Smoked meat is a delicacy which can be prepared in many different ways. The cooking process is very unique and interesting which is why it allows for so many improvisations and new creations. In a well balanced meal, the side dishes are as important as the main dish. Our palate appreciates the complementary tastes, and let’s face it, making side dishes which go well with your main dish make you look fancier. Side dishes are also essential to make the meal less boring and plain.
With smoked meat being such a peculiar meal, it can be hard to come up with suitable side dishes. Thankfully, in this day and age, there’s an easy solution.
Without further ado, the recipes below would be the top picks for complementary side dishes of smoked meat.
The Everything Slaw
This might be the easiest side dish to make, and the taste goes well with the texture of the meat.
What you’ll need:
- Half of a chopped head of red cabbage
- Half of a chopped head of white cabbage
- One shredded carrot (large)
- 240 ml of shredded jicama
- A shredded granny smith apple
- Two thinly chopped green onions
- 15 ml of Dijon mustard
- 30 ml of mayonnaise
- 30 ml of olive oil
- 30 ml of cider vinegar
- 30 ml of honey
- 5 ml of caraway seeds
- 5 ml of salt
- 2.5 ml of pepper
In order to prepare it, first, you’ll need to mix mustard, honey, olive oil, vinegar, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, and caraway seeds in a bowl. Next, add the shredded and chopped fruits and vegetables. Mix everything together so the ingredients spread evenly. Then simply put it in the refrigerator for one hour before eating.
Boston Baked Beans
This is a wonderful and tasty recipe anyone can prepare in a jiffy, and it’s sure to go lovely with your smoked meat, no matter how you smoked it.
What you’ll need:
- Two cups of navy beans
- One finely diced onion
- Half a pound of bacon
- Three tablespoons of molasses
- Two teaspoons of salt
- A quarter teaspoon of black pepper
- Half a cup of ketchup
- A quarter teaspoon of dry mustard
- A quarter cup of brown sugar
- One tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- The preparation time can take up to half an hour, but the beans need to sizzle comfortably for 4 hours.
First things first, soak the beans overnight in cold water and simmer them in that water until they’re tender. It will take around 1 or two hours. Be sure to drain the water, and don’t forget to reserve it.
If you haven’t by now, preheat the oven to 165 degrees Celsius (325 degrees F). Place the beans in a bean pot (or casserole pot). You should do this by first layering the beans, then adding onions and bacon on top. Take your favorite sauce pan and combine the spices (brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, salt and pepper, and molasses). This should be on the oven until it boils. When that happens, gently pour the mixture over the beans. Be careful not to overdo it, pour just enough to cover the beans. Don’t forget to cover the dish with tinfoil.
Finally, bake the beans for three to four hours, depending on when they get tender. Halfway through the baking, remove the lid and be free to add more water if you notice the beans will dry out.
Pancetta Pasta Salad
A creamy salad with pasta and sprinkles of meat is just the side dish smoke meat needs. If you don’t like pancetta, it’s possible to use bacon instead.
What you’ll need:
- 500 grams of pasta of your choice (we recommend fusilli or shell pasta)
- Two bunches of trimmed and halved asparagus
- Three thinly sliced onions
- 180 grams of chopped Pancetta (or bacon)
- A quarter cup of chopped fresh parsley leaves
- Two teaspoons of finely grated lemon rind
- Two tablespoons of lemon juice
- Half a cup of whole egg mayonnaise
- One tablespoon of wholegrain mustard
First, you’ll need to cook the pasta until it boils. Make sure you do this in salted water. The pasta should be tender when it’s ready to be taken out. In the last two minutes of cooking, add asparagus. Then simply drain the past, refresh it under cold water, and drain it again.
While the pasta is cooking, you should heat a frying pan over high heat and get the pancetta/bacon ready. Add it to the pan. Cook and stir it for around two minutes, until it’s crisp and brown. Then put it on a plate which was previously lined with a paper towel. Wait for it to cool down.
Combine the pasta, parsley, pancetta/bacon, asparagus and onion in a large bowl. Add mayonnaise, lemon rind, and the mustard, which were previously mixed in a different bowl. Toss to combine all the ingredients. Put it in the refrigerator until it’s ready to be served.
Grilled Potato Skins
This recipe has proven to be a great pair of smoked meat. It’s not hard to make, and the results are stunning. It’s also not such an everyday recipe, so it can be suitable for special occasions.
What you’ll need:
- Eight medium or small, cut in half by length, potatoes
- 240 ml shredded cheddar cheese
- 120 ml of sour cream
- 45 ml of butter
- One small finely diced onion
- Four to five crumbled pieces of cooked bacon
- 5 ml of slat
- 5 ml of black pepper
- 5 ml dried rosemary
Before anything else, preheat the grill to medium. Take a separate bowl and combine salt, pepper, rosemary, and butter. Cut the potatoes in half if you haven’t already, then simply hollow out the center of every half. Place the potatoes in the microwave and let them rotate and cook for up to seven minutes. It’s advisable that you don’t put them all at the same time so that they cook faster. When they’re done, brush the potatoes with the butter mix.
In the next step, when putting the potatoes on the grill, remember to leave the skin on the up side. They should be grilled for around five minutes, then turned and grilled for around another three. Now you’ll need to add the cheese.
Make sure to put it to the wedges and simply cook for another two to three minutes.
After that’s done, just remove the potatoes from the grill. This is where the sour cream, crumbled bacon, and onion come in handy, as they enhance the taste.
Baked Carrots with Cheddar Cheese
The next recipe here is a simple yet tasteful side dish which goes best with smoked turkey, but is sure to be a hit with other types of smoked meat, too.
What you’ll need:
- A pound and a half of peeled and thinly sliced carrots
- One cup of water
- Two tablespoons of butter
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- One cup of milk
- Two tablespoons of all purpose flour
- One pinch of ground mustard
- Black pepper to taste
Since this recipe requires cheddar cheese topping, you’ll also need:
- One cup of fresh and soft breadcrumbs
- Two tablespoons of melted butter
Start by heating the oven to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C), then lightly butter one and a half to two quart baking dish. Combine the carrots, water, and salt in a sauce pan. When it boils, cover it and lower the temperature to medium. Simmer for around twenty minutes- until it becomes tender. After you’ve drained it well, put it aside for now.
The next thing you’ll need to do is melt the butter over medium heat in a separate saucepan. Stir it in the flour for around two minutes, until it’s smooth and bubbly. While stirring constantly, add the milk. Don’t stop stirring while you cook it until the sauce thickens. Add the cheese and mustard. Taste the mixture, and add salt and pepper if you feel the need to do so. Gently mix the carrots and the sauce and transfer them to the baking dish.
In a separate bowl, toss the breadcrumbs with the butter and apply that over the carrot mix.
Now all you have to do is bake it at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for around twenty to twenty five minutes. At the end, the mixture should be bubbly and the topping lightly brown. If you want to brown it more, set the oven to broil for a minute or two.
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As you can see, there are a number of side dishes which you can experiment with. Smoked meat has been around for ages, and today it’s considered to be one of the most one of a kind types of cooking. There are a few ways in which meat can be smoked, and the best side dishes can wary depending on the type. That’s why there are so many options; you’ll figure out what works for you after you’ve tried pairing side dishes a few times.
The aforementioned recipes are there to get you started for a reason. Happy cooking!