Man Lab: Labor Day Barbecue Cooking

It’s Labor Day weekend here in North America. That means we have one last chance to fire up the grill before cold weather sweeps in. So we’ve turned to the crew at the Man Lab kitchen to help you out with your Labor Day barbecue. Sometimes, food isn’t about getting you laid. It can also be about good eats. So here are some Man Lab approved recipes for Labor Day. And, yes, you can make dessert on the grill.

Caesar Salad

  • 9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, inner leaves only
  • 7 grinds black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 6 drops Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Croutons

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the eggs and cook for 1 minute. Chill in ice water to halt cooking. Set aside.

In a very large bowl, tear lettuce and toss with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with the remaining kosher salt and the black pepper. Add the remaining olive oil. Toss well. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce. Break in the eggs. Toss until a creamy dressing forms. Toss in Parmesan cheese and serve with croutons.

Truck Stop Meatloaf Burgers

  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 pound ground beef short rib
  • 1 pound ground New York strip
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pound bacon slices, halved crosswise
  • 2 large red onions, sliced
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing the grill
  • 12 slices provolone cheese
  • Smokey or spicy barbecue sauce
  • 6 sesame seed buns

In a small bowl, soak the bread crumbs in the beef broth and set aside to allow the bread crumbs to absorb the broth. It should look like wet sand. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg and tomato paste until fully incorporated. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meats. Add the egg mixture and bread crumbs. Sprinkle in the garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix gently by hand to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat or else the burgers will be tough. Fold in the minced onion and parsley. Gently hand-form the ground beef into 6 burgers. Don’t pack the meat too tightly. Set the meat aside in the refrigerator.

Put a large skillet over medium-low heat. Fry the bacon in batches for 8 minutes, or until crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Tip out all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat. To the bacon drippings, add the red onions. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the onions are caramelized.

Grease a large grill pan with oil and place on two burners over medium-high heat. Or brush oil on a gas or charcoal grill to create a non-stick surface and pre-heat the grill to get it very hot. Grill the burgers for 4 minutes per side for medium, or 3 minutes if you like your meat rare. The burgers should turn easily without sticking.

When the burgers are just about cooked, put a couple of slices of cheese on top and allow to melt. Remove the burgers to a clean side plate so you have enough room to toast the buns. Toast the hamburger buns cut side down for 1 minute.

Stack 2 bacon slices across the bottom half of the bun, and lay 2 more crisscrossing to make an 3, creating a platform of bacon. Lay down the hamburger patty, cheese side up, and top with one-sixth of the caramelized onion.

Spread with 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce and top with the other half of the bun. Serve the remaining barbecue sauce on the side for dipping.

Bittersweet Double Chocolate Coconut S’mores

  • 12 large marshmallows
  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 3-ounce pieces
  • 8 whole chocolate graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup toasted coconut

Heat grill to high. Place marshmallows on skewers or sticks, 3 to a stick, and hold over the grates of the grill until golden brown on all sides and melted in the center. Place chocolate on 4 of the graham crackers. On each graham cracker, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the coconut over the chocolate and then place 3 of the toasted marshmallows on the coconut. Place the remaining graham crackers on top of the marshmallows and wrap each s’more in foil. Place each s’more on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the grill and serve immediately.


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