This baked potato recipe is the ‘whole enchilada,” — entree and sides combined. It won first prize for “Oklahoma” Joe Davidson in a South Carolina hash cooking competition.
The recipe comes from Steven Raichlen’s barbecue bible, “Beer-Can Chicken And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes For The Grill.” Steven says South Carolina contestants were not pleased with this upstart from Oklahoma. I am sure you will forgive him when you taste this yummy potato, which is stuffed with chopped barbecued brisket. Joe insists that you use the proper size potato – jumbo bakers that weigh in at 12 to 14 ounces.
4 jumbo baking potatoes (12 to 14 ounces each)
2 cups diced cooked brisket or other smoked meat
1 cup sour cream
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 cups coarsely grated Colby, Jack or Cheddar cheese
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh chives or scallion greens
You will also need 1 cup wood chips or chunks (optional; preferably hickory or pecan), soaked for one hour in water to cover, then drained.
Set up the grill for indirect grilling or preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
1. Scrub the potatoes and prick each in several spots with a fork. Place the potatoes in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat, and grill or bake in the oven until soft, one hour. Transfer the potatoes to a cutting board and let cool to room temperature. The potatoes can be cooked up to three days ahead.
2. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Scoop out the potato flesh with a spoon, leaving 1/4 inch of flesh in the shell. Coarsely chop the potato flesh and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Stir in the brisket, sour cream, 6 tablespoons of the butter and half the cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. The potato mixture should be highly seasoned. Stuff the mixture back into the potato shells and sprinkle the tops with the remaining butter and cheese and the chives. The recipe can be prepared through this step up to a day ahead.
3. Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-high. If using a gas grill, place wood chips or chunks, if using, in a smoker box or smoker pouch and preheat to high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium-high.
4. When ready to cook, if using a charcoal grill, toss all of the wood chips or chunks on the coals. Arrange the potato halves in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook the potatoes until the cheese is melted and the filling is bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve at once. Serves 8.
From the cookbook, “Beer-Can Chicken And 74 Other Offbeat Recipes For The Grill, ” by Steven Raichlen. (Workman Publishing, 2002)
Cook’s Note: This is a great use for leftover barbecue brisket. The dish would be good served with homemade salsa or your favorite BBQ sauce on the side.
Read Allison Askins article in the State Newspaper today for more ideas on barbecue sides.