Monday, July 14, 2008
But I Still Refuse to Grill
My sister from NO is arriving today with her two boys. I had originally planned on making for dinner a roast chicken from the Susan Spicer cookbook she gave me for Christmas this year. Then when I was cleaning out my freezer yesterday (something I felt compelled to do before having houseguests), I found these two hunks of meat that were eventually identified as a piece of beef brisket and a pork shoulder. The brisket was thrown in there around the holidays when I was making one of our favorite New Basics recipe, Nate Waxman's Brisket, and could only find completely trimmed and way too small briskets or the honker piece I wound up buying. I hacked out a chunk to cook then and put the rest in the freezer to smoke later. The origin and history of the pork shoulder are unknown, but I decided to cook it anyway. If you put enough spicy BBQ rub, mop and sauce on a piece of meat, it won't matter if it is a little old or freezer burned, right?
DH (aka Grill Will) is generally in charge of the grill(s) and smoker, and I like it that way. He is a good and willing cook, but somehow I end up doing dinner most nights. So while I do my part when we barbecue (marinades, rubs, brines, and sauces), he does the cooking. However, since today is Monday and he has to go to work and I do not, I am taking on the smoker. Mind you, this is kind of a cheater smoker that I am sure would be dissed by all purist BBQers – it is gas. I bought is for Christmas for DH a couple of years ago after he suffered from smoker-envy after seeing one at the home of our friend K during our Hurricane Katrina Tour of the South.
DH brined the brisket in tea overnight, then this morning I rubbed it down with our standard paprika-based rub, adding garlic, onion and ancho chile powders, some sugar, salt and pepper. Then I added more brown sugar and some dry mustard to the leftovers and used that to make a rub for the pork. I let the meat sit to warm up to room temperature while I made the kids' favorite Root Beer BBQ sauce. DH is doing the SugarBusters diet right now, but he is just going to have to take the night off. The sauce is a tomato (catsup) based sauce with onion and garlic sautéed in butter before adding the catsup (about 2 cups) and the Barqs rootbeer (2 cans), as well as some other miscellaneous ingredients: a little orange juice concentrate, a couple of tablespoons each of Steen's syrup, coffee concentrate, and the rub, as well a healthy pinch of cayenne. I like my barbecue sauce sweet, hot and thick so I cook all that down for a couple of hours.
DH put some hickory on to soak before leaving this morning. I am mopping them occasionally with a combination of beer, Wooster and the rub. The lawn guys at the house next door have got to be salivating…