As we are raised we are introduced to many traditions. Some are specific to our family, some to our community, and some are as large as the entire culture or society we are apart of. As we get older we begin to form our own traditions within those same groups. And once in a while a new tradition is formed that changes your life.
Recently a group of friends and myself started such a tradition, appropriately named Game of BBQs.
The tradition is as such: Every Monday evening we gather at our place and watch the most recent episode of Game of Thrones while enjoying a meal cooked on the BBQ and accompanied by an appropriate alcoholic beverage. Every week a different member of the group is responsible for the protein that is BBQ’d, the side, and the beverages. Needless to say, it’s a fantastic new tradition.
This post is dedicated to that tradition and the members of it. In keeping with it, I decided to include some of their help in making this post. My good friend Jean-Pierre Galipeault provided us with the protein, I provided the sides and the drink, and my roommate Joe Prosperi provided the playlist. The book for this post is a no-brainer, it provided itself.
Book: A Game of Thrones / A Clash of Kings
If you haven’t seen the first season of Game of Thrones (which tells the story of the first book) you must be living under a rock or don’t like quality entertainment. Either way, I don’t think much needs to be said. But for anyone out there that is missing out I will say this: This series takes place in a fantastical world called Westeros, where every region is ruled by a family of lords and ladies. Although initially united under a single ruler, there are many conflicts and internal power struggles that leads to dissension. As the story progresses the tension builds and more families of power come into play to compete for the rule of Westeros. George R.R. Martin and HBO hit a home run with this one.
We discussed as a group what music would best fit not only Game of Thrones but also our Game of BBQs night. Unanimously we agreed Classical music would best suit our new tradition. So Joe went to work and came up with this collection.
Bach - Cello Suite 1
Franz Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 92: II
Hector Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique: Fourth Movement
Brahms - Hungarian Dance No. 5
Debussy - Claire De Lune
Grieg - In The Hall Of The Mountain King
Holst - St. Paul’s Suite I
Khachaturian - Sabre Dance
Liszt - Transcendental Etude No 10
Saint-Saens - The Aquarium
Tartini - Devil’s Trill Sonata
Tchaikovsky - Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy
Game of Thrones - Main Theme
You can download the playlist here!
2 oz of bourbon whiskey
1 oz of red (sweet) vermouth
3 dashes of Angostura bitters (you can always experiment with your bitters if you have access to a good selection)
This drink is so dangerously good it must be drank with caution. You can adjust the amount of vermouth and bourbon (and even use other whiskies) but this recipe is heavy on the vermouth and bitters because that’s how I like it. Bourbon being naturally sweeter is complimented nicely by the vermouth and the extra dash of bitters goes a long way in my book. Be careful though, they will go down easy and are not weak by any means. Try not to drink more than 1 of these before you get the BBQ going.
Food: Stuffed Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Apple Sauce
½ White onion, fine dice
1 Celery stalk, fine dice
30g of dried apple, small dice
½ cup of dry white wine (I used Muscadet)
½ cup chk stock
10g unsalted butter
3 springs of fresh basil, rough chop
3 springs of fresh flat leaf parsley, rough chop
Stilton Cheese, crumbled
1 - Sweat onions under tender (not brown). Add celery and dried apples and
continue to sweat for 5 minutes.
2 - Deglaze pan with white wine. Stir in stock and reduce for a few minutes on med
heat. Add butter to moisten.
3 – Allow the stuffing to cool.
4 - Once cooled, add crumbled stilton to the stuffing.
4 Pork chop, centre cut
20g unsalted butter
1 – Cut slit in the pork chop without puncturing the side.
2 – Fill pocket with stuffing.
3 - Season chop with salt.
4 – Grill on the BBQ for 4-5 minutes per side; baste frequently with butter.
5 Russet Potatoes
butter (to your desired taste)
milk (to your desired taste)
3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
Mashed potatoes are easy and delicious, so don’t over complicate it. When making them from scratch you have the luxury of having them how you like them, silky smooth or lumpy, skins on or peeled, it doesn’t get any better than that. To make simply cut your potatoes into equal sized cubes (this is important so they cook evenly) and boil them in salted water until completely soft. Drain the water and add milk, butter garlic and mash with a potato masher or a fork until completely mashed to your liking. I was going to put measurements for both the milk and butter but it always changes and everyone likes their potatoes different. So all I would recommend is start with your butter and slowly add your milk, just like you were making Kraft Dinner.
6-8 Apples (25% fuji, 25% golden delicious, 50% McIntosh)
suger (to your desired taste)
cinnamon (to your desired taste)
Making apple sauce in large quantities for jarring and one time for an evenings meal are quite different. This recipe is for that one meal. Believe it or not making apple sauce is very similar to making mashed potatoes with a few subtle differences. Like the potatoes you can make your apple sauce how you like it. Smooth or lumpy, skins on or peeled, it’s your choice. This time we went with lumpy skins on for that more rustic feel.
Once your apples are cored and cut into equal sizes put them in a large pot with about 1 inch of water. The apples will release a lot of water so you don’t need to have too much liquid already in the pot. Add a bit of sugar and cinnamon and keep stirring as they cook. The apples we used were naturally sweet so we didn’t need to add too much sugar, maybe a tbsp or two. I recommend starting with a small amount and add it as you go, tasting regularly. As the apples cook down feel free to start mashing, once it’s mashed to your desired smoothness you are ready to serve.
And there you have it. A Game of BBQs meal fit for a king!