It’s been a while since I’ve barbecued, and quite a while since I last took notes and remembered to record them. Since moving down to Florida, I’ve made several briskets and a few racks of ribs. A neighbor getting me interested in Formula 1 racing means I’ve been up early enough weekends to do some smoking.
No F1 today, but we needed to spend a day at home taking care of some tasks, so I fired up the Weber today. I’ve never tried it before, so I decided to make pulled pork. I picked up a pork butt (which counter-intuitively comes from the shoulder of the pig, I learned today) at Smitty’s down in Coral Ridge. Last night, I rubbed it with about 2 teaspoons of what was left of the rub from my last brisket, then mixed up a bit more rub from some mustard powder, garlic powder, Hungarian sweet paprika and cayenne pepper. There it sat overnight.
It was quite a pleasant day down here in Boca Raton, but a bit windy. Luckily the Weber held its heat pretty well. I flirted with buying a real smoker over the holidays, but decided against it as we’re about to buy a house. (Maybe it’s time to build a real smoker? The house we have our offer in on does have a backyard that needs work. Built in brick smokehouse as part of the patio renovation?) A little drilling and a few screws to reattach the handle, and the Weber was back in action.
The pork butt went on at 7:28 this morning. A bit later than I was hoping, but I overslept a little and the aforementioned grill repairs took a bit of time. Once getting the meat on the grill, I ran over to Publix to get a few supplies, then came home and made my mop. Today’s consisted of:
2 16oz Cans Busch
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 t salt
1 t pepper
1/2 t cayenne pepper.
Got that to a boil briefly, then it sat on the stove the rest of the day. My first addition of extra charcoal was a bit overzealous, and my temperature spiked to about 300° for about half an hour. Finally I removed a bunch of the coals, the temperature came down, and it stayed right in the ideal temperature of 215°-225° from there on out. I used up the morning’s mop around 1:00 or so, so I switched to mopping the meat with one of the other cans of Busch. (The fourth can seemed to have disappeared somewhere along the way.)
A coworker of mine has heard my complaints about Florida Barbecue one too many times and suggested I try Blue Front barbecue sauce. I guess these guys used to run a restaurant down here, but now they just sell their mustard based sauce. My coworker bought me a bottle last time he had access to it, so I thought I’d try it on tonight’s pork. It’s not the style of sauce I normally use, but it was excellent on pork.
For sides, we had to use up what was left in the fridge. Our salad was roasted beets tossed with feta and a red wine shallot vinaigrette. We finally figured out that wrapping beets in tin foil before roasting really helps the skin removal.
Bex also made some awesome smoky black beans. The beans were some of the best beans Bex has made, and she’s been making awesome beans weekly for the last year or so. We love our meat from Smitty’s, but another recent discovery is Emil’s Sausage Kitchen down on Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach. Now only are they wonderful for brats during football season, but they sell gigantic, smoky ham hocks that can just make a pot of beans. (And cheap!)
As for the main course, the sandwiches were delicious. Just the right amount of smoky, and I dare say that the mustard based sauce was nicer than my normal spicy tomato based sauce would have been. I’m glad I rememberd to get buns to make the meat into sandwiches. I just wish I had made cole slaw to go on buns. I’m very curious to try a vinegar/pepper sauce next time I try this.
For Next Time: What we ate was delicious, but since I didn’t get the internal temperature up as high as it should have the very center of the cut was still not quite as tender as the rest. I think those tougher center portions will make wonderful leftovers reheated in the oven. Also, there were bits that were tough, again I think a result of not quite being cooked long enough. (Depsite over twelve hours in the smoker.)
Still, I’ll put what I made up against any of the local restaurants I’ve been to. I didn’t go overboard with smoke, but it was exposed to enough smoke that it had a depth to it that I don’t find in the bland pulled pork I’ve had down here. Hopefully, next time I throw one of these in the Weber it’ll be at my housewarming barbecue. See you there.