The Jägermeister Charred BBQ Cook-Off
When someone mentions Jägermeister, visions of my time on College Ave. during my undergraduate days at Rutgers come flooding back to me. What I don’t think of is food. So I was in for quite a surprise when I participated as a judge in the Jägermeister Charred BBQ Cook-Off recently. I, along with a group of journalists, chefs (Chris Santos, chef/owner of Beauty & Essex and The Stanton Social;Daniel Delaney, chef/owner of BrisketTown and Smokeline) and radio personalities (Jose Mangin, Director of Heavy Metal & Rock at Sirius XM Radio), had the hard task of judging three Jägermeister-infused dishes, and ultimately picking a winner.
The Cook-Off, which took place in a culinary studio in lower Manhattan, was the culmination of a summer-long Facebook contest where fans submitted their own Jägermeister-infused BBQ dishes in three categories: beef, chicken and pork. Chef Chris Santos had already picked the finalists in each category for us to taste: Screamin’ Jäger Burger, Jägermeister-Scented BBQ Chicken, and Jägermeister Thai Curried Pork Ribs. We were tasked with scoring each dish based on how well it paired with the “Deer and a Beer,” how well the recipe incorporated Jägermeister, creativity and, of course, taste. The three finalists were all delicious, but only one could be crowned the victor by group concensus, which was handed to the Jägermeister Thai Curried Pork Ribs by Loanne Chiu. (Though I personally thought the Screamin’ Jäger Burger should have been the winner and lobbied hard for it throughout the event with my fellow judges.) I will be preparing the burgers for my college friends at my next Jäger-fueled tailgate!
For our at-home chefs, please see the winning recipe below, with the other recipes to follow. For you cocktail enthusiasts, I’ve included the recipes for the cocktails we consumed during the cook-off as well. Now all we need is a Jägermeister dessert!
Jägermeister Thai Curried Pork Ribs
1 1/2 cup Jägermeister, divided
13.5 ounces can coconut milk, divided
6 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, divided (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup fish sauce, divided
6 tablespoon brown sugar, divided
3 tablespoon grated garlic divided
3 whole Chinese star anise, divided
4 pounds baby back pork ribs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice from fresh limes and more for accompaniment
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1. Fill a large pot with 1 cup Jägermeister, 1 cup coconut milk, 4 tablespoons red curry paste, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons garlic and 2 tablespoons star anise. Simmer five minutes and transfer to a roasting pan.
2. Remove membrane from back of ribs and cut into pieces, about 3-4 ribs per portion. Place ribs in roasting pan, cover tightly with foil and roast at 400 degrees about one hour or until meat starts separating from bone. Stir at least twice while roasting. Let pork cool in marinade until ready to grill.
3. Meanwhile make glaze. In a small saucepan mix remaining Jägermeister, coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, garlic and star anise. Add soy sauce and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Simmer until liquid is thickened. Adjust seasoning to taste, especially the heat. Discard star anise.
4. When ready to grill, drain ribs. Oil grill generously and heat until hot. Spray ribs with nonstick spray. Grill ribs with bone side down and meat up. Grill over medium-low heat and baste ribs with glaze. Grill ribs about 5 minutes on each side and glaze often.
Serve hot with more glaze on the side and lime slices if desired. Sprinkle with basil.
Note: These ribs are spicy, salty, sweet, sour and pleasantly bitter, as well as carrying plenty of umami and aroma. The herbs and floral notes in Jägermeister pair beautifully with the complex mix of spices and herbs. Enjoy these ribs piping hot with a glass of ice cold Jägermeister!
Cocktails by Todd Richman
Smash and Grill
2 oz. Jägermeister
4 thin peach slices
1/2 oz. simple syrup
1/2 oz. fresh lemon
5 mint leaves
Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass. Garnish with mint.
Black and Charred
2 oz. Jägermeister
1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
Combine all the ingredients except the ginger beer in a shaker and shake well, strain into the rocks glass, top with ginger beer and garnish with lime.
Screamin’ Jäger Burger
2 pounds premium ground beef
1 onion diced
6 tablespoons sriracha sauce
2 ounces Jägermeister
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Jägermeister Jalapeño Aioli:
1 jalapeño pepper, stem removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Jägermeister
1 tablespoon honey
4 large burger buns
4 large tomato slices
- Combine the ground beef, onion, sriracha and Jägermeister in a bowl. Divide mixture into eight equal portions and shape each into a patty about 1/4" thick. Make a well in four of the patties and fill with the cheese. Top with the remaining patties and pinch the seams closed. Grill burgers over medium heat until desired doneness.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan until smoking. Add the jalapeño to the hot pan and cook until charred on all sides. To make aioli, in a food processor, combine the jalapeño, mayonnaise, Jägermeister and honey and blend until smooth.
- To assemble burgers, spread aioli on both sides of the bun. On bottom bun, place arugula, burger, tomato slice and then place top bun.
Jägermeister-Scented BBQ Chicken
3 cups Jägermeister
3 tablespoons chiffonaded basil
4 cups crushed tomatoes
1 cup diced peaches
1 tablespoon thyme
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon oregano powder
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup Jägermeister
4 tablespoons maltodextrine
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons beet powder
2 teaspoons tomato powder
2 whole chickens
- Start with the chutney and combine all ingredients into a saucepan. Bring to a rapid boil, then quickly bring it down to a light simmer for one hour.
- In a food processor, add the Jägermeister and turn on high. Pour in the maltodextrine and wait until mixture becomes a fine powder. Add the onion powder, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, paprika, beet powder and tomato powder. Remove the mixture and reserve.
- Clean the chickens by removing any unwanted tidbits. Cut the chickens in half down the spine so that both breasts are still connected to each other. Dust generously with the Jägermeister rub and place onto a hot grill, using hickory wood as your fire source. Close the grill and cook at 240 degrees for one hour.
- Remove from grill and cover the chickens in foil. Place back on the hot grill and cook for an additional hour.
- Remove chickens and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Cut the chickens into four equal portions and brush on the chutney; serve immediately.