BY RICK RIOZZA
No one needs to instruct us Coachella Valley residents on the fine points of outside grilling. We’re old hands at this and we grill on a regular basis. The reason of course is that we have the weather all year long to do so! And we’re not just cooking away to simply buck traditions, but we can grill and thrill away on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Valentine’s Day and amaze with our culinary display.
And then again, we foodie folks are so liberated and appreciative that we relish the opportunity to improve and widen our discriminating palates. This past Labor Day, we had the chance to experience one of the latest gastronomic joint ventures in the BBQ and grilling world.
We’ve written previously on Ravage Wines, both their Cabernet Sauvignon and Dark Red Blend. For the price, these wines are the top of the class with “decadent” reds that have proven so popular lately. The winemakers themselves declare this blend to be DARK + RICH + DEFIANT. “It tempts the taste buds with its dark, decadent flavors and smooth structure to push your sensory limits to the edge.”
The Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon and Dark Red Blend are both smooth, generously ripe and rounded out with vanilla/mocha notes. The Cabernet includes Merlot, Zinfandel and Syrah; the Dark Red Blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Syrah, plus Merlot, Zinfandel and other red grapes. Both have California appellations.
Recently Ravage Wines has teamed up with Pitmaster Hugh Mangum, of New York’s Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, to provide you with the ultimate summer experience complete with expert advice, essential grilling tools, and hot tips for grilling different mouth- watering cuts that are sure to impress family and friends. From pre-grill prep to the all-important final seasoning, this insider knowledge will have you mastering the grill in no time.
Hugh believes that when it comes to grilling; the bolder the better, which is why he always pairs his grilled fare with Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 (around $12) a robust and flavorful red from California. Both rich and easily indulgent, it’s the perfect match for big flavors from the grill. Whether making flavorful steak tacos, or opting for equally as delicious lamb shoulder pitas, the smooth, fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon enhances the flavors of any sizzling-hot meal.
Hugh Mangum was born in California to a father who hailed from Texas. It was he who introduced Mangum to the legendary barbecue of the Lone Star state.
Mangum started out as a professional drummer before heading to culinary school and working in the kitchens of acclaimed chefs like Jean George Vongrichten. In 2011, he melded the barbecue traditions of Texas and the Carolina’s to create a unique “New York Style” offered at his first Mighty Quinn’s location in Manhattan.
It was a huge hit that lead to four more venues in the New York metro area. There are now outlets in Taiwan, the Philippines, Japan and Dubai.
Perhaps the star of the culinary show is his sauce—Texas spicy with a Carolina vinegar kick. Mighty Quinn’s Slow Smoked original recipe sauce is served at all of his locations. Overall it took Hugh 10 years to perfect his cookery and style: the right seasonings, temperature, timing and technique for smoking meats, and, the trademark sauce—“Cooking the Old School Way with Wood and Time.”
What you learn is what you’re raised with, but in this day in age, with more information available, cultures and regions have been blurred. Switching it up is more fun, and you should try different sauces. That’s part of what made Mighty Quinn’s so popular — we’re not just Texas or Carolina barbeque, we take influences from both to make something great.
Hugh was just featured last week on the CBS This Morning—Saturday, “The Dish” segment, www.cbsnews.com/video/the-dish-pit-master-hugh-mangum/. There he presented and spoke of his signature recipes & dishes that included Brisket Sandwich with pickled cucumbers and chilies; his Mac and Cheese that was just awarded “New York City’s Best”; Burnt End Baked Beans; Buttermilk Broccoli Slaw; Sweet Potato Casserole and Sweet Corn Fritters. He also served a Mighty Quinn beer that is brewed at the restaurant.
Working with Ravage, Mangum has prepared a couple of dishes where he showcases the Ravage Cabernet Sauvignon. One, he pairs the dish with the wine, the other, he actually adds the Cab to the recipe.
With his Miso-Garlic Pork Chops, he creates a marinade of shiro (white) miso, granulated sugar, garlic cloves and mirin, and marinates the pork overnight if possible, or at least 4 hours. He’ll grill the chops for 3-5 minutes per side; served with vegetables and a glass of Ravage Cab.
In his Grilled Ravage Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs, with 2-3 pounds of short ribs, he first places the ribs on a hot grill over direct heat for approximately 5–10 minutes per side. For the braise, he utilizes 2 cups of Ravage Cab along with 2 cups chicken stock and herbs. The ribs are place in the braise with added cooked bacon in a covered Dutch oven for 2½ to 3 hours, along with vegetables, a glass of Ravage will work as well at the table.
Bon Appétit & Cheers!