A Gluten-Free Barbecue
Let your slow cooker do all the work!
The air is warm, school is ending, the garden is beckoning and it’s barbecue season. I love barbecue food, so much so that when we travel I go out of my way to track down local barbecue hotspots to sample their selections. Usually barbecue restaurants are pretty gluten-free friendly, but I always do a bit of homework online and call ahead to make sure. I’ve found that instead of straight-up asking if there is gluten in the sauce or in the preparation, I first ask a few pointed questions:
Is there soy sauce in your barbecue sauce?
Do you add beer to your sauces?
Are your wings battered?
Do you use canned chipotle chili peppers?
Depending on the answers to these questions and how forthcoming the voice is on the other end of the phone, I move ahead to track down the ingredients from the kitchen staff – or better yet – online if the sauce happens to be bottled for home use. I also always use the following rule of thumb: if I don’t get a good feel or vibe from the menu, the server or my online research, I simply move on to the next place. There is always a next place. It’s just not worth getting sick to satisfy a barbecue craving.
It’s also terribly easy to make fall-apart tender barbecue at home in your very own slow cooker. These recipes rival those found in trendy road-stop diners and can cook unattended while you play in the garden or spend an afternoon at the beach.
Smoky Country Style Ribs
(Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free)
5 pounds baby back ribs
1 large yellow onion, sliced into rings
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (12-ounce) bottle gluten-free chili sauce (look for it in the ketchup aisle)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons gluten-free
Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins, made in the USA, is gluten-free)
4 garlic cloves, chopped
½ to 1 teaspoon
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
Use a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Cut the rack of ribs in half with a large knife or poultry scissors and make sure they fit all the way in the cooker with the lid on. Now take them out.
Place the sliced onion in the cooker, then put the ribs back in. Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the ribs. Wash your hands well.
Combine the chili sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, Tabasco and liquid smoke in a bowl. Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the ribs.
Cover and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the meat is tender and has begun to pull away from the bone. The longer you cook the meat, the tenderer it will become. Before serving, flip the ribs over a few times to get all sides nice and saucy.
Beef Brisket with Mango Barbecue Sauce
(Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free)
1 (4-pound) beef brisket
4 ripe tomatoes, quartered
2 mangos, peeled, pitted, and coarsely chopped
¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley
¼ cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
Juice of 2 limes
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Place the brisket into the cooker. In a food processor or blender, combine the rest of the ingredients and pulse until they create a sauce. It’s up to you how chunky or smooth you’d like it to be. Pour this sauce evenly over the top of the meat.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for about 5 hours. The meat is finished when it falls apart easily when poked with a fork.
Barbecue Bean Chili
(Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free)
1 pound dried small red beans
1 pound lean ground beef
2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen white corn
1 cup prepared gluten-free barbecue sauce
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 cup chicken broth
Add the beans to a pot with water to cover and cook for 10 minutes at a rapid boil. Let the beans sit in the hot water for 1 hour before draining and placing into the insert of a 6-quart slow cooker. (Red beans must be boiled before putting into the slow cooker to remove a naturally occurring potential toxin.)
In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef, onions and garlic, stirring, until the meat has browned. Drain off any accumulated fat. Transfer to the insert. Add the tomatoes, corn, barbecue sauce, cilantro, chili powder and cumin. Stir in the broth.
Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for about 5 hours. The chili is finished when the beans have reached desired tenderness and have begun to split. If you live at high elevation, add an additional 3 hours to the cooking time.
(Gluten-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Soy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Vegetarian)
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen white corn
1 (15-ounce) can corn niblets (retain liquid)
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 tablespoon cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons gluten-free all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Use a 4-quart slow cooker. Pour the frozen corn and the niblets from the canned corn into your slow cooker. Retain the liquid from the canned corn.
In a small saucepan on the stovetop, melt the butter and cream cheese over low heat. Slowly add the flour. Whisk until the flour is fully incorporated and remove from heat. Stir in the milk, juice from the canned corn and pepper. Pour this mixture evenly over the top of the corn in the slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for about 3 hours.
Written by Stephanie O’Dea
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