Categories
barbecue pork recipes sauces

Pulled Pork (and Smoking Flower Pots)

My Lazy Barbecue posts (beef ribs and tri-tip) were an easy and convenient way to make barbecue in an oven, but it also stoked my dormant curiosity about smoking meats…with real smoke. We’re technically not allowed to grill or barbecue where we live, so I started looking for ways to build a smoker that didn’t look so conspicuous. Google eventually led me to an old episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats where he made a smoker out of a terra cotta flower pot and bowl and an electric hot plate. I’ll write more about the smoker in another post since i want this one to focus on this:


Pulled Pork and Baby Back Ribs

(I’ll talk about the ribs some other time…let’s just discuss the pulled pork.)

Making pulled pork is pretty simple. For this attempt, I coated the entire pork butt with yellow mustard and then sprinkled the meat with a barbecue spice rub and let sit in the refrigerator uncovered for 18 hours. Generally, pork butt is smoked for more than 12 hours at a fairly low temperature (usu. between 225-250F) until the meat reaches a temperature of 195F.

From what I’ve read, the meat stops “absorbing” smoke at around the 3–4 hour mark and any time after that just adds to the smokey bark that accumulates on the meat. Since I was using an electric hot plate and didn’t want to leave it on overnight, I smoked the meat for around 4 hours at an average temp of 240F and then double wrapped it in heavy duty foil and put it in a 225F oven to finish.

The total cooking time was around 16 hours, and after I took it out of the oven, I put it in an empty ice chest where it rested until I was ready to pull the pork and serve it. Here’s what it looked like after removing it from the foil. The “gap” in the meat is where the shoulder bone used to be.


Finished Pork Butt

Categories
Italian recipes sauces

Sunday Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Toni’s Garden.

This sauce is the real thing…the all day preparation, slow-cooked sauce. Best made a day ahead. Not only does it taste better the next day, but the layer of fat that has risen to the surface is easily removed.

The important thing is the ingredients. The tomatoes are critical. You can also add things like beef shortribs or braciole or even a small lamb shank. You may also notice that there is no garlic in the sauce…contrary to popular belief, Italians don’t put garlic in everything!

Remember, this sauce is an event. Be prepared to spend several hours in the kitchen, preparing and cooking. Turn on some music, enjoy the aroma and remember to have fun! It’s worth every minute you spend.

Note: If you are making the sauce for timpano, add an additional can of tomatoes, and 2 or 3 pieces of pork. Boneless country-style ribs work very well. The sauce needs to be thinner for timpáno so there is enough moisture for the pasta to finish cooking.

INGREDIENTS
3 large cans (28 oz. each) of San Marzano Tomatoes
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil or bacon/pancetta drippings

Meatballs
Use your own meatballs, fresh or frozen, or make this really good Italian Meatball recipe.

Sausages
Find 6 of the best-quality mild or sweet (it’s the same thing) Italian sausage that you can find. Poke a couple of holes in each one and steam them in a little water until cooked. Brown them well and set aside with the meatballs.

The Sauce

  1. In a large, heavy bottom pan, sauté 1 medium to large, thinly sliced onion in either olive oil, or better yet, bacon or pancetta drippings. Cook until nice and brown.
  2. Add one small can (6 oz.) of tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes with the onions.
  3. Take 3 large cans of good-quality whole Italian (San Marzano) tomatoes and put in your blender for about 2 seconds. Do not overblend, you don’t want tomato juice! Also very important…do not use crushed tomatoes or tomato puree…they just don’t have the same quality.
  4. Add tomatoes to the pot and stir.
  5. Add your cooked sausages and meatballs, bring slowly to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 4 hours, stirring occassionally.
  6. About 1/2 an hour before serving, add 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves.
  7. Serve over your favorite pasta or make manicotti!
Categories
barbecue beef recipes sauces

Texas-style BBQ Sauce

from Cook’s Illustrated
This sauce is a good accompaniment for the Texas-style BBQ Ribs.

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced onion
1 medium clove garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 cups tomato juice
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon powdered mustard mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon minced chipotle chile in adobo
2 tablespoons mild molasses or dark molasses
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat butter in small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until foaming; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and chili powder; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds.
  3. Add tomato juice, 1/2 cup vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chipotle, molasses, and salt
  4. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Off heat, stir in pepper and remaining 1/4 cup vinegar.
  6. Cool to room temperature before serving. If you want, you can run the sauce through a strainer to make it smooth.
    (Can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 4 days; bring to room temperature before serving.)