Just because the "summer grilling season" is coming to an end, doesn't mean it's time to cover up the grill and head indoors. Fall is definitely my favorite time to step outside and gather friends for a barbecue feast. Add in some local craft beer to pair, and it is even better.
My friend Natasha Ball of Head Country Bar-B-Q drove down from Tulsa to join us, bringing along their lineup of sauces, marinade and seasonings to spice up the autumn festivities.
I also called my friend and usual partner in crime chef Joel Bein, known in Tulsa for his creative take on barbecue, and invited him to OKC for some grill time. Tulsans know that the barbecue sauce offered on Berin's food truck called Rub is almost always sure to be Head Country. We fired up the backyard grills (a Hasty-Bake Legacy, made in Tulsa and an OFYR Classic) and welcomed some friends over for dinner.
Founded in 1947, Ponca City-based Head Country Bar-B-Q offers sauces in six flavors including Original, Chipotle, Hickory Smoke, Hot & Spicy, Apple Habanero and Sugar-Free for those following a low-sugar diet. Their three Championship Seasoning options are Original, Sweet & Spicy and High Plains Heat. Their Premium All-Purpose Marinade pairs beautifully with beef, pork, poultry and more.
Natasha put together some mini bacon-wrapped meatloaves, seasoned with the Original Seasoning and the Premium All-Purpose Marinade. Joel seasoned a duck with the marinade and seasoning, plus some Chinese five-spice and a sesame-soy glaze. Pork chops from Prairie Creek Farms in Kellyville, Oklahoma, were glazed with Head Country's Apple Habanero Sauce (my personal favorite) and served with grilled apples and onions. Also in the mix were elk striploin, boar tenderloin, chicken drums, beef-stuffed mini eggplant, shishito peppers, bell peppers, jalapenos, mushrooms and garlic. Both the Original and Sweet & Spicy seasonings add great flavor to veggies and peppers.
It wouldn't be a grill day without including my favorite grill snack, Hellim grilling cheese from my friends at Emre Natural Foods in Stroud. Named after Daren and Sara Beth Ertugrul's son Emre, the company is a division of Hellim Cheese Factory, opened in 2014 by Daren's parents who are from Cyprus. Try the cheese grilled and topped with balsamic macerated berries or your favorite fruit compote. Find the Ertugrul family's cheese at Gourmet Gallery and Urban Agrarian.
Since beer pairs so well with barbecue, I stopped by to pick up our beef, pork and chicken directly from the farmers at Prairie Creek Farms. Their pastured meat products are available in Oklahoma City at Urban Agrarian, Red Rooster, Fassler Hall and the Little Market on Paseo. In May 2019, they launched their nano-brewery, Rapture Brewing, right on the farm. Brewer Mitch Hull is currently rotating a selection of four beers at a time. Our guests really enjoyed the way the saison complemented the sweet and spicy meats and vegetables, and the peach sour was unexpectedly complementary of the smoky notes of the meat. Rapture Brewing is now available on tap at select venues in Tulsa and hopes to be in Oklahoma City soon, says Prairie Creek co-owner Nathaniel Beaulac. While they intend to start bottling for distribution in February, crowlers are already available at the farm, where you can buy their meat and eggs as well.
Other Local BBQ Brews:
Everything Rhymes with Orange IPA, Roughtail Brewing Co (OKC)
Chug Norris Pale Ale, Stonecloud Brewing Company (OKC)
Kolsch, Marshall Brewing Company (Tulsa)
Saturday Siren Dry-Hopped Pils, COOP Ale Works (OKC)
We hope you will visit us on our Facebook page Facebook.com/HistoricDistrictLifestyle and share your favorite fall barbecue recipes and pictures!
For recipes using Head Country's seasonings, marinade and sauces, visit HeadCountry.com/Recipes.
For more information on some of our other Oklahoma favorites, visit: