Sizzle up 
the Fourth with these BBQ ideas

My husband, Fred, recently suggested we have some simple grilled hamburgers smothered with slowly sautéed onions and mushrooms. Just plain, good old-fashioned goodness. We had forgotten how good it is.

Fred dressed his up with a little barbecue sauce. Not me. I had a little Dijon mustard. And I decided it was time to look through my archives of summer holiday recipes.

I sat with binders full of recipes and computer files. My search took hours, but it was actually fun.

Here’s a few I found to add sizzle to Fourth of July barbecues, including ours, per Fred.


From my past: 1996, Beef Board. Still a good recipe and economical.

4 well-trimmed boneless beef chuck top blade steaks or steak of your choice


1/2 cup prepared chunky salsa

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Combine sauce ingredients. Mix well. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce.

The steaks go on the grid over medium ash-covered coals or over medium heat of a gas grill.

Grill uncovered 18–22 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally and brushing both sides with remaining sauce. Serve steak with reserved sauce. While steaks are grilling, throw veggies and sweet corn on the grill.



2 cans of regular or non-alcoholic beer (may use chicken or beef broth in place of beer)

1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

3 cloves minced garlic

1 large onion, sliced

6–8 brats, regular or lower fat

Drop or two of hot pepper sauce, if you like


Caramelize onions, add garlic for a couple seconds, then add rest of ingredients (except for the buns). Simmer, and I mean SIMMER, brats for 20–25 minutes. Grill them over medium heat until browned, returning them to liquid a couple times during grilling to keep the juiciness of the brats. Serve with sauerkraut mixed with Thousand Island dressing and onions heated and other condiments and buns.



From the Cattleman’s Beef Association, 15 years ago

1 1/2 pounds ground beef

Sweet onion slices

4 Swiss cheese slices

4 crusty white or whole wheat rolls, split

Lettuce (I used Romaine)

Brew sauce:

1/4 cup regular or non-alcoholic beer

1/4 cup prepared steak sauce

Combine sauce ingredients. Cover and microwave on high for 1–1 1/2 minutes until bubbly. Set aside.

Lightly shape 4 beef patties, 3/4 inch thick. Place patties and onion slices on grill. Grill, turning once, until center of patties are done (160 degrees). Onions should be tender and browned. About 2 minutes before burgers are completely done, generously brush with sauce and top with cheese.

Line rolls with lettuce, top with burger, onion and sauce.



I’ve been told these are served at Rockies games: hot dogs with grilled peppers, sauerkraut and onions.

I like a Dietz Watson Hot Dog or National Hebrew Dogs.

Fred goes for the good old standard French’s Yellow Mustard.

Watch those hot dogs on the grill. They can go from plump and juicy to as dry as the desert in minutes.


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Dixie, I love your column.  I recently made a recipe of yours consisting of grilled corn and grilled chicken, combined with butter/bibb lettuce to make a delicious salad.  I’d like to make it again, but I seem to have misplaced the recipe.  Could you please, please e-mail it to me.  It was delicious!
Thanks so much,
Mary Ann

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