Pork Steak

When I was a kid this is the cut of meat that I remember hitting the grill the most often around our house, and for good reason – it’s a tasty, inexpensive cut that cooks fast and is almost impossible to screw up. Perfect for weeknights when you want something quick and great for feeding a crowd.

Pork steak is cut from the shoulder roast (a.k.a. Boston butt). It’s an active muscle group and not particularly tender, so the steaks are usually cut no more than a 1/2 inch thick. The steaks have a lot of marbling, which makes them very flavorful and moist.

For this cook I set my Big Green Egg up for a direct cook at medium-high temperature (about 350-375°F).  There are no nuances to pork steak, so in holding with family tradition I seasoned them heavily with seasoned salt and tossed them on the grill.

With the lip open, I let the steaks cook about a minute on each side before flipping them, and then kept flipping them once a  minute until they were done. When I got flare ups, I just shut the lid down until they stopped, but always tried to keep the meat moving.

How do you tell when pork steaks are done? The USDA says at 160°F internal temp. That’s fine, but these are some fatty steaks and there is little danger of overcooking them. I cooked them for a good 15 to 20 minutes, until much of the fat has rendered out and what’s left has gotten ever so crispy.

Puerco Adobada (Red Chile Pork)

This is a traditional Mexican recipe of pork slow cooked in chile sauce (adobo). Yes, this recipe takes some time to make. Yes, it has LOTS of chilies in it.  But it is well worth the effort as much of the heat cooks out and you end up with these chunks of amazingly tender pork bathed in a warm, earthly sauce. Continue reading “Puerco Adobada (Red Chile Pork)”

Sausage and Peppers

It’s getting to be the end of Summer and the peppers are at their prime. This is an easy one-dish cook that melds the sweetness of the peppers, the spiciness of the sausages, and smokeyness of the grill.

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 6 cups mixed sweet peppers (bell, Hungarian, banana…) sliced into strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • A couple of grinds of fresh black pepper
  • 9-12 small sweet or hot Italian sausages Continue reading “Sausage and Peppers”

Pulled Pork

With a neighborhood party coming up, I decided to make a big batch of pulled pork. It’s one of my favorite dishes to make for a crowd. Everyone likes it and it’s one of those dishes that really benefits from being made in quantity. Also, it epitomizes a lot of what barbecue is about – the art of taking a tough cut of meat on a long journey over a low flame in order to turn it into that tasty tenderness that we all love.

  • 2 pork butts (pork shoulder roasts), about 18 pounds total
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue rub (this batch used Dizzy Pig Dizzy Dust)
  • 1 cup of your favorite finishing sauce (I used this Lexington-style sauce)

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2-1-1 Baby Back Ribs

When it comes to ribs, I’m partial to baby backs – lean, tender, tasty, and fairly quick to cook. I usually do them over an indirect heat at 225°F for about 5 hours. But for this batch of ribs I decided to try going with direct heat and rely on a foiled cooking technique that I typically use for spare ribs to give me equally tender ribs in less time. Continue reading “2-1-1 Baby Back Ribs”

Pork Char Sui

I’ve been wanting to try and duplicate the tasty red pork that we get at our local Chinese restaurant. After doing some research, I decided to start with a 13-pound pork butt (shoulder roast) thinly sliced into strips. Rather than use food coloring to get the usual red color, I went back to the traditional method and cured the pork first. Continue reading “Pork Char Sui”

3-2-1 Spare Ribs

Spare ribs are the big, meaty ribs that come from the belly of the pig. They have more fat and flavor than back ribs, but also require a bit more time or attention to prepare successfully.

The 3-2-1 method is one of the best ways to ensure that spare ribs give up all of their tender piggy goodness without drying out. It basically involves smoking the ribs as normal for 3 hours, followed by 2 hours of cooking them wrapped in foil, and then 1 more hour unwrapped. This gives the ribs a good, smoky flavor, breaks down the toughness of the meat, and adds a final crispy bark. Continue reading “3-2-1 Spare Ribs”

Stuffed Pork Loin

I really enjoy grilled pork loin – it’s quick, cheap, tasty, and very versatile. It’s the first thing I reach for when we’ve got guests to feed on short notice. The only issue I have with it is that pigs have been bred to be so lean that this cut can dry out pretty easily.

The solution – stuff it.

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Bacon – Buckboard and Canadian-style

Bacon

Who doesn’t love bacon? Smokey, salty, crispy – it’s one of the best things to ever happen to a pig. But lately I’ve not been very impressed with the quality of the commercial brands, or the price of the specialty bacon, so I decided to try my hand at making it myself. I wanted something a little leaner than American streaky bacon, so I started with a small 7-pound pork butt (shoulder roast) and a 5-pound loin instead of the more traditional belly meat.

First I needed to cure the meat. I went with a combination of a 1/2 cup plain white sugar and a 1/2 cup Morton’s Sugar Cure. This made up the dry cure. I put the butt and loin into their own large freezer bags and coated them with two tablespoons of the dry cure for each pound of meat – so the butt got 14 tablespoons and the loin got 10.

Continue reading “Bacon – Buckboard and Canadian-style”