Having returned to these shores from a foreign land I had a hankering for some good old American food. And what’s more American than a good old backyard cookout?
I decided to Barbeque. BBQ is not grilling. Grilling is slapping some form of meat on a searing hot grill, leaving it there either too short or too long a time and then washing it down with your favorite beer.
Barbeque is the very slow cooking of a large hunk of meat, which allows you to get drunk and not burn dinner.
I also found I have two empty propane tanks.
In SoCal we have 325 days of BBQ weather while Boston has only 2 weekends. We wanted to do our take on traditional BBQing – Barbacoa (which sounds like something you would buy from a late night infomercial) and try it in “rain day” mode.
Barbeque is generally associated with the South, however most cultures have a tradition of flinging big chunks of meat into the fire and then drinking until the women-folk get pissed and yell that the kids are hungry and need to go to bed. In Southern BBQ there are dry rubs and wet rubs and sauced or dry. Every region has it’s style. In this version I am going to do Hawaiian Kalua Pork.
If you wanted to do this in the traditional method you would first dig a hole in your backyard…kinda like you were going to bury your Mother-In-Law.
HaHaHa…no, I’m just joking.
The size of your pit would vary on the size of your Mother-In-Law, some of you might need a backhoe…HaHaHaHa – joking again.
With the appropriately sized hole dug you would line it with rocks and start a big fire. This is to heat the rocks. When the rocks are just under lava stage throw on some wet burlap, a banana leaf wrapped pig, more burlap, then bury it in sand like a dog with a steak bone..
Now wait 12 hours.
As much fun as this sounds, most non-Hawaiians who try this end up with 250 pounds of sand covered pork.
So here are the steps to making a fun filled indoor BBQ
First you need to get a Boston Butt…
OK…I’ll wait…done? Oh no. I’ve never heard that joke before…
In pre-revolutionary New England, some pork cuts (not the highly valued, or “high on the hog,” like loin and ham) were packed into barrels (also known as “butts”) for storage. The way the hog shoulder was cut in the Boston area became known as “Boston butt”. It isn’t anywhere near the actual pig butt…or ham. We save that for Easter dinner.
Having procured a pork shoulder, the first essential tool is a crockpot. If you do not have a crockpot find someone who was married in the 70s or 80s – they will have one right next to the Cuisinart. Seasoning the meat is next up. I used a combination of spices and dried orange and lemon peel. If you want you can rub it down with liquid smoke. Another alternative is to roughly cut up an onion and make a bed of it in the Crockpot. My “secret ingredient” is a small can of pineapple juice dumped in. Pile all this into the counter top cooker and set it for low and go away.
For 12 hours.
If you have a job, that would be a good activity to while away the time.
Upon your return from
golfing work it is time to prepare your accoutrements. Some people use the term fixin’s as in, “…with all the fixin’s”. Any time I read that on a menu I expect to find a hair in the salad.
The traditional side dish for me is macaroni salad. I have had some horrible macaroni salads. The usual downfall is it’s swimming in watered down mayonnaise like the little tubs they throw in the bag at questionable delis. Or someone gets fancy and puts chunks of cheese in, which makes it cold mac and cheese…which I only eat with a hangover.
This recipe starts with hard boiled eggs. If you need info on how to boil water please go back to watching Storage Wars or House Hunters or something. Do at least 8 eggs. Cool for at least 3 hours. Again the boiling thing…cook the pasta. Have fun and get weird shapes. Besides wagon wheels I’ve seen little flowers, even Sonic the Hedgehog. Be brave.
Mac salads needs crunch – oh sure you could leave some of the eggshell in but I prefer finely chopped celery.
Of course you are thinking “He writes a blog about cooking a hunk of meat? In a Crockpot?”
I have something to share…
What’s the worst job in the kitchen?
No, besides that..
Peeling hard boiled eggs…freakin’ frustrating. So here I am in the sunset years and I find out about this! I couldn’t get the video to load so use the link to check it out in facebook. You’re gonna be amazed! And it works!
And remember…the fun really starts when the 40 ouncers come out!
Happy Barbeque Season.