While many people consider “barbecue” to be meats that are covered or cooked in sweet tomato-based or tart mustard–based sauces, that doesn’t really define true barbecue. Barbecue is defined by cooking slowly over low heat and adding smoke to the flavor profile. And while these carrots don’t spend hours cooking, they do spend much longer cooking than most! An American pale ale works well as the beer for cooking, both to help offset the sweetness of the carrots and reinforce the bitterness of the char once it comes off the grill.
Active preparation time: 45 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
½ cup (118 ml) yogurt
1 Tbs (15 ml) Aspen Brewing Independence Pass IPA
1 Tbs dill weed
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dry mustard
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp ground dill seed
Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well.
1 bunch carrots, with green tops—about 1 lb (454 g)
1½ cup (355 ml) beer
Hickory, alder, or oak wood chips for the handheld food smoker
2 Tbs (30 ml) olive oil
Remove the green tops of the carrots, leaving about 3" (8 cm) of stalks, then peel the carrots. In a skillet, combine the carrots with the beer and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, until they’re tender but not soft or mushy.
While the carrots are still warm, place them in a container and add smoke from a handheld food smoker, such as Polyscience The Smoking Gun, then cover with the container with plastic wrap to keep the smoke in contact with the carrots. After 10 minutes, fill the container with smoke a second and third time, leaving 10 minutes between smokings.
Preheat the grill on high.
Toss the smoked carrots in the olive oil and char lightly on the grill. Season with salt and serve with dilled yogurt.
Beer Suggestions: Pair with the remaining Aspen Brewing Independence Pass IPA (Aspen, Colorado)—you did buy a 6-pack, didn’t you? Other nice, bitter American pale ales you can try include Three Floyds Zombie Dust (Munster, Indiana) and Heavy Seas Powder Monkey (Baltimore, Maryland).
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PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER CINA