Nothing pairs better with love in the air than smoke from the grill. Sure, most significant others won’t be swooning if you just fire up the grill and throw on ribs or sausages (if yours does, that’s what we call a keeper!), but there are some notoriously romantic dishes you can prepare to heat up the night.
We spoke to the BarbeCupid and are pleased to present three Valentine’s Day recipes sure to stoke the coals in any relationship!
Drunken Sailors Barbecued Oysters
First up, we have the grilled bi-valve Valentine, featuring nature’s favorite aphrodisiac – the oyster.
It’s easier than you think as they can be cooked in their shells directly on your grill. The heat from the grill steams the oysters and pops the shells open, while poaching the oysters inside.
- 12 large oysters in the shell
- 1/2 cup Meyer’s Original BBQ Sauce
- Meyer’s Texas Hot Pepper Hot Sauce
- Your favorite mezcal or tequila
- 3/4 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
- 12 fresh cilantro sprigs
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Place oysters (cup side on bottom) on hot grill about 4 inches from hot coals. Cover barbecue with lid, open any vents, and cook 8 to 10 minutes (depending on size) or until shells begin to open to indicate doneness.
- Remove oysters from the grill and carefully pry the oysters the rest of the way open with an oyster knife, paring knife, or screwdriver. Sever the muscle that connects the shells, leaving the oyster on the half shell.
- Spoon 2 teaspoons barbecue sauce over each oyster and add a splash of hot sauce and mezcal. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Place them back on the grill and heat until the cheese melts.
- Transfer the oysters to a platter or plates. Top with sprigs of cilantro and serve lime wedges for squeezing.
Grilled Lobster Tails
A crustacean everyone crushes on – the lobster.
- 6 lobster tails
- 1/4 cup olive oil and/or melted butter
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
Prepare the Lobster Tails
- Gather the ingredients.
- To split the lobster tails in half, place them on a cutting board, backside down.
- Use a large, sharp knife to cut down through the center to the shell, the whole length.
- Fold the shell back (like opening a book), breaking through the shell.
- If the shell doesn’t break, you can use kitchen shears to cut through. The flesh should now be exposed.
- Pat the lobster tails dry with paper towels.
Grill the Lobster Tails
- Preheat the grill on medium-high heat.
- Combine the olive oil (or butter), lemon juice, dill, and salt in small mixing bowl until the salt has dissolved.
- Brush the mixture onto the flesh side of lobster tails.
- Place the lobster tails on the grill and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, turning them once during the cooking process. Depending on the size of the lobster tail, it may need to cook longer. Lobster tails will be done once meat reaches an internal temperature 140° F. The shells should turn a bright pink and the flesh should be opaque all the way through the center.
- Remove the lobster tails from the heat.
- Serve and enjoy!
Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Wine Braise
Short ribs are one of the most sensuous proteins out there; add a little wine bath and you’ve got a recipe for love.
- 3-4 lbs. short ribs
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup rub (your favorite beef rub) or the one below
For the Rub (you won’t use all of this)
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup coarse black pepper
For the Spritz
- 1/3 cup beef broth
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
For the Braising Liquid
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1 Tablespoon rub (from above: salt and pepper combination)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- Preheat smoker to 225° with fruit wood.
- Trim silver skin off short ribs, coat with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper (depending on the size of your short ribs you may or may not use all of the dry rub. Just make sure it’s applied liberally based on the size of your meat).
- Place short ribs on the smoker for two hours and prepare the spritz.
- After two hours, begin spritzing ribs every 30 minutes for one to two hours more. Look for the meat pulling back off the bone and a good mahogany color as the indicator it is ready for the braise.
- When the color looks good and meat is pulling back from the bone (internal temperature of roughly 165° F or 3 to 4 hours on smoke), add to an aluminum pan. In the pan add the braising ingredients: wine, beef broth, dry rub, and butter. Cover tightly with foil and put back into the smoker.
- After one to two hours, use a meat thermometer to probe short ribs. The ribs are done when you can insert the thermometer and it feels like inserting into butter. There should not be much resistance; if it’s not like butter, it is not quite done so keep cooking until it is.
- After you have determined it’s done (roughly 200° – 205° Fahrenheit), remove from smoker and let sit covered for 15 minutes.
- Remove from bath and serve with your favorite side and a glass of delicious red wine.