One of the many perks of my involvement in competition barbecue is the interesting people I’ve met. Some have become lifelong friends.
Although Kansas City is base for the Kansas City Barbeque Society, the KCBS community is global, with members in Canada, Estonia, Ireland, Poland, England, France, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Aruba, Denmark, Holland, Italy, South Africa, Germany, Australia, Puerto Rico. KCBS is more than 17,000 members strong and growing daily.
Lately the smoke from my barbecue pit reminds me that the American Royal Barbecue is coming up soon.
Besides the awesome magnitude of the event — a far cry from when it fit in the Golden Ox parking lot — there’s food, entertainment, a spectacular variety of cooking rigs, an enormous number of dedicated judges and most of all for me, it’s a family reunion.
Although he won’t be at this year’s event, Guido Meindl will have the American Royal on his mind as he fires up his big custom-made brick barbecue pit at his home in Pasadena, Calif., in the hills overlooking the Rose Bowl.
Guido has been a friend since we met years ago at the Royal sauce, rub and baste contest. He walked away with an armload of well-deserved awards for his Guido’s Serious sauces and rubs.
He retired the brand a few years ago, but Guido makes sure I am always stocked from his private reserve. His potato salad is a guaranteed big hit for your next backyard barbecue.Guido’s Serious Potato Salad
Guido told me, “I rarely follow a recipe. I just add whatever I think is tasty to enhance the taste.”
When I asked whether cucumbers would be a tasty addition to his salad, he replied, “The two just don’t complement each other in one bowl. It’s like mixing apple strudel with green beans!”
The measurements below are my own. Adjust ingredients and preparation according to your taste and style. It is easy to make and seriously delicious.Makes 4 to 6 servings 3 pounds White Rose potatoes, or small red or Yukon golds 1 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup red wine vinegar tablespoon pepper 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 red onion sliced into small, thin pieces 4 slices apple smoked bacon, fried until crunchy. Reserve some of the grease.
Boil potatoes until tender but firm. Let stand until cool and then remove potato skins and cut into 1/4-inch slices.
Whisk oil, vinegar, bacon grease, pepper, salt and sugar in a bowl. Pour sauce on potatoes and add the onions, stir and place in refrigerator until cool.
Add a bit more salt or other seasonings to your taste and “a 6-pack of beer for your consumption.”
Before serving, pour the excess dressing into a container, cover and save it for basting ribs.
What better pairing with this salad than barbecue ribs. Next up: Guido’s Pasahooly Ribs.
Ardie Davis is an iconic figure in the barbecue community. He founded a sauce contest on his backyard patio in 1984 that became the American Royal International Barbecue Sauce, Rub Baste contest. He is a charter member of the Kansas City Barbeque Society and an inductee into the KCBS’s Hall of Flame. He has been interviewed on numerous food shows and writes for a variety of barbecue-related publications. He is also the author of a number of barbecue books, his most recent release “America’s Best BBQ Homestyle: What Champions Cook in Their Own Backyards.”