a rosé. What remains of the red will be more concentrated and intense.

The intent of the style will be very specific from winemaker to winemaker. Slightly fruity, acidic, range of dry to sweet, all represent what to expect. The key is finding the style you like and experiment. Not a bad deal, right?

There’s so much more to what goes into a great rosé, and I go into more depth in our upcoming book. You’ll have to stay tuned to learn more. But for now this is a good start!

Favorite Rosés of 2019 (so far!)

2018 Domaine Divio Rose Rosé (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

This has to be one of the best ones we’ve had this season. It’s what I love in an Oregon rosé. Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this wine offers fresh strawberries, bright cherries, and mild watermelon. It’s fresh and clean throughout with bright and crisp acidity. I could probably drink this one everyday this summer. Bright, light, fresh, crisp, and balanced. What more could you want in a summer sipper?

12.8% abv  |  $28
*Wine of the week, May 24

2018 Willakenzie Estate Rosé (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

I bought this at the winery after taking my mom wine tasting on Mother’s Day. We all fell in love with it (even my mom, who only ever enjoys Moscato). Now this one tastes nothing like Moscato, but everything that’s delicious about Oregon rosé. It’s fresh, clean, bright, and very mildly tart in finish (in the best way). Mild cherry, some citrus, mild minerality on finish

Very mild and fresh, this Provence style rosé is going to be one I’ll reach for again this summer.

13.6% abv  |  $28

2018 Chehalem Rosé of Pinot Noir (Chehelam Mountains, Willamette Valley, Oregon)

Crisp, with bright light red berry fruit, some cranberry, tangerine, and rich orange zest. A pretty wine with fairly mild-ish tones (not too light, not intense at all), with night fresh acidity driving it throughout. It’s also quite versatile and will pair with a wide range or summer flavors.

13.2%  |  $25

2018 Child’s Play Pinot Noir Rosé (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

The color on this was super bold, suggesting bold flavors inside, which it had (in the best of ways). Similar to the previous vintage of the same wine, this isn’t your light and airy Provençale style of rosé, but it’s still darn tasty with deep cherry, raspberry, and strawberry rhubarb pie flavors with lovely balancing acidity. This one’s screaming for summer BBQs and cookouts. This wine can handle some bigger summer flavors! I’ll even go as far as suggesting you pair it with your smoked ribs!

13.8% |  $30

2018 Sokol Blosser Estate Rosé of Pinot Noir (Dundee Hills, Oregon)

Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, this one came off quite citrusy and grapefruity. I almost could take it for a Sauvignon Blanc. It quickly opened up to some red berry fruit and a touch of peach. Nice and bright, just a bit different than what I’m used to for Oregon rosé. A good one for summer salads.

12% abv. |  $25

2018 Rain Dance Vineyards Rosé, Grand Oak Vineyard (Chehalem Mountains, Oregon)

Light, bright, and fresh with lots of tangerine and dried apricot. I really like the balance of this one. It would be perfect for this grilled beet salad with rosé infused cranberries!

14.1% ava  |  $24

2018 Stoller Family Estate Rosé (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

Year after year I look forward to Stoller’s Rosé, and this year did not disappoint. It’s pretty boldly aromatic with bright juicy strawberries, cherries, herbs, and citrus peel (think pink grapeftuit). It’s energetic and lively in the mouth with mouthwatering acidity. It’s on the bolder side this year, and could handle grilled meats, including a flank steak salad.

12.5% abv  |  $25

2018 Marshall Davis Pinot Noir Rosé (Yamhill-Carlton, Willamette Valley, Oregon)

Made from 100% Pinot Noir, barrel fermented and aged in French Oak for 3 months, this one had lots of orange rind and tangerine flavors along with some lime and tart cherries that felt a bit underripe (but in a good way!). Quite nice, light, bright, fresh and tasty.

12.7% abv  |  $25

2017 Masciarelli Rosato (Colline Teatine, Central Italy)

Peach, strawberries, and citrus fruit on nose with some wet stone-like minerality. This one gets pretty lively in the mouth with some tangerine and orange peel. It’s got some lingering acidity and a touch of Meyer lemon. Easy drinking and another solid value for the price.

12.5% abv  |  $12

2018 Mandrarossa Perricone Rosé (Terre Siciliane, Italy)

Bright tropical notes, papaya, pineapple, and guava meet with fresh juicy strawberries. Refreshing, mildly tart with lively acidity, this one’s a great value at

$12% abv  |  $12

2018 Chateau Minuty ‘M de Minuty’ Rosé (Cotes de Provence, France)

Made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, this light and bright easy drinking wine has lots of orange peel, strawberries and ripe pears. It’s fresh and prime and ready for a picnic with a nice cheese and charcuterie spread.

12.5%. | $17

If you want to learn about our featured Wines of the Week, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive reviews, recommendations, and tips!

*Many of these wines were were media samples for review.  See my sample policy here. 

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Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken is quick, easy, and oh so delicious. Add lime for a citrus pop and fresh diced jalapeño and you have a lip smacking dish for your next grill night.

We can’t get enough grilled chicken recipes around here. It’s a weekly staple, and our kids love this healthy protein!

This version spends a couple hours in a buttermilk marinade to tenderize and flavor, then grilled hot and fast and finished with a sweet and spicy apricot lime glaze.

This is a fantastic way to do grilled chicken that’s likely to become your summer favorite.

Buttermilk Bath How to make a buttermilk bath

Simply add buttermilk and your chicken pieces into a large gallon size bag and mix together and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours. After the bath remove the chicken and allow it to dry on a baking rack (in the fridge) for 1 hour. This will help get the skin ready for the grill (and ensure the skin gets nice and crispy instead of soggy from retaining that moisture).

Why is buttermilk a good marinade?

Buttermilk is an acid, and soaking chicken in a buttermilk bath will help to tenderize the meat. It also adds a nice tang to the flavor of the meat. This is a common practice when making fried chicken, but also works great for grilled chicken too.

Is the buttermilk bath necessary?

No. If you don’t have time you can skip this step. BUT if you do have time, we highly recommend it as it will help to create tender and juicy chicken once cooked over the grill!

Apricot Glaze

Next up prepare your apricot glaze. This comes together very quickly. Soften up some shallots and jalapeños, in olive oil, then add garlic, apricot jam, and fresh squeezed lime and mix together to incorporate. Set aside.

Don’t have apricot jam? This works great with mango jam too! Mix and match and try it out with your favorite jam flavor.

To Grill the Chicken

Set your grill up for direct/indirect (or two zone) cooking. If you’re using a gas grill, set it to medium heat.

Place your chicken pieces over direct heat for 4-5 minutes per side, and once they’ve developed a nice crust, move them to the indirect side and continue cooking until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 155 degrees.

Once the meat is close to finish (when it reaches 155 degrees) it’s time to glaze the chicken.

You don’t want to glaze too soon, otherwise you run the risk of burning the chicken since the sauce contains sugar (sugar and flames create burn).

Once the meat reaches 160 – 162 degrees pull the chicken and apply one more layer of glaze on the meat and let it rest 10 – 15 minutes. This allows carry over cooking to bring the internal temperature to 165.

Next is the fun part… time to eat!

Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken

Easy recipe for Apricot Glazed Grilled Chicken. Chicken pieces, soaked in a buttermilk bath, grilled to perfection, and finished with a sweet and spicy apricot glaze. 

  • 1 whole 4-5 lb chicken, cut into individual pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup dry rub
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
For the Apricot Glaze:
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeño diced, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup apricot jam
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
For the Buttermilk Bath:
  1. Pat dry chicken.

  2. In a large bowl or wide deep dish combine buttermilk, dry rub, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine. Place chicken into buttermilk bath, cover with plastic wrap, and place in fridge to marinate for 2-3 hours.

  3. Remove chicken from the marinade. Place on a drying rack (we used a drying rack on top of a foil lined cookie sheet pan). Place back in fridge, uncovered, for one hour.

For the Apricot Glaze:
  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat sauté shallots and jalapeños in olive oil for 8 minutes or until translucent. Add garlic and let cook 1-2 minutes. Add jam and honey, stir, and bring to a slight simmer. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 additional minutes.

  2. Remove from heat, stir in the lime, and let cool at least 15 minutes to set and thicken.

To Grill the Chicken
  1. Prepare grill for direct/indirect cooking. (If using a gas grill preheat grill to medium heat.)

  2. Place chicken pieces on grill over direct heat, but be careful of flare-ups. After 4-5 minutes (or when a nice crust starts to develop) turn chicken over and allow it to cook an additional 4-5 minutes per side. When the other side has developed a nice crust, move the pieces to indirect heat to avoid flare-ups.

  3. As the chicken nears appropriate finish temperature (165 degrees for breast, 180 for thighs) begin to brush chicken pieces liberally with the glaze.

    Apply all of the glaze between the chicken pieces, top side only!

  4. Allow the chicken to finish cooking to temperature (165 degrees), and then remove from the grill. Let the chicken pieces rest 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute. Serve

Wine Pairing for Grilled Apricot Chicken

Grilled chicken can generally go both ways when finding a wine to pair (red or white wine). But for this recipe, with the sweet and spicy apricot glaze, we’re sticking with white or rosé. My favorite pairing, and your safest bet, is a semi-sweet Riesling or even a Pinot Gris/Pinot Grigio. The high fruit flavors of the wine, along with any residual sugar left in it, will compliment the glaze quite well!

A fruity acidic rosé with good acidity will be able to cut through the tender and juicy meat without contrasting too much with the sauce.

Want more Grilled Chicken Recipes

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

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12 Wine Recommendations Fantastic for Spring. From light bodied to full, white to red, there’s a wine for all occasions this season. 

I like to review wines the way most people taste them, with food. Many of the wine reviews you’ll see on this site are accompanied by a recipe. When we test recipes we usually open a few different wines of various styles that we think will work, then write about the best pairing.

But often we taste wines — either those sent as samples for review or those we purchase on our own – that are definitely worthy of mention even though they weren’t part of a recipe. These wines below fit that bill.

Spring is in full swing here, and for me that means craving wines that are somewhere in the middle of hearty winter reds, and crisp light summer white wines. It’s also when rosé wines start to be released. The wines in this list range from delicious rosés, to fuller bodied chardonnay, to fruity red wines that have been perfect for spring recipes this year. Rosé is a category all on it’s own we plan to cover in the next several weeks… so stay tuned!

Bonus: a few of these were wines that made it to my Wine of the Week. That is a weekly feature I generally reserve for my newsletter subscribers, but wanted to give a sneak preview here. The reviews in my newsletter go into more detail and depth on the wines, and also show you where you can purchase the wines. If you’re interested in our weekly WOTW feature, you can subscribe to our newsletter here to receive that and other exclusive features for our awesome group of subscribers.

12 Wine Recommendations for Spring

2017 Lauren Ashton Cellars Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, Washington)

Not gonna lie, it’s hard for me to find a good Chardonnay I can stand by from Washington State. This is definitely one of the rare exceptions! I really enjoyed this and found it very well balanced coming from a state that tends to overdo some of the Chardonnays. This started out with fresh pears and apples, with mild citrus undertones, and mild oak and a smidge of minerality. It had just enough weight followed by a bright finish.

13.5% abv  | $25 

2017 McIntyre Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands, California)

Lots of rich baked apple, baking spices, touch of lemon zest and almond. It’s slightly savory and slightly rich, making it a lovely pairing for a roasted or smoked whole chicken.

14.2% abv  | $28

2017 Barton Holiday Clairette Blanche (Willow Creek District, Paso Robles, California)

Clairette blanche is grape variety widely grown in Provence and in the Rhône region of France. The varietal is often used in the production of vermouth as this grape naturally has high alcohol and lower acidity. This one is grown on steep, rugged hills in the Willow Creek District, known for its hot days and cooler nights, which provides some added acidity to the finished wine. Quite pretty with lots of melon and tropical notes (mango), and crisp pear, and fresh apples, this medium bodied wine finishes dry. This is a tasty one for a hearty salad or grilled chicken.

13.4%  abv | $32

NV Domaine Carneros Cuvée de la Pompadour Brut Rosé Sparkling Wine (Carneros, California)

Domaine Carneros is located in the Carneros region of Napa, and owned by Taittinger, one of the great Champagne houses of France. This Brut Rosé is named for Madame de la Pompadour, (the great courtesan and mistress of Louis XV). It was she who introduced sparkling wine to the court at Versailles and is famous for having said, “Champagne is the only wine that a woman can drink and remain beautiful.”

This rosé sparkling wine is a blend of Pinot Noir (59%) and Chardonnay (41%) and is full of bright fresh strawberries, mild apples, and a touch of lemon zest, balanced with some brioche, toasted almonds, bright acidity and a creamy texture. Mildly (and pleasantly) tart and finishes dry. This is a lovely wine, and a great one to celebrate spring with!

12% abv  | $37
*Wine of the week, April 5, 2019

2018 Bertani Bertarose Chiaretto (Veneto IGT, Italy)

Light, bright, and refreshing, this rosé is an interesting blend of blend of 75% Molinara and 25% Merlot and was a winner for me and the hubs. In fact we both looked up at each other in agreement and said, “yeah, this one’s a winner!”  It had an equal mix of citrus (lemon) and fresh strawberry with bright acidity, yet maintained that red berry character of a good rosé. A good one for salads, light appetizers, and summer sipping. I’m gonna be keeping my eyes out for more of this one.

12% abv  | $15 

2017 Ferraton Père et Fils Samorëns Rosé (Côtes du Rhône, France)

This wine hardly disappoints (both in it’s fresh flavors and price). This bright rosé opens with loads of fresh strawberries, watermelon, and cherries. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault this elegant wine finishes dry and crisp with a touch of minerality on the finish. Get yourself some as these temps warm up and summer approaches! At $13 this is a good one to have on hand for a summer picnic or poolside.

13.5% abv  | $13 avg price

2016 Rocca di Montemassi ‘Le Focaie’ Sangiovese (Maremma Toscana, Tuscany, Italy)

This Sangiovese from Tuscany has quite pretty aromas full of red berries (cherry is quite dominant), blueberries, flowers and baking spices. It’s quite vibrant in the mouth with more spice and rich red fruit, and an easygoing finish. At $12 this is a fantastic value and would be a great choice for your pizza night or to keep on hand for summer cookouts when you’re craving a fruity red.

13% abv  | $12

2017 Domaine Bousquet Reserve Malbec (Tupungato Uco Valley, Mendoza, Argentina)

This wine was made with organic grapes from vineyards located in Alto Gualtallary, Tupungato, at an altitude of 4000 feet above the sea level, one of the highest points in Mendoza. A blend of 85% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 5% Syrah, this big and rich wine was aged in French oak for 10 months and 4 months of bottle ageing. The bold flavors offer some black fruits, blueberries, plum, and toasty oak. Nice value for under $20.

14.5% abv  | $16

2016 Domaines Barons De Rothschild “Legend” Medoc (Medoc, Bordeaux, France)

Lafite Rothschild is the famed first growth producer out of Bordeaux, producing one of the most expensive wines in the world. The only time I’ve had the pleasure of tasting their first growth wine was on Sean’s 30th birthday. He bought a bottle of his birth year wine for the occasion. It was the first time I had tasted a wine with that much age and depth before. I guess you could say it was one of those “wow” or “life changing” experiences.

For those who can’t splurge on their prized wines, the famed Lafite-Rothschild winemaking team also produces the Légende series, for everyday drinking. These wines are produced from vineyards owned by the Rothschilds throughout the Bordeaux region. This particular one comes from the Médoc region of Bordeaux, and is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.

Ripe with dark berry fruit, moderate tannins and a medium body, the wine is a bit tight upon opening, and really evolves with some air (decant or allow it to air out a bit in the glass). Eventually pretty dark cherries, blackberries, blackcurrants, with a hint of cinnamon, spice, and vanilla evolve. It’s quite complex and darn tasty for the price. Compared to the prices of some of the more sought after Bordeaux on the market, this one comes at quite a value and high quality.

13.5%  | $24 
*Wine of the week, March 22 2019

2015 Copain “Tous Ensemble” Syrah (Mendocino County, California)

From Mendocino County, this Syrah really reflects that cooler climate in which the grapes grew. I loved this wine. It had blueberry fruit, blackberries, boysenberries, and a hint of white pepper. Silky and smooth with medium tannins and very nice acidity, it was perfect for a reverse seared ribeye! Elegant, with a mild gaminess, I wouldn’t recommend it with anything rich or heavily sauced, or it will take away from the freshness of the wine.

As the name, “all together”, suggests, Copain’s Tous Ensemble series offers a perfect complement to any gathering, from a casual meal to an impromptu party. Sounds like a good excuse to invite some friends over for a party this weekend!!

14.1% abv  | $24
*Wine of the week, March 15, 2019

2015 San Marzano “Talò” Salice Salentino, Puglia, Italy

From Southern Italy’s Puglia Region comes this tasty and fruity red blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera grapes. The wine is dark and bold at first, but full of rich plums, and lots of deep red fruit (think black cherries and black raspberries), blueberries, and baking spices. It’s bold and juicy (but not thick and jammy), full-bodied (but not tannic). Young, fresh, deeply fruity, and perfect for casual sipping, or for your Italian comfort dishes (pizza, lasagna, red sauce). Also great value at around $15 range!

13.5% abv  | $12-$15 range

2015 Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards “Toccata” Classico Red (Santa Barbara County, California)

We popped this when looking for something to pair with smoked sausage lasagna, and this was the perfect fit. This is a Super-Tuscan-style blend from Santa Barbara, comprised of Sangiovese (50%), with Cabernet Sauvignon (30%), Merlot (5%), Cabernet Franc (5%), Petit Verdot (5%) and the rare Friesa (5%). It opened with lots of deep berry notes (rich black cherry and cassis), smoky leather, and spice. It’s got some power, and is quite rich, but not overpowering in any way, and is a great match for hearty rich food, like that lasagna mentioned earlier.

If you want to learn about our featured Wines of the Week, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter for exclusive reviews, recommendations, and tips!

*Most of these wines were were media samples for review.  See my sample policy here. 

The post 12 Wines for Spring appeared first on Vindulge.

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This recipe for sweet and savory Smoked Pulled Pork Sliders is a take on Asian-meets-Hawaiian flavors with a dry rub of Chinese five spice, dry ginger, and brown sugar, topped with a soy based glaze and a bright pineapple citrus coleslaw. These pulled pork sliders pair perfectly with one of our favorite white wines – dry riesling.

This post is sponsored by Pacific Rim Wines. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

We love traditional BBQ pulled pork sliders, tossed with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. But there’s something fun about changing up the game a bit. This one doesn’t have your typical flavors for BBQ, but is equally impressive and delicious.

Smoked Pulled Pork

If you are new to smoked pulled pork, check out what we have learned over the years in this post on smoked pork butt. That post provides a comprehensive play by play of how to smoke pork shoulder (also called pork butt, or Boston butt). In this variation, we wanted to create a sweet and savory slider that is lightly sauced with a soy and balsamic glaze and topped with a citrus coleslaw. On our recent trip to Hawaii I went a little pineapple cray cray, and have been craving pineapple since our return. So we’re using grilled pineapples in the slaw really making it pop with flavor! The combination of the tender savory pork with the bright citrus and grilled pineapple slaw makes the slider perfect to pair with a dry riesling.

Generally if I’m eating pulled pork with a heavy tomato based BBQ sauce I’ll reach for a red wine. But more often than not I’m craving a crisp and fruity white, and this is the perfect way to ensure you can drink a white wine with your pulled pork.

About Pork Shoulder

Pork “butt” is the front shoulder muscle of the pig versus the ham, which is on the backside. Pork shoulder can also be called Boston butt, or pork butt, and can come in many styles. It can come with part of the leg attached, bone-in, or boneless. When ordering, just know it is not, in fact, the butt. It’s the shoulder. There will be a side with a fat cap. That is the side that was closer to the skin. And there will be a side without fat. That is where you want to look for marbling. Like steak, marbling is important as that is the intra-muscular fat that will render down when cooking and create that irresistible juiciness when pulled. When smoking, we like to look for a bone-in, 6 – 7 pound, shoulder as the ideal size.

Trimming Pork Shoulder

Trimming the pork shoulder is another important part of the process. On the fat cap, remove most of the fat. We tend to leave no more than 1/4 inch of fat, if we leave any at all. On the remaining sides of the shoulder, look for any glands or other fat pockets that can be removed. The fat can be saved for sausages should you wish to freeze it.

Seasoning The Pork Butt (or Shoulder)

The flavors of this dry seasoning are crazy delicious when slowly cooked into the pork shoulder. To best get the rub to stick to the shoulder, we use a Dijon mustard as a binder between the shoulder and the rub.

Adding Chinese five spice (which is often a mix of cloves, cinnamon, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns) brings a unique flavor to the dry rub. We enhance that with brown sugar for a sweet caramel flavor as it smokes. Finally, we toss a few more spices, kosher salt, and coarse black pepper to round out the dry rub.

The Smoking Process

Similar to our popular recipe for smoked pulled pork, this will follow the same milestones as noted below. With the internal temperature being the most important milestones between steps.

The key steps for smoking pork shoulder:

  • Smoke – The initial phase of getting the bark (the dark flavor crust on the outside of the shoulder).
  • Spritz – Apple cider vinegar spray on the outside of the pork, adding some flavor and moisture to encourage the smoke to adhere to the outside of the pork shoulder.
  • Wrap – Wrapping in foil to speed up the cooking process and concentrate the heat on breaking down the intra-muscular fat.
  • Rest – Removing the pork shoulder when it is done, and letting the shoulder or butt slowly cool and pull that moisture back into the meat cells keeping the pulled product moist.
  • Pull – Pulling apart the shoulder and getting that perfect texture and flavor combination.
Pulled Pork Sliders

To make this an awesome patio party pleaser, pull the pork and add to your favorite slider bun. We love brioche for sliders, as they are soft on the inside and have a nice (but not rough) crust on outside. We top with a light drizzle of our soy and balsamic sauce, add some Grilled Pineapple Coleslaw and then it’s time to eat. Pop a bottle of Pacific Rim Dry Riesling for an awesome pairing!

Pulled Pork Sliders with Citrus Pineapple Slaw and Balsamic Soy Sauce

Sweet and savory Smoked Pulled Pork Sliders recipe is a take on Asian-meets-Hawaiian flavors with an Asain inspired dry rub and grilled pineapple coleslaw.

  • 1 6 – 8 pound pork shoulder, bone-in
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar ((placed in a food safe spray bottle))
For the Dry Rub
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese five spice
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
For the Savory Soy and Balsamic Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon diced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon diced garlic
  • 1 1/4 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 slices fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • 2 sprigs rosemary (approximately 3" long)
For the Dry Rub
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir. 

For the Savory Soy and Balsamic Sauce
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat add olive oil and shallots. Soften shallots for 6 to 8 minutes, but not caramelized. Reduce heat if they are browning. Add garlic and cook another minute.

  2. Add balsamic, soy, brown sugar, honey, salt and stir to incorporate. Add ginger and rosemary, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer on a low heat and let reduce. About 20 – 25 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and then strain, discarding solids. Place the sauce in the fridge to cool. Can be made in advance.

For the Pulled Pork
  1. The evening before cooking, place pork shoulder on a sheet tray, trim the pork shoulder of excess fat. Coat with Dijon mustard, and the dry rub liberally. Cover with foil or plastic wrap, and place in fridge. 

  2. The next day, preheat the smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and remove the pork from the fridge and uncover the meat. When smoker comes to temperature, place pork, unwrapped, onto the smoker. Insert a probe thermometer if you have one. 

  3. Smoke for 3 hours. After 3 hours spritz with apple cider vinegar each  additional hour, until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 165 degrees F (approximately 3 or 4 additional hours). At 165 degrees, remove any thermometer and set aside. 

  4. Place pork shoulder into a large oven safe tray (or a 9×13 glass baking dish). Add remaining spritz liquid into the bottom of the tray, and then cover with foil. Insert meat thermometer back into the pork shoulder for monitoring if using one.

  5. Continue cooking, covered, another 3 to 4 hours until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 200 degrees F. When the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees begin inserting an instant read thermometer into several places. It is done when the probe inserts like butter (and the temperature reads between 200 and 205 degrees).

  6. Remove from smoker and let sit, covered, for at least 30 minutes (ideally 60). Then remove the bone and pull the meat, discarding any remaining fat or cartilage. 

  7. For sliders on a bun, place the pulled pork, then the grilled pineapple slaw (recipe in notes), then drizzle a small amount of reserved savory soy and balsamic sauce.

This is fantastic with the Grilled Pineapple Coleslaw. Find the simple recipe here

Riesling Wine

We partnered with Pacific Rim Winery to find a great barbecue combination to pair with riesling. Riesling is a classic grape variety that originated in Europe, specifically Germany and France’s Alsace region, and in those regions displays great floral flavors and minerality (and often described as having a diesel, or petrol, aromas). As riesling has expanded throughout the world, it takes on regional variations. In the US, for example, it displays more bright fresh fruit characteristics (anything from citrus to pineapple, to pears, apples, and apricots). Wherever it’s found in the world, it is generally highly aromatic and with high acidity, making it a food-friendly pairing option.

Whether it is more tropical notes and warm climate, or the cooler climates with the steely and diesel aromas, riesling wine can range from bone dry to sweet, which really speaks to the residual sugar in the bottle after it has finished fermentation. In this case we use a dry style riesling.

Wine Pairing for Pork Sliders — Dry Riesling

Riesling tends to do well with foods with spice. Now that can mean spicy foods, or foods that are well seasoned with a a variety of dominant and aromatic spices (like this one). The pork in this recipe is tender, juicy, and full of the natural savory flavors from slow smoking, but also contains that savory soy and balsamic drizzle. Topped with that grilled pineapple citrus slaw brings it all together and invites that fresh and fruity wine to really shine. It’s a fantastic pairing that will have you going back for seconds, and thirds, and…

About Pacific Rim Winery

Since 1992, Pacific Rim has sourced fruit from Washington State’s Columbia Valley. The Columbia Valley is a large wine growing region within the state of Washington, and represents a very diverse ecosystem of high dessert, valleys, cool, and warm climates. 90% of Pacific Rim’s production is comprised of riesling wines. Within that large valley Pacific Rim sources from two distinct sub-regions, Horse Heaven Hills and Yakima Valley. These regions benefit from nice long days of heat, followed by a cool evenings and a drop in temperature (which preserves the grape’s acidity).

More on Pacific Rim’s wines and riesling:

  • Riesling is consistently one of the fastest growing white varietals in the wine industry.
  • Riesling simply is one of the most versatile, complex, and food-friendly of all the major wine grapes.
  • Riesling’s vibrant characteristics are a fresh alternative to fuller bodied, oaked white wines.

You can learn more about Riesling variations at Pacific Rim Winery here.

Got Leftover Pulled Pork?

Here’s what to do with your leftovers. 

This post is sponsored by Pacific Rim Wines. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes.

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Beef Brisket Enchiladas are the ultimate use for leftover brisket for any Mexican food lover! These beef enchiladas are made with smoked brisket, but you can sub almost any cut of beef for these indulgent enchiladas. 

When my mom and hubby are both in town, deciding what’s for dinner often becomes a competition. Hubby, of course, wants to smoke something. Mom wants to make one of her Mexican specialties. I’m happy either way. As a mediator, however, I need to find a way to appease them both.

Instead of choosing sides (I mean come on!) I usually honor both of their talents by taking over dinner responsibilities and creating a sort of Yolanda (aka my mom) meets Sean (my hubby) fusion.

I like to call it “Yo-Sean-da” fusion.

By now we all know what happens when we smoke a brisket.  There’s always a slew of leftovers. 14 lbs of meat and a family of 4 (5 if you count mom), you can’t blame us!

Mom makes her signature red chile sauce. And I’ll use that sauce (store bought enchilada sauce works too), combined the leftover brisket, and created Smoked Beef Brisket Enchiladas. I’ll throw in my own touch by adding some spinach and tangy goat cheese for added flavor.

How to make Beef Enchiladas

Growing up the stuffing for enchiladas were usually whatever meats or veggies we had leftover. Sometimes mom would buy chuck roast, cube it, and sear it up to put it in the enchiladas. But nowadays we using whatever leftover meat we have lying around, like in these Pulled Pork Enchiladas

In this case we’re using leftover brisket. The tender meat, and smoky flavor are the perfect filling for these comforting enchiladas.

Start by warming up your red chile sauce and prepping your fillings on the side.

Next you need to soften your corn tortillas do they don’t crack when placing the filling in them. Growing up my mom would dip them in hot oil to warm them up, but I don’t like the excess oil. So I use the red chili enchilada sauce to warm them up. Just dip your tortilla into the sauce to get it wet all around, and place it on a plate. Then stuff with your filling ingredients, and roll it on up!

Filling for Beef Enchiladas

You can keep it simple and just add a couple tablespoons of your chopped up (or shredded) meat, or add some vegetables to the mix. Since I’m feeding a family I like to throw in some greens when I can. Spinach works great (and you can hardly taste it, so it’s a great way to sneak it in if you’re trying to get your kids to eat greens). I like cooked frozen spinach for ease. Just warm up about a heaping cup of frozen spinach in the microwave, then drain off any excess liquid.

We also find that a smidge of goat cheese (or chevre) works great in the filling. Goat cheese isn’t for everyone, so if you’re not down with the goat cheese then just use cheddar.

Once you roll up and line up your enchiladas, top them with the remaining sauce, more beef, a couple handfuls of cheddar cheese, and bake until melted and bubbly (around 20 minutes).

Enjoy!

Beef Enchiladas made with Smoked Brisket

Beef Brisket Enchiladas are the ultimate use for leftover brisket for any Mexican food lover! These beef enchiladas are made with smoked brisket, but you can sub almost any cut of beef for these indulgent enchiladas. 

  • 4 cups Homemade Red Chili Sauce ((or a 28 oz can of store-bought enchilada sauce))
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 3 cups leftover beef brisket, chopped or shredded ((separated into 2 cups for filling, 1 cup for topping the dish))
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and strained
  • 4 oz goat's cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 cups Mexican 4-cheese blend (or cheddar), ((more or less depending on how cheese you want them))
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

  2. Heat up red chile sauce in a large skillet to get warm.

  3. To soften the corn tortillas – take the tortillas, one by one, and dip them into the warm red chile sauce to coat them (see photo above in the post), then place them on a plate. This will help soften the tortillas so they don’t break up when you roll them. It also helps infuse the tortillas with sauce.

  4. Add your filling. Add approximately 2 tablespoons of the shredded or chopped beef, 1 tablespoon cooked spinach, and a scant teaspoon of crumbled goat cheese (or cheddar). Gently roll the tortillas and layer the rolls on a 12×8″ baking dish, seam side down, in one layer. 

  5. Repeat with the remaining tortillas until the dish is packed tight. 

  6. Top the dish with the remaining chile sauce, 1 cup of remaining shredded beef, and the shredded cheese. 

  7. Bake 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. 

  8. Garnish with cilantro and enjoy!

A note on the Homemade Red Chile Sauce

If you’re using my recipe for Homemade Red Chile Sauce you’ll need to prep it first. This is a basic red chile sauce that needs some flavoring to turn into an enchilada sauce.

Just warm up the red chili sauce, add 1 clove of finely minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of pepper. Next add 1 vegetarian bouillon cube (or 1 teaspoon jarred). Let that warm up together.

Next add a thickening agent: I take 1/2 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of water and mix together until the flour has dissolved, then add that slurry to the red chili sauce. Let that simmer to thicken. Adjust flavors as needed.
Then it’s ready for your enchiladas!

Wine Pairing for Beef Enchiladas

The smoked flavor of the beef is very mild in this dish, so I don’t recommend seeking out a wine to go specifically with the beef. Instead I want something to balance the rich, acidic (and almost pleasantly bitter) red sauce, and the creamy texture of the enchiladas.

Monastrell from Spain to be a pretty spot on pairing because the Monastrell is fairly acidic, yet fruity with tannins that work well with both the meat and cheese. And while we’re on the subject of Spain, Riojas also have good enough acidity for this dish and work well with the red sauce. A juicy Zinfandel works well too for similar reasons. For all of the above just look for a wine that’s not too high in alcohol (15% abv+) otherwise it will accentuate any heat in the dish and create an unpleasant aftertaste.

For white I am a huge fan of a fruity dry rosé.  For this dish I want a big bold rosé, so as much as I adore Provencal rosé, I recommend you steer clear for this dish. Instead look to Washington state rosé’s made from Grenache or Syrah. Similar rosé blends from Spain work well too. The dish itself isn’t very spicy, but a nice fruity rosé works well to lighten up what is otherwise a filling dish, cooling and refreshing the palate in-between bites.

More uses for leftover brisket

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes.

*This post was originally published in August, 2013, and updated in April, 2019, with new photos and updated instructions.

The post Beef Enchiladas — Made with Smoked Brisket appeared first on Vindulge.

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Beef Brisket Burnt Ends are one of the ultimate treats in BBQ and a true reward for your hours of hard work in low and slow cooking. 

We are teaming up with Mishima Reserve to bring you an amazing cut of American Wagyu brisket and our favorite meat candy, beef burnt ends! Read to the end for an additional discount during their spring sale for the next 30 days!

 This post is sponsored by Mishima Reserve. All views expressed are our own, and reflect one heck of a good brisket. 

First some background on “American Wagyu”

What is American Wagyu?

Wagyu (wag-you) refers to a Japanese style of beef, which uses very specific breeds of cattle native to Japan. As time went on, a few non-native breeds were cross-bred, but the Wagyu from Japan is highly regulated and is rare to find outside of Japan. American Wagyu is the same concept, leveraging specific breeds of cattle from Japan, and often cross-breeding them with American counterparts.

Mishima Reserve sources full-blood Kuroge Washu bulls bred with their American cattle counterparts, giving an amazing marbling and an intense and gorgeous beef flavor.

Prime Versus Wagyu Rating

They are very different. For the USDA rating system (Select, Choice, Prime), ranchers opt into that program for a rating based upon a number of factors and with many different breeds of cattle from around the world. It is not required to have a rating, it’s a rancher’s choice.

For American Wagyu, the rating system is based on the Japanese style of rating from 3 – 12 and has to be focused on the Japanese lineage of cattle. You will often see A-5, or something similar which refers to the marbling scale of 3 – 12. In addition to the Japanese rating, Mishima has their own strict rating scale — 4-Star, 5-Star, and Ultra. Just look at the cuts of meat and you can see the marbling variation with 4-Star, mirroring what you would get with with a quality steak based on the USDA system and the marbling going up from there. And I cannot stress enough the importance of marbling for brisket. It can make the difference between a tender juicy brisket and a dry firm brisket.

For more information on how to prepare and start a full brisket, see this detailed post

What Are Burnt Ends?

Burnt ends are said to have originated in Kansas City by a few early BBQ pioneers. Today you can swing by Jack Stack or Joe’s Kansas City (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s) and taste their version of the KC origin story. We are using the entire Mishima packer brisket, smoking it until wrapped, and then separating the point from the flat to make burnt ends. Have no fear, the flat will continue to be cooked, but these squared burnt end morsels of point meat are incredibly tender, and when sauced with a little (ok a lot…) butter and honey, they become lick smacking appetizers and are great for a crowd. Serve the brisket flat along side of the burnt ends or as the main dish.

Don’t let the name fool you. Burnt ends are not, in fact, burnt. They are cubed up and have that darker color from the smoke creating bark, and then continue to form that color as they cook in the sauce as sugar in the sauce caramelizes.  Help that along by adding honey, butter, agave nectar, or any other similar ingredient.

How to Cook Burnt Ends The Smoke

Start by cooking the brisket packer as you would normally, this post highlights the details. Ideal cooking temperature is low, 250 degrees Fahrenheit. We use fruit woods readily available in the Pacific Northwest, use your favorite local wood. Typically this runs up to five or six hours until an internal temperature of 165 degrees, measured by an instant read thermometer like the Thermoworks Smoke unit or a Thermapen.

The Separation

At the time you would normally wrap your whole brisket (when internal temp reaches 165 degrees F), that is when we separate the flat from the point. Trim off some of the fat layer between the point and the flat, and then cut up the point into 1 1/2-inch cubes.

Continue cooking the point cubes and flat separately. The point cubes go into a pan with BBQ sauce, butter, dry rub, and honey, and the flat is then wrapped and then placed back onto the smoker to continue cooking. You can also separate the point before you cook, but for our preferred method we cook the packer and then separate the point from the flat when we wrap.

The Burnt End Flavoring

When placing the burnt ends into the pan, dust with more rub, then add sauce. It’s important to have enough BBQ sauce for the size of the pan you are using. Typically we start with one cup of sauce and add more as needed to make sure the burnt ends are all evenly covered, otherwise the burnt ends will continue to cook unevenly and you’ll have some chewy bites alongside of some perfect morsels.

For more flavor add a touch of butter, and honey. This adds another punch of flavor and the sugar in the honey help caramelize.

Cook for two more hours. The fat will continue to render out of the burnt ends, and the sauce will reduce while cooking. After two hours, when the sauce has reduced a bit, cover the pan with foil and return to smoker.

Continue cooking, covered, and check the temperature of the burnt ends 60 minutes later, and pull when the internal temperature of the burnt ends are 200 degrees, or until the meat thermometer inserts like into butter. This process can take up to 2 additional hours after they are covered in foil. The key is temperature not time. When you get the temperature reading and feeling you like, pull the ends and serve when they slightly cool.

The Brisket Flat

Don’t forget about the flat! Continue to smoke, wrapped in butcher paper (or foil), until the temperature of the flat starts reaching 190 degrees and after the brisket comes through the stall. When the temperature probe also inserts into the flat like butter, the flat is done. Remove wrapped, and place into a small cooler (with no ice) to let rest for an hour. Remove, slice, and serve for the main dish.

Beef Burnt Ends

Recipe for the best tender and flavorful Beef Brisket Burnt Ends made with Americal Wagyu beef. The ultimate BBQ meat candy!

  • 1 12 to 14-pound brisket packer
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup coarse ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup granulated garlic
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce ((we used our KC Style sauce))
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  1. The day prior to smoking brisket, trim. Using a sharp knife, remove excess layers of fat and silver skin.

  2. Coat the brisket with olive oil and then combine the dry rub ingredients in a bowl. Reserve 1/3 of a cup for the burnt ends. Liberally season the brisket with the dry rub. Don’t be shy. Wrap in foil and place in fridge until ready to cook.

  3. Preheat smoker to 250 degrees F using apple or cherry wood. Remove the brisket from the fridge at this point.

  4. When smoker is at temp, insert your meat thermometer into the flat and place in smoker. We place ours fat cap side down, as the bottom of our smoker is hotter than the top.

  5. Smoke until the brisket reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove from smoker and then, using a sharp knife, remove the point from the flat. Trim some of the excess fat off point and the flat.

For the Brisket Flat
  1. Wrap the flat in peach butcher paper, and then re-insert the meat thermometer. Place back in smoker and continue to cook until the internal temperature of the brisket flat reaches 190 degrees. Begin temping the flat in various places, and remove from smoker when the temperature probe inserts easily into the flat like butter. This can take 3 to 5 additional hours depending on size of brisket.

  2. Place wrapped brisket flat in a cooler with no ice and let rest for an hour. Remove and then slice against the grain.

For the Burnt Ends
  1. After placing the flat into smoker, cut the point into 1 1/2-inch cubes. Place into a smoker safe tray. Season with the reserved 1/3 cup of dry rub, and then add barbecue sauce, butter and honey, and toss together. Place uncovered in the smoker and stir once the butter and honey have melted.

  2. Smoke in the tray uncovered for 2 hours. Stir midway to incorporate the sauce and move the cubes around. After 2 hours cover with foil and place back into the smoker. Remove when the internal temperature ranges from 190 to 205, or when the meat thermometer inserts into the cube like butter (expect an additional 1 or 2 hours). 

  3. Serve immediately.

For the barbecue sauce we recommend our KC Style BBQ Sauce.

Wine Pairing For Brisket and Burnt Ends

You may be surprised to know our favorite go to for Burnt Ends is rosé. Because of the smoky beefy flavor, and adding honey, butter, and sauce, a nice dry rosé complements the flavor of the brisket. Look for bold Washington State rosé which tend to be made from merlot, or bigger red blends.

About Mishima Reserve

Whenever I connect with ranchers or companies representing their ranchers, I love to hear about their story. What goes into getting quality beef to our table. Mishima stands out with their attention to detail.

  • Carbon footprint awareness.
  • Incredible curation of the ranchers, cattle bloodline, and the treatment of the animals.
  • The way the product is packaged and shipped is key, it is shipped flash frozen, so you can store for a period of time, or thaw and cook almost immediately.

I encourage you to to go here to learn more about their great story.

Discount Code

We are also thrilled in addition to the Brisket Spring Sale currently being offered by Mishima (15% off, limit 2, expires Monday), if you use the coupon code VINDULGE (not case sensitive) you will get 10% off Mishima Reserve beef site wide until May 15th (does not stack for the current spring brisket sale)! So this is a great opportunity to grab brisket, New York Strip, or any other cut you love cooking with now and for the next 30 days!

Whether for upcoming holidays or just a weekend practice. You will not be disappointed and you will see why Mishima Reserve beef meets the fundamental rule with all things grilling and barbecue. It all starts with great quality product. Thank you to Mishima for the opportunity to offer this great discount to our readers!

This post is sponsored by Mishima Reserve. All views expressed are our own, and reflect one heck of a good brisket. 

The post The Ultimate Brisket Burnt Ends – with American Wagyu Beef appeared first on Vindulge.

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