May 2016 — The Memorial Day Issue
The word “barbecue” is used many ways in our culture. It is the name used for that quintessentially American cuisine that revolves around smoked meats. It refers to that wonderful apparatus used for outdoor grilling and smoking. And most importantly, during Memorial Day weekend, it is an event. Friends and family gather to cook outdoors together and celebrate life, and we call it a barbecue. Memorial Day weekend is our favorite time of the year because it kicks off the official barbecue season for millions of Americans.
This year, we are celebrating with a pair of fantastic recipes: our pulled pork sandwich and baked beans. We are also very pleased to introduce our newest accessory for the Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, Smoker Pellet Grill Inserts. The inserts will help you master true barbecue classics. They fit perfectly inside our Hybrid Fire Grilling Drawer and are designed to hold wood pellets, an ideal means for generating consistent and flavorful smoke.
We wish each of you, along with your friends and family, a safe and joyful holiday weekend as we take a break from our busy schedules to honor those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Nothing can beat the flavor of a good pulled pork sandwich. And, amazingly, pulled pork is just about the easiest of the classic barbecue favorites to make. The cooking time, temperature and smoke are very forgiving because a pork shoulder roast can handle almost anything you throw at it. Pulled pork holds up well for leftovers, so we recommend smoking two shoulders (doubling the recipe) while you’re at it.
Following our instructions will yield moist meat with an amazing bark on the outside. Add a delicate brioche roll, a rich bourbon barbecue sauce and the brightly flavored pickled onions and cabbage for the perfect combination of flavors and textures.
- 5 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston butt), closely trimmed
- 1/2 cup Basic Barbecue Rub
- 1 cup filtered water
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup honey
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/4 green cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 batch Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
- 6 brioche hamburger buns
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
Rub down the pork roast with the Basic Barbecue Rub. Let the roast rest at room temperature for about an hour.
Place the roast, fat-side-up, inside the grill away from the heat. We recommend placing an inexpensive oven thermometer next to the roast to monitor the temperature exactly where it matters most. Smoke the pork at 250°F until the internal temperature (measured away from the bone) reaches 200°F, about 8 hours cooking time. Rotate the roast every 2 hours along the way.
While the pork is smoking, prepare the pickled vegetables. Combine the water, vinegar, honey and salt in a sauce pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Place the cabbage and onion in a nonreactive, heat-resistant bowl. Pour the liquid over the onions and cabbage, making sure all of the veggies are submerged. Cover the bowl tightly and allow to pickle for 30 minutes. Drain off and discard all of the liquid. Refrigerate the pickled onion and cabbage until serving time.
When the pork is nearly cooked, prepare or warm up the Bourbon Barbecue Sauce.
Once the internal temperature has reached 200°F, remove the pork from the grill and let rest on a carving board for 10 minutes.
Slice the rolls and spread a thin layer of mayonnaise inside. Grill the rolls with the mayonnaise-side-down on a grill pan until nicely toasted.
Pull the pork and discard any large chunks of fat. We recommend using Bear Paws to make short work of the task and to keep from burning your hands.
To assemble the sandwiches, add a generous amount of pulled pork to the grilled rolls, drizzle with a little Bourbon Barbecue Sauce and top with some pickled veggies. Enjoy!
Bourbon Brown Sugar Baked Beans
These beans are quite simply the best baked beans we have ever tasted. A whole lot of sweet, a little bit of heat, and the unmistakable hint of bourbon. You’ll be asked to make these over and over again.
- 6 thick slices of bacon, about 1/2 pound
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (in keeping with the bourbon theme, we use Blis Blast, which is aged in bourbon barrels)
- 2 Fresno chiles, chopped
- 2 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Cut the bacon slices crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Cook and then dry on a rack covered with a paper towel.
Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent and beginning to brown at the edges.
Add the bourbon, sugar, salt and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer while stirring constantly. Gently stir in the Fresno chile, beans and bacon.
Transfer the skillet of beans to the indirect zone of the grill set up for 250°F with wood smoke. If you are cooking on a Kalamazoo Hybrid Fire Grill, specific methods for barbecue are described here. The beans smoke for 2 hours. For maximum flavor, we recommend placing the beans below Barbecue Pulled Pork for the final 2 hours of its smoke.