Last year during all the hub bub of my Prime Rib recipe photo contest Gary Wiviott, Pit Master of Barn & Company in Chicago and author of Low & Slow: Master the Art of Barbecue in 5 Easy Lessons, posted a photo on Facebook of a beautiful prime rib adorned with a mouth-watering black garlic sauce. I had never heard of Black Garlic (blackgarlic.com) before so I was intrigued and this turned out to be a great discovery for me. It really adds depth to any recipe that you'd normally use garlic or even many that you wouldn't.
Gary Wiviott's cookbook is one of my favorites. Low & Slow is a great book for beginners just getting into BBQ. It has a great approach that breaks down learning the ins and outs of the more popular smokers. This has regularly been a book that I like to give friends and family that are wanting to learn to use their smoker better. So knowing the flavors of some of Gary's recipes I begged Gary to share his recipe for his sauce which he says is really more of a compound butter. You know, like the wonderfully flavored butters that fine steakhouses top their more tender steaks with. Compound butters not only enhances the flavor, but can also add a little moisture.
What is Black Garlic?
Black Garlic is a fermented or aged garlic that starts with a natural, raw garlic bulb. They describe their process stating that they only use the finest garlic in its raw form in order to produce the best aged black garlic. It goes through a 3-week process somewhat similar to aged steaks, but involving heat. They're then allowed to cool and dry on special racks for a week before they hand select the garlic bulbs for final packaging. The resulting product produces a sweet and tangy garlic clove that has a rich, subtler garlic flavor. They like to compare the changes to how a fine wine ages, or better yet, an aged steak - it only get's better.
How to Use Black Garlic
Black Garlic comes in a few different forms from a purée to pre-peeled
to whole garlic bulbs. They keep much longer than fresh garlic and any of these will work for this recipe. The container of peeled garlic is perfect if you happen to go through garlic rather quickly like I do.
Yield: About 20 servings
Prep time: 5 minutes
8 cloves of black garlic
16 oz butter, non-salted, room temperature
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon sea salt (like Maldon)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1) Pulverize black garlic and sea salt together in a mortar and pestle.
2) Add black pepper and cayenne.
3) Remove to small mixing bowl to incorporate butter and honey.
4) Shape into 6-inch log on parchment paper. Roll and wrap tightly, freeze until butter is firm.
Can be frozen for up to 3-months.
I've tried this on everything from prime rib to strip steaks and I love the flavor. It's a great alternative if you're not a fan of horseradish sauce then this is a great alternative.
Also, if you're looking for other ways to use Black Garlic, then a good place to start would be their website. The last time I was there they had several recipes that beckoned to be tried like the Beef Fillet with Black Garlic Port Wine Sauce, Black Garlic Stuffed Mushrooms, and Scallops with Black Garlic and Chorizo.