What's going on here: As is the case for most time-honored and popular spice blend recipes, recipes for Berbere vary not only regionally, but from family to family. So it only seemed right not to try to improve upon an original, but add another dimension to it... preferably one you will not find anywhere else. Blending in Mesquite Smoked Sea Salt served that purpose well, and it's a sensible fit given that Berbere is known for it's fantastic "barbecue" flavor profile. This one is going to be a best seller in no time.
How to use it: Classically used to season Ethiopian Chicken Stew (Doro Wat), traditional Berbere is terrific on all cuts of poultry, beef, pork, lamb, seafood, and vegetables, especially grilled or roasted summer vegetables, onions, and potatoes. It's the same with Berbere Smoke. Sprinkle it on mac and cheese, fried potatoes, your favorite stew, corn on the cob, pasta with homemade meat sauce… you get the idea. It’s versatile.
Method: As with all of our salts, this can be used as a dry brine, basic seasoning salt, or finishing salt.
To Dry Brine: Apply generously (1/2 to both sides of cuts of meat, pork, or poultry ideally 6-24 hours prior to cooking. Transfer meat to a rack on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered until it's time to cook. Remove meat from the fridge 45-60 minutes and let it rest at room temperature prior to cooking. This process will result in a dramatically improved flavor, texture, and residual moisture (juiciness) of your meat dishes. Check for seasoning after cooking and apply more if needed, to suit your taste.
To Season Seafood and Vegetables: Simply apply ½ to 1 teaspoons per serving prior to cooking. Add more to taste if needed prior to serving.
Sauce: Make an amazing barbecue sauce with one can of tomato paste, honey to taste (maybe 2 – 3 tablespoons), and Berbere to taste. I wouldn’t hesitate to add a little bourbon (to the sauce…).