December 2015 —The Holiday Issue
There is no better way to cook a roast than on the grill, and there is no entrée better suited for the holiday table than a beautifully-roasted cut of meat. This year we’ve come up with a bone-in center cut pork loin with a flavorful espresso garlic rub that is smoke-roasted on the rotisserie. We think you’ll love our new smoked cauliflower recipe, and our Bourbon Gingerbread Pudding is a truly festive dessert.
Wishing you and yours a happy and safe holiday season.
Smoke-roasted Rotisserie Pork with Espresso Garlic Rub
This easy holiday recipe will delight your guests. The rub is simple and imparts a wonderfully earthy, flavorful crust as the meat bastes itself in its own juices on the rotisserie. Wood smoke from the grill adds complexity and depth to the flavor. The results are both beautiful and delicious.
Espresso Garlic Rub
- 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
- 3 tablespoons of kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon roasted garlic flakes
- 1 teaspoon dried minced onion
- 2 tablespoons ground espresso, we prefer to use Illy
7-bone, center-cut pork loin roast, about 5 1/2 pounds (not Frenched)
Wood chips or pellets for smoking
Combine the ingredients for the Espresso Garlic Rub in a small bowl.
Trim the fat on the outside of the roast down to a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Use a knife to lightly score a crosshatch pattern through the remaining layer of fat on the outside of the meat. This helps render the fat more quickly and allows the flavor from the rub and smoke to penetrate the meat.
Liberally apply rub to all sides of the pork, taking time to massage it into the crevices. Rest the roast at room temperature while you prepare the grill for rotisserie roasting at 400°F with wood smoke. For rotisserie roasting on gas grills, we recommend cooking with indirect heat from the primary burners rather than using an infrared rotisserie burner.
If you’re cooking on a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, the setup should go as follows:
Flip up the warming rack, making room for the rotisserie spit.
Prepare 3 smoking envelopes with wood chips or pellets. Place 1 envelope in the Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer above the main burner on the far left of the grill.
Fire up the ignition burner on HIGH and the left main burner below on MEDIUM. Preheat the grill with the hood closed until the hood thermometer reads 400°F. When you mount the roast on the rotisserie spit, mount it so that the roast will be on the right side of the grill (away from the active main burner) and the larger end of the roast faces to the left (toward the active burner).
Replace the smoking envelope every 30 minutes with a fresh one.
Mount the roast on the rotisserie spit, centering the mass of the meat on the axis of the spit as well as you can. Install the spit in the grill and roast the pork until the internal temperature reads 150°F, approximately 90 minutes cooking time. Remove the meat from the grill, leaving the rotisserie spit in the roast, and let it rest for 10 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise to the desired 160°F. Remove the spit and serve.
We love roasted cauliflower, but the addition of smoke really elevates the flavor of this side dish. A drizzle of simple vinaigrette with a touch of good quality maple syrup provides the perfect amount of sweetness. The complex and earthy flavors will surprise and delight your guests. To switch things up, you can try using your favorite barbecue rub, or simply season with olive oil and salt as we have done here.
- 3 to 4 pounds cauliflower, trimmed and separated into small pieces (we used colored whole baby cauliflower)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine grey sea salt
- Wood chips or pellets for smoking
For the dressing
Prepare the grill for indirect roasting with ample wood smoke at 400°F.
Toss the cauliflower in olive oil to coat thoroughly. Season liberally with salt.
Place the cauliflower in the indirect zone of the grill and roast for 60 minutes. (Note: If you are preparing the Smoke-roasted Rotisserie Pork, add the cauliflower to the grill after the pork has been roasting for 45 minutes. This allows the pork to finish cooking and resting at about the same time as the cauliflower is finished cooking.)
When the cauliflower is nearly done, vigorously whisk together the dressing ingredients to create an emulsion. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving bowl or platter and drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!
Bourbon Gingerbread Pudding
This festive dessert is perfect for the holiday table. Preparing it on the grill with wood smoke adds a welcome layer of flavor. The molasses, candied ginger, bourbon and spices thoroughly infuse the brioche bread, creating an incredibly tasty dessert. If you would like to eliminate the bourbon from the pudding, simply increase the whole milk to a full cup. Lastly, we whipped up a sweet bourbon sauce to top things off and really amp up the festive flavors.
- 2 large eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup unsulphured molasses
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 3 cups half and half
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract or paste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup golden or green raisins
- 1/4 cup of finely-chopped candied ginger
- Unsalted butter to grease the skillet
- 18 ounces brioche loaf, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup pecan halves
- Wood chips or pellets for smoking
- Sweet bourbon sauce like this easy recipe from Epicurious.com
Prepare the grill for indirect cooking at 325°F, preferably with wood smoke. Pecan wood is an ideal choice. For a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, run the ignition burner on MEDIUM and a single main burner on LOW (far left, or far right). Wood smoking envelopes can be placed over the active main burner.
Whisk the eggs and yolks together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar and molasses. Then add the milk, bourbon, half and half, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, whisking one last time to thoroughly combine. Stir in the raisins and candied ginger.
Coat a 12 inch cast iron skillet with butter. Place the bread cubes in the skillet. Slowly and evenly pour in the egg mixture, making sure all of the bread is soaked. Top with carefully-placed pecan halves.
Place the pudding on the grill in the indirect zone. Cook with the hood closed until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Remove the pudding from the grill and let cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle with bourbon sauce and enjoy!