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Grilling Talk with Kirstyn Brewer, Plus Her Blackberry BBQ Sauce Recipe

Chef Kirstyn Brewer, courtesy of Victor Tangos
Chef Kirstyn Brewer, courtesy of Victor Tangos
Grilling season is winding down for some folks across the nation, but living in a state where the heat index stays well above 90 for most the year gives us the great opportunity to keep our steaks charred and our “World’s Greatest Chef” aprons locked and loaded.

But, with Dallas restaurants stepping up their marinating and charbroiling game, it makes it hard to want to put in the work at home. That’s why we reached out to a handful of chefs in our latest grilling series to see get the low down on tips, tricks, recipes and personal quirks when cooking in the sun.

Round one goes to Victor Tangos’ Kirstyn Brewer:

What is your favorite item to grill?
Tough question. There are a few that are up there, but I am going to have to go with marinated tablita cut shortribs. They also need to be in some kind of sweet marinade so the sugar gives that delicious caramelized char to the fatty meat. My second option would be chicken thighs with the same marinade, for the same reasons.
 
What is your ideal summer setting?
Outside on a nice day, there would be some kind of body of water close by (not a fan of cooking on the beach however, it’s too sandy), shade, drinks, and at most 6 close friends or family members. We would probably follow dinner with a game of Cards Against Humanity.
 
What is your favorite summer sipper?
Cold still rosé. Yum.
 
What’s your summer backdrop or playlist for cooking out?
I’m feeling some 80′s at this party, and Bob Marley comes to mind. I have been known to break out 90′s pop after a couple drinks–it’s pretty embarrassing.

Favorite dish outside of the grill?
Charred sweet corn and green onion. Chopped cilantro, lime, Fresno chile, and avocado. It will come out like a super chunky salsa. Add some fresh tortillas, and along with the ribs I mentioned previously, you have a killer little taco.
 
Quick Grill Tip?
PAN SPRAY.

BLACKBERRY BBQ SAUCE

Executive Chef Kirstyn Brewer

16 oz can of whole San Marzano tomatoes
0.5 cup molasses
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 whole white onion, chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp coriander
1 cup port wine
1 Tbs. sambal chile paste
1 Tbs. black pepper
2 pints fresh blackberries
 
In a pot, sauté the chopped onion and the garlic for several minutes.
Add the tomatoes, molasses, brown sugar, port, vinegar and spices. Cook down very slowly until thickened, about 90 minutes.
Remove from heat, put in blender and add fresh berries. Blend until very smooth. Add salt to taste.