The Best Barbecue on Earth

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Rick Browne traveled around the world in search the best grilled foods in his book, The Best Barbecue on Earth: Grilling Across 6 Continents and 26 Countries, With 170 Recipes. He is the host and producer of public television's Barbecue America.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons
Makes 1 quart

  • 12 lemons with unblemished skin
  • Kosher salt

Scrub the lemons under running water and pat them dry. Cut a thin slice from both ends of each lemon. Set a lemon on end and make a lengthwise cut three-quarters of the way through, leaving the halves attached. Turn the lemon upside down and rotate it 90 degrees, and make a second lengthwise cut, again three-quarters of the way through the fruit. Pack as much salt inside the lemon as it will hold. Place the lemon in a sterilized wide-mouth 1-quart canning jar. Repeat the process with the remaining lemons. Press as many lemons into the jar as possible, leaving some air space (1/4 to ½ inch).

Seal the jar and let it stand in a warm place for 30 days, shaking it each dry to distribute the salt and juice. As the lemons pickle they shrink, so if you like you can start adding additional lemons as the rinds of the first lemons soften and the juices in the jar rise to cover them. If the juice released from the fruit does not cover any added lemons, cover with freshly squeezed lemon juice, not water or processed lemon juice. This will prevent the top lemons from darkening.

To use, remove the lemons from the jar as needed and rinse them under running water to rid them of excess salt. Remove and discard the pulp, if desired. There is no need to refrigerate after opening. Preserved lemons will keep up to a year, and the pickling juice can be used two or three times over the course of the year to start new batches of lemon.

Salmon with Scotch Whisky Sauce
Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 8-oz salmon fillets, preferably Sockeye or King salmon
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 Tablespoons Scotch whisky
  • 3 Tablespoons very hot tap water
  • Olive oil

Wash the salmon well and pat dry. Combine the salt, sugar, zest and pepper. Rub all over the salmon and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to 350°F. Make sure the grill rack is clean and oil it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.
For the sauce, combine egg yolks and lemon juice, whisking to blend. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of hot (but not boiling) water over low heat. Whisk until the mixture begins to thicken. Gradually stir in the butter, a little at a time. If any lumps appear, remove the bowl from the heat, add a teaspoon of cold water and return to the heat. Continue cooking until the sauce is smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, add the whisky and water and whisk until just smooth. Keep this sauce warm while the salmon is cooking.
Brush the salmon with olive oil and transfer it to the prepared grill rack over direct heat. Grill until just cooked through, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the fillets to serving plates and serve with the whisky sauce on the side

Grilled Lamb with Apricots
Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer

  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 white cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsps turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup white wine
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 cup tamarind juice (or substitute 1/4 cup orange juice mixed with 2 tablespoons lime juice)
  • 2 lbs boneless lamb
  • 1 cup dried apricots or dried prunes, softened in boiling water
  • 2 large onions, cut into quarters
  • Red or green bell peppers cut into 2-inch pieces (optional)

Two days before cooking, in a large skillet over high heat, sauté the garlic and ginger in the oil until softened, about 1 minute. Add the coriander, cumin, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, curry, allspice, turmeric and sugar, and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the wine, vinegar, stock, jam and tamarind juice, and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat and simmer for 5 minuets. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Skewer the meat, alternating with apricots, quartered onions, and bell peppers on steel or wooden skewers. (If you are using wooden skewers, soak them for an hour in warm water before using.) Transfer the skewers to a large roasting pan. Add the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill or braai to 400°F. Make sure the grill rack is clean and oil it thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray.

Just before cooking, drain the marinade and pour into a saucepan. Boil for 12 minutes to use as a basting liquid.

Transfer the skewers to the prepared grill rack over direct heat and cook, brushing with the basting liquid and turning frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, until the meat is browned all over and just pink inside. If using wood skewers, put a piece of aluminum foil on one side of the grill to protect the handle part of the wood from burning.

Music break: La Rosita by The Guitars Unlimited Plus 7