Barbecue and beer. Beer and Barbecue. The summer staples. Remember summer? Wasn't that awesome?
My husband, Mr. Meat and Potatoes, works for O'Malley Beverage, where he peddles, well, beer. And he just so happens to also like to give a grill or smoker a run for its money, so around my house, we revere this hallowed summer pair.
Alas now, it's winter, and the grills have been put away and we're not as into the beer without a hot sun beating down over us with our ice-cold adult beverages. This time of year, I start to miss the barbecue. I start fantasizing about sauces and rubs and hunks of meat and I need my fix. To get it, I visit Mr. Bacon BBQ on Fridays for lunch, which is a pretty good way to calm the demons within.
But recently, an idea took shape between some food and beverage lovers I know. Why not pair barbecue with wine? Where in the rule book does it say it always has to be beer? Mr. Bacon believes that barbecue should not be relegated to the ranks of picnics and backyards. He is working up some upscale ways to enjoy the effects that a smoker can put on an edible.
To show off this new way to barbecue, he and Mike Logan of Abe and Jake's Landing, along with Truity Credit Union, City Wine Market, and Worldwide Wine and Spirits, came up with a great idea, as they are wont to do. "Smoke and Vine" is coming up on Feb. 8. It's a benefit for my beloved Ballard Center and it will feature some fancied-up barbecue along with wines, some signature cocktails, and a maybe even a couple of nice beers for those dyed-in-the-wool hopheads among us.
Jeff Frye, otherwise known as Mr. Bacon, is a culinary mastermind. He has a full menu of savories and sweets for us to taste, and he's been kind enough to share one of his secrets with me.
Behold, the Korean-style lettuce wrap!
On lettuce (bib or baby), of course, arrange the following:
1 English cucumber
1 medium carrot, shredded or julienned
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon Korean chili flake
Pinch of salt
Mr. Bacon Korean BBQ Sauce:
2 tablespoons gochujang (fermented chili paste)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoon sesame oil
Your favorite pulled pork recipe (just get out there and brave the cold — it's not that bad!)
Assemble according to Mr. Bacon's directions:
• pork on lettuce
• slaw on pork
• drizzle some sauce
• sprinkle some sesame seeds
• stuff in your food hole