Posts Tagged With: boston butt

Chinese-style BBQ Pork Sandwiches

At the time I was growing up in a small Texas city, it was pretty slim pickings when you wanted to eat something besides classic American food. My mom’s idea of cooking Chinese food at home was heating up some La Choy Chow Mein. Anybody else remember that meat-and-veggies-in-a-can delight? (See example at left, although I always think of the 70’s-rific orange package from back in the day.) Those were the nights I tried to make a meal out of the crunchy noodles that went on top.

We did have a couple of Chinese food restaurants in town and I remember it being a big treat when we got to go “eat Chinese.” One time we took my grandma, who had never encountered such an exotic menu before. She listened in quiet horror as my dad ordered the pupu platter appetizer. (“I don’t think I’ll be havin’ any of that,” she whispered to me.) After the rest of us were done ordering our entrees, grandma smiled at the waitress and inquired, “Now, honey, do you have any baked potatoes?”

I think she ended up eating some steamed rice. And complaining a lot.

In my continuing quest to perfect pulled pork on my Egg — and it is ongoing, as you will hear — I thought putting a Chinese-inspired spin on my next attempt might be fun. First, I needed a good rub for the pork shoulder. I found a blog with a Chinese-style Dry Rub and I modified it just a teeny bit since I never have white pepper on hand.

Chinese-style Dry Rub

Mix: 1 tbsp Salt, 1.5 tbsp Black pepper, 1 tbsp Garlic powder, 0.5 tbsp Onion powder, 2 tsp paprika, 1 tsp Ginger powder, 1 tsp Mustard powder, and 2 tsp white sugar.

Chinese-style Dry Rub I rubbed down my pork shoulder and put it on the Egg over indirect heat for a nice, long smoke. I would give you details of the cooking process but, since my pulled pork ended up being chopped pork, how bout if I just direct you to Griffin’s Grub for cooking instructions? What I am finally figuring out is that I need to allow for a LOT of time on these — like set up an overnight smoke. (If you don’t have that kind of time, see some of my shortcut suggestions at the end of this post.) My pork shoulder sure looked good at the start, though…

Chinese-style Pork Shoulder

I decided I would whip up both a mop and my own sauce for this one. My inspiration for the sandwiches was this appetizer recipe. I used their char siu-style glaze — just mix up: 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/2 cup hoisin sauce, 2 tbsps toasted sesame oil, 2 tbsps minced garlic, 2 tbsps minced ginger, and 2 tbsps low-sodium soy sauce.

For the mop, I threw together 1/4 cup peanut oil, 1/4 cup sesame oil, 1/4 cup soy sauce, and 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar.

Sauce & Mop

I set a little of the BBQ sauce aside to use later on the sandwiches. I basted with the mop every hour and then switched to the sauce a little more than halfway through.

Chinese-style Pork Shoulder

Once the pork was done (or at least I thought it was done), I removed my plate setter, cranked up the heat, and grilled some fresh pineapples slices. (About 2-3 minutes per side, basted with the BBQ sauce.) I also drizzled a purple onion with a bit of peanut oil and threw it on the Egg, too.

Grilled Pineapple

Final step was sandwich assembly. I made a new discovery at the store: King’s Hawaiian Sweet Hamburger Buns. (Brilliance.) I toasted them up and spread a little sauce on both sides like so…

And then piled on my pork, a pineapple ring, and the grilled onion.

Chinese-style Pork Sandwiches

Y’all, they were so good. I think even grandma would have been won over.

Shortcut ideas: To make this easier, you could use the same spices and sauce in a slow-cooker version OR how about throwing the spices in some ground pork for a burger version? I think either would be totally yum.

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Categories: Pork, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

My First Smoke

Just in case my mom ever finds her way past email to the interwebs, let me start by saying that this post is about smoked pork shoulder. This cut is also referred to as Boston butt and, while that lent itself to a lot of great headline ideas, I decided I would never get this written if I stopped every five seconds to giggle. After consulting my BBQ bible, it seemed that pork shoulder was a good place to start — mostly since I’ve read it is hard to mess up.

First, I had to pick a rub. Legends of Texas Barbecue has a recipe for Stubb’s Hot Pork Rub but it produces massive quantities and I had most of the ingredients but not all. Given that I often improvise my own rubs, I figured I would just eyeball the proportions and leave out anything I didn’t have. Even though my rub turned out fine, I thought it was a bit salty — will probably take my friend Clint’s advice and use a rub like Dizzy Pig next time. Confession: I didn’t let it sit overnight in the rub — just an hour or so on my kitchen counter while it came to room temperature. (I know, not very Zen all of this rushing and short-cutting. What can I say? I am a work in progress.) It sure did look purty though…

Okay, maybe I went a little crazy with the rub…

I set up my lovely Big Green Egg for indirect heat and steadied it out at between 210 and 250 degrees. I decided to skip the water pan (I know, you BBQ enthusiasts are just shaking your heads now) with the thought that my mop (aka basting sauce) would keep things nice and moist. The mop smelled so dang good…

I used some limes that I had on hand but lemons would definitely be better…

Here’s the mop recipe I used: Mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 cup Wesson oil, 2 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, one smashed garlic clove, a quartered medium onion, and one quartered lemon. Bring it to a simmer and baste every 30 minutes.

After about four hours, my heat started to drop (still perfecting the really long smokes) but I figured we were in good shape. I pulled the pork shoulder off, tented it with foil for about 10 minutes, and then sliced it into steaks. (The hubby was hoping it would just fall apart. It was tender but not quite that tender. Water pan, anyone?) We plated it up and dug in…

This was a weeknight, so we added a yummy salad. (Recipe to follow.)
Hey, I’m no Paula Deen…

The flavor was superb and the meat was crazy tender. I put a bit of bottled Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite BBQ sauce on the side that first night but didn’t really need it. No sauce needed = success, in my book.

Tomorrow, I’ll give you some grits to meditate on over the weekend…

Categories: Pork, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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