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Don't Sweat Your Cookout: Lighten It Up With Barbecue Beef Lettuce Wraps


It's a little counterintuitive to us that summer cookouts often mean preparing some of the heaviest and heartiest meats during the hottest months of the year. We're not complaining, of course—we'll never turn down good barbecue. But we do get pretty excited when we can create something that's both light and packed with our favorite barbecue meats, like these tasty lettuce wraps.

For maximum flavor, we suggest picking up well-marbled cuts of meat, like short ribs or ribeye, and slicing it thin. Alternatively, you can head to your local Asian market for beef labeled for hot pot or Korean barbecue (hello, bulgogi). While we usually don't advocate applying barbecue sauce before grilling, since it tends to burn before the meat is cooked, you can go right ahead and slather these slices with tangy and peppery Stubb's Original Bar-B-Q Sauce. They'll cook so quickly that you won't need to worry about burning.

Once the steak is nicely browned and charred, nestle it into delicate leaves of Bibb lettuce, and top it with a vinegary red cabbage slaw, grilled corn, scallions, and extra barbecue sauce for good measure. These wraps will really hit the spot on a hot and humid summer day, giving you all those traditional barbecue flavors—without the meat sweats.

Barbecue Beef Lettuce Wraps


Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4

Special Equipment: Charcoal grill or gas grill; chimney starter; salad spinner or large rimmed baking sheet

For the Coleslaw:
1/2 large head red cabbage, finely shredded on a mandoline or by hand
3/4 cup red onion, finely minced (about 1/2 medium onion)
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
2 tablespoons (30g) kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (2 1/2 ounces; 75g), divided, plus more to taste
1/4 cup (60ml) apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

For the Wraps:
1 ear corn, shucked
1 1/4 pounds (562g) thinly sliced beef, like ribeye, short rib, or bulgogi
2/3 cup (160ml) Stubb's Original Bar-B-Q Sauce, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon (5g) kosher salt

1/4 cup finely sliced fresh scallions
1 large head Bibb lettuce, leaves separated and washed

1. To Make the Slaw: Combine cabbage, onion, and carrot in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and 1/4 cup (50g) sugar and toss to combine. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer to a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water. Transfer vegetables to a salad spinner and spin dry. Alternatively, transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and blot mixture dry with more towels. Return to large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar, celery seed, and pepper. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and/or sugar. Set aside.

3. Light 1 chimney full of charcoal. When charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange coals evenly across charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill, and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Alternatively, set the burners on a gas grill to high heat, cover, and preheat for 10 minutes. Clean and oil grilling grate. Place corn on grill and cook, turning occasionally, until tender and charred all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer corn to a cutting board and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Cut kernels from cob.

4. Place steak in a medium bowl. Add barbecue sauce and salt; toss to thoroughly coat. Transfer steak to grill and cook until browned and lightly charred all over, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to cutting board.

5. Place slices of steak in each lettuce leaf and top with coleslaw, corn, scallions, and extra barbecue sauce to taste.

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